Do you want to know what get’s a good workout in my house? Hint: It’s not me. Do you give up? The answer is my checkbook. That’s right. Over the school year, my checkbook is put through it’s paces. I’m constantly hauling it out to buy this or that. Doesn’t matter whether it is morning, noon, or night, my checkbook had better be ready for action.
While I may have spent a bundle on my kid’s back-to-school wardrobe as well as his snazzy backpack filled to the brim with school supplies, I know I will need to spend more, much more as the school year progresses. Trust me, my coffers are always open.
As I sat at carpool pickup, I jotted down all the requests for money I have processed this school year. Just when I thought I was done, I would think of another event. Wow, it was a long list!
Below is a breakdown of activities and events that you will be required to pay for if you have an elementary school student. The amounts I listed are specific to my child’s school. A post on middle school and high school expenses will follow on AboutOne’s In a Nutshell Blog.
PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association)
- Dues for 2 parents — $15
- School fundraisers — price depends on amount ordered and the type of fundraiser, for example, desserts and cookie dough, handbags, wrapping paper, etc.
- Hassle free donation to the PTA to avoid participating in fundraisers — $25
- Fundraising events at school, for instance, Fall Festival, Spring Fling, etc. — $20 per child for tickets for rides, moonbounces, games, face painting, etc. You’ll need to buy food and drinks for your family at event.
- Art fundraiser — this is when your child’s art is framed or printed on a key ring or t-shirt — $15-20 (depending on item purchased)
- Fundraisers where kids collect donations for participating, for instance, JumpRope for Heart, St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon — $15-$25 (depending on donations collected)
- Individual school photos — $40 (price depends on package purchased)
- Class photo — $12
- Ident-a-Kid security cards — $13
- Yearbook — $19
Books, Teachers’ Gifts, etc.
- Gift of a book to the school media center inscribed with the name of student — $15
- Teachers’ Gifts at the winter holidays, end-of-the-school year, and Teacher Appreciation Week — $10-$20 per teacher per gift
- Two field trips per year — $10-$20 per trip (depending on location of field trip)
- Additional cost if parent is chosen to chaperone — $10-$20 per trip
- T-shirts, shorts, pajama pants, hats, and sweatshirts with the school logo — $10-$25 per item per child (I buy school spirit wear in a larger size than needed and try to buy gender neutral items.)
- Field Day T-shirt — $6
- School supplies– keep a stash of glue sticks, pencils, binders, and folders — $25
- Parties — you may be asked to send in a snack, paper goods, or goodie bags for class parties — $5-$10 per party
- Birthdays — if your child’s school allows you to send in a birthday treat, you’ll need to stock up on cake mix, frosting, and juice bags — $15 per child
In addition to buying clothes for my child, I spent over $300 this school year. Wow! My advice is to stock up on school supplies, snacks, and cake mix before the school year, so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed when the calls for money roll in!