A look at the price of childrens activities

24 May

Wow! Kids are expensive. Yes, we all hear that and we all know it to be true, but today I sat down and calculated roughly what they have cost me in activities alone this past year.

Lets start with my son, the oldest:

Hockey registration : $500
Equipment and skates: $150
12 away games at $60 gas = $720 gas
Hotel room for an overbite hockey tourney: $155
Misc cash for 50/50 draws: $50
Raffle prizes for home tourney 25
Namebar for jersey:  $12.65
Pictures: $12.00
T shirt: $17.85
Piano lessons $69/month x 9months = $621
Books: $34.93
Soccer: $40
Shin pads: $16.00
Swimming lessons: $45
Hockey camp for Jacob: 140.00

And now for my oldest daughter, the middle child:

Piano lessons $493.00
Books: $62.00
Music festival registrant for both $60.00
Dance lessons: $476
Costumes x 2:m $140.00
Competition fees: $35.00
Gymnastics fees: $90.00
Dance clothing and shoes: $50.00
Swim lessons: $45.00
Tisdale competition hotel stay: $75.00
Food for trip: $50.00
Dance pictures and DVD: 50


This, of course, is just a rough estimate as its hard to guage what we’ve spent on coffee at the rink, treats for other kids at the rink and babysitters fees for youngest while attending some of the whole day tourneys. I think its safe to round up to $5000.00 a year for the kids activities and we would still probably be shorting ourselves.

Wow!! This is a crazy number. Broken down into a per month basis thats roughly $600.00 per month. Since our youngest is only 2, the only activity right now she takes part in is daycare so if you factor in those costs, you looking at $1000.00 per month for our children.

This number of course, is not including clothing, hair cuts, hot lunches at school, book fairs, carnivals, fundraisers, school pictures, school fees, teacher gifts, dentist, medication, etc. The list goes on and on it seems like. There is just no end in sight. 18 years there will be I guess, but by then we will be contributing towards college, and other expenses or increasing our retirement savings to make up for what we aren’t able to do now.

I read an article once that talked about retirement savings and what couples should expect to live off in retirement compared to what they live off of now. They raised an interesting point that couples who don’t have children, will need to save more for retirement than couples who do have children. The reasoning behind this because those who have children have so much of their take home pay spent on so many other things than themselves. Looking at this example, I can clearly see that now. Whether childrenless people save it or spend it all, they have their complete paycheck for their own selves. We may bring home the same amounts, but a parents income is divided so many more ways.

When our kids were all little and in daycare,our costs for that would average around $900 a month. We used to joke about how we couldn’t wait for them to grow up and get to school and how much money we would have then. Little did we know!!


4 Responses to “A look at the price of childrens activities”

  1. Modest Money May 24, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Wow I always knew kids were expensive, but once they get active with this kind of stuff the price just skyrockets. And these are just rough estimates. You could also factor in the gas to drive to all of their various activities. Anyone with a home business would also have to consider the time they would need to sacrifice. Obviously I need to boost my income a lot or find a well off woman before I have kids.

    • myjampackedlife May 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Haha!! I like option number two. Yes it can get overwhelming. On one hand kids need to stay busy and be active but on the other, families can only afford so much. We are lucky in Canada to have the children’s fitness tax credit and now there is an arts tax credit as well, but at only $500 per child, it does little to offset the cost when you factor in year long activities as well as seasonal activities.


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