All of a sudden my kids want to try EVERYTHING. Karate, dance, sports…..the list just continues. At 4 and 2, these kids have a ton of interests and none of them include sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games. They want to be doing things, go figure!
My dilemma, being the frugal chick that I am, was to find a way to introduce the kids to all of these new activities without spending a ton of money on yearly contracts that cost a fortune, have a “no refund” policy and will eventually cause the kids to hate the activities.
Why? Well, think of it this way “oh, you’re going, even if you hate it, since we already paid for it” and you can imagine how resentful the kids become hearing that every time class rolled around.Beyond free bowling and free movies, I had to figure out how to incorporate these new “interests” into our budget. It didn’t take long to find the answer. A stroke of brilliance hit me one morning while I was flipping through all the programs our town offered over the summer. All of these classes are offered over the summer, for a discounted price and they don’t require a huge time commitment. It got me thinking “if the town offers some programs like this, perhaps local places that do dance, karate and other programs, might offer some summer programs as well”. Guess what? I was right. I needed to find places that would take both kids, the town didn’t offer dance classes for my son’s age group, just my daughter. I set out to find a dance school around our area that would satisfy our needs: age requirements, time commitment, price. I got the local Pennysaver and Yankee Trader and found ones that were local, had summer programs that didn’t take up the entire summer and that held the classes for both my 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter. After calling a few, I made my list to visit two of them and chose not the cheaper one, but the one where my son felt comfortable. Both kids are signed up for dance for 4 weeks this summer. YAY.
She goes once a day, with just Fridays and Sundays off. She loves it and now we know, once the Summer is over, she can continue on with classes if she chooses to do so. They don’t charge a yearly contract, we go month to month AND through the year, the kids can attend UNLIMITED classes! At some point, my son will pick it up, he loves to learn from his sister at home. Just needs a bit more “focus” in class.Finally, I found a tennis program through the town for my daughter. My son isn’t ready yet, but my daughter is up for the challenge. The town offered a huge discount for a two week program: 10 days, $35 for one hour lessons. She’s excited to learn the sport Mommy played for many years. The town program is run by a tennis pro at a fantastic LOCAL country club. And the price just fit our budget! If she likes it, she can do it again next year and we can always sign up for more than one session over the summer – they have three of them throughout the summer. The moral of this story? If your kids want to try something new that their friends are doing, or they just showed an interest in, test it out over the summer. It costs less, won’t be as big of a time commitment for the kids and you’ll be able to see if they truly enjoy it and then continue with it throughout the school year without worrying about hearing those dreaded words “I hate it, I don’t want to go to dance anymore” after you’ve signed a contract and paid a huge bill!