The school year is pretty predictable when budgeting for your children’s education. If your child is in public school, the tuition is paid for by your taxes, while you know you will be responsible for supplies, food, extracurricular activities, and some technology. If your child is in private school, you know what to expect there as well with tuition.
The summer is different. Instead of the consistency of knowing that your child is in school for a certain amount of hours each day—and how much that costs—you are faced with a plethora of options of summer camps and childcare for three months. Further, each of these camps varies greatly in cost, in drop-off and pick-up times, and camp dates. Some parents have to create complex charts to keep it all organized.
Even if you are able to stay home with your children during the summer, it can still be costly to keep them entertained. We therefore urge you to save money by utilizing the resources that your tax dollars pay for.
- Take advantage of your local library. Libraries are an amazing public resource, especially during the summer, when most libraries offer summer reading programs that offer free books as incentives. Further, check your library’s calendar of events, which often include free story times, group activities and clubs.
- Visit your Parks and Recreation Department’s calendar frequently. Look out for free symphony in the park performances, nighttime movies in the park, and other family-friendly concerts and events. Some Park Departments also have day camps for kids that are affordable and will keep your children active.
- Explore the State and National Parks located in North Carolina. Not only do some parks have summer programs for kids, but they are just really great to visit as a family. You will not regret the natural beauty, smells, and sounds of these grand parks, which can make you feel like you are on a different planet—despite being a relatively short drive away.