It’s no secret that raising a child is expensive, with the average cost now ranging between £75,000 and £187,000, depending on factors like childcare. While you budget for food, clothing and toys, what can you do when an unexpected expense arises? One such example is a long school trip or exchange programme.
New research shows that even free and state schools cost parents £800 per child, per year. This includes lunches, course materials and uniforms, the latter of which have resulted in parents applying for loans.
When it comes to school trips and overseas programmes, you don’t want your child to miss valuable learning opportunities. To help, below are some ways you can budget.
Teach Your Child About Money
While the upfront cost of the trip may be pricey, there will likely be more money to shell out when your child is away. This is where teaching your children the value of money is important, both for the trip and their financial future.
Depending on the age of your kids, there are loads of activities and games to help them learn about money and budgeting, which could help them to spend less while they’re away.
Consider a Pre-Paid Card
Whether they’re going on a school-organised holiday or taking part in an exchange programme, your child will need to take money with them. Rather than giving them a large amount of cash, which could be misplaced or stolen, consider a children’s pre-paid card.
This provides your child with access to funds, but limits how much they can spend, helping to reduce costs. It also provides more security, as cards can be cancelled if lost and the limit can be increased if required.
Speak to Teachers and Hosts
Without knowing about activities planned or the price of local amenities, it can be difficult to create a budget. This is where speaking to teachers or host families can be helpful.
Teachers can give you a breakdown of the trip and any additional costs to expect. While speaking to the host family will allow you to find out what activities their children are involved in and learn about the costs of daily life in the country.
Remember the Extras
Finally, don’t forget those extra expenses. Depending on the length of the trip and where your child is going, this could include anything from additional clothes and medicines to pocket translators and increased monthly phone costs. You may also need to factor in travel insurance and additional baggage allowance.
School trips and exchange programmes can enhance your child’s education, providing the opportunity to learn new skills. As such, hopefully, these tips will help you to budget.