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Fayette-Mom: Spring - the most expensive time of year

Posted May 2, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

We’re well into what I consider, as a parent, to be the most expensive time of the year.

I used to believe the end-of-the-year holidays were the worst on a family budget, what with Christmas gifts and decorations and celebrations. But as my children have gotten older, I’ve noticed that it’s actually April and May that cost me the most.

First, there’s spring pictures (which…really…do we need these? Didn’t we just take school pictures in the fall?). Along with that, you have the class photo to purchase, plus don’t forget to pre-order and pay for the yearbook. And if that’s not enough pictures of your precious baby, don’t forget the soccer/dance/insert-your-child’s-activity-here photos (both individual and group poses, of course). By the time spring is over, you never want to see another picture proof ever again.

Next, you have Teacher Appreciation Week, which you’ll never hear me complain about having to spend money on a teacher — I think they deserve far more than I could ever give them. Still, it’s an expense you have to plan for: There are gifts to buy for each teacher and assistant, plus contributions to make to the PTA Teacher Luncheon. If you have more than one child, this can really add up.

The end of the school year also means most extra-curricular activities are coming to a close, and that can certainly hit your wallet hard. Dance recital costumes are not cheap, and someone has to pay for the sports banquet. There’s usually a collection taken to purchase group gifts for coaches and instructors, plus now’s the time you have to pay for pre-registration for the fall. On any given day, you’re writing dozens of checks, hoping that you remembered to pay everyone.

Easter clothes. School field trips. Summer camp registration fees. Really, just wake me up when the money is all gone — at this rate, it won’t be long!

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.


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  • MomOfTwins May 4, 2011

    I've written so many checks in the last 3 weeks I've gone through almost two books.... just the dance recital alone between the tickets, the flowers, the DVD, the pictures, the commemorative charm.... And then all the thank-you cards and gifts for the school teachers, the dance teachers, the coaches, the list just goes on!

  • snowl May 3, 2011

    Saying NO is always an option that should be enforced once in a need to learn.. not everything they may want to buy or participate in is a guarantee. Life lessons not tough love. It's easy, just do it and don't back down once you have said: NO thanks!

  • jkca May 3, 2011

    Summer child care (camps)for 2 kids is very costly for my family.

  • mtaylor918 May 3, 2011

    Ir doesn't get better when they hit high school. One daughter got invited to prom this weekend. Next week there are end of the year performances for dance and chorus, which require purchases. My girls always outgrow their shoes in the spring. Cha-ching, cha-ching! I've decided to start putting away money early for this time of year.

  • swirlgirl027 May 3, 2011

    Don't forget about all the weddings and graduations in the Spring to buy gifts for! And for some reason, Spring has a ton of birthdays and baby showers.