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.