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Start of School Costs

August 18th, 2016 at 04:57 am

I'm thinking ahead. I know that yearbooks, school pictures, and class dues are all going to be coming up once school starts. Since we have been here one year, I know how this school works. The first year at a new school is like going in blind.

Here's what I'm aware of right now:

Class dues $35 (prom primarily, which my daughter won't even attend)
Yearbook $68 (goes up as the year progresses)
School Pictures $40 (not sure exactly, as packages vary)

We don't expect any other expenses from the school, but of course, that doesn't mean there won't be any.

If I ran a school, I might actually provide parents a list of possible expenses. Indicating which are required and which are completely optional. Many are optional.

We stopped at Staples last night and bought two new binders and two sturdy folders. The total was $19+, but I had gift cards so out of pocket cost was zero. I think Staples is VERY expensive compared to the discount stores. Binders shouldn't cost nearly $9 in my opinion.

Are you aware of what expenses you may have coming up from your child's school?

9 Responses to “Start of School Costs”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Hi CCF - I have Sr. High School (twins) this year. Between cross country sport fees and "fees" from the school.. My total was about $795. And $300 for their Sr. Pictures. Heaven knows what will be next.. Man o man. I won't miss these fees anymore. Though I suppose it is preparing us for college.

    I know you have a college daughter. Do you get a lot of Misc. "fees" on that too? Or is it just tuition/room and board/ and books.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I did forget to add that we paid $300 for our daughter to participate in marching band this year.

    College doesn't seem to me to to have as many random fees. The unknown each semester is books and supplies. Some classes add fees, but those are on the tuition bill each semester. It feels much more controlled. We give our daughter about $100 a month to get anything she needs for living, but her needs are low. The allowance makes it easier on us for budgeting.

  3. Buendia Says:

    I think about this all the time! (Mainly so that I can set aside money each month).

    Extra school expenses beyond tuition - yearbook $40, donation to their fundraiser (jogathon) - $10, basketball $200, $15 to buy a book or two at the book fair at school so that she's not the only kid who doesn't get books when they're handing them out later

    Soccer (not a school activity) is where I really track expenses - parking at the fields where they play their games $50 twice a year, additional uniforms about $40 (shorts were too small), tournament fees $35 twice a year, new cleats $35, indoor cleats $35, indoor soccer registration $50, select soccer registration $350 = $680 to play soccer each year! It less expensive than other activities (I'm thinking piano) and she loves it so I don't mind. I put aside money each month for soccer.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Yep, I paid $218 which didn't include yearbook. It did include insurance on the Chromebooks they're renting them and $15 for the PTO. I'd also like a clearer delineation of expenses. Agree about Staples. I think we'll start some shopping this weekend. School starts for DD in two weeks, for me after labor Day--except for my omnipresent evening classes.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    We have a list of shared supplies to bring in; not sure how much it will total up to, since it's not stuff I buy very often. (Ring binders, pencils, etc.) I'll guess $50 and see what it comes to this weekend.

    After that, expenses were very minimal last year. School pics were $29. Yearbook was $10, I think. There were about three field trips at $5 each, and a couple calls for donations of $5 or $10. Elementary school is cheap!!

  6. rob62521 Says:

    I agree, Staples is kind of pricey. They do have decent loss leaders like crayons, pencils, and glue sticks around the first of August. I bought a class set of these for a friend who works in a high poverty school so her students would have them.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    We made a voluntary donation of $95 to cover 8th grade supplies and field trips. I appreciate not having to buy supplies, I know they have a big overnight field trip planned, and it's the last year. (Early on the school was new and had WAY less money and they more required these things. I get the sense today they are more careful with the legalities of "requiring" reimbursements as a public school, but also have more funds to manage. They cover field trips for everyone now so it's not required that we pay to participate). We skip most the optional stuff. The school pictures have always been pretty terrible, but also seem unnecessary in the digital age. (I suppose it's not difficult to DIY to outdo the "terrible").

    6th grader is starting a new school and I do not know. I wouldn't be surprised if the school supply/field trip thing was handled similarly (no requests for reimbursements at all maybe). But I don't know yet. I think there will be a lot more potential for optional expenses like music lessons and tickets to concerts and theater events. I don't know how any of that works. I know the music lessons are cheap to the public but I don't know if they are free to students or if the school can provide instruments. I don't know if we have to pay to see every performance our thespian is in. I do know we will save a bajillion dollars in private lessons so we can deal with however it works. Oh, and maybe they will have better photographers? Big Grin

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. My 13yo is in a K-8 school so it's probably a lot more simplistic and elementary focused. The eldest starts a 6-12 art school so there is probably more of a high school slant. They have a big theater with a lot of "pay to see" performances.

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    Those performance entrance fees add up in the high schools. Our daughter has football games that we attend all fall, at least ten in total at $7 each to get in. Can't bring in food, so child needs something to eat and drink after performance. And then there are the entrance fees to competitions which are at least $10 each to get in! It adds up, but I'm putting that cash aside each time we get paid, just part of a line item in YNAB.

    Our school pictures have never been that bad. I get that they are optional, but they are the most professional pictures we ever have taken, so I go with it. And the grandparents like to have a copy!

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