Most children participate in some sort of extracurricular activity. About three out of every five kids plays a sport outside of school, and at least half of American households have at least one person who plays a musical instrument. These activities have been known to build confidence, self-esteem, and character.
Along with the benefits associated with extracurricular activities comes a monetary cost. Consumed by planning for expenses associated with school — such as clothing, supplies, and after-school care – extracurricular activities are often a cost parents don’t immediately consider. It isn’t until a child says he or she wants to participate in such an activity that a parent researches, plans, and budgets for such expenses.
There exists a large variation in the level of expense among the various types of extracurricular activities. Some activities only involve an upfront fee that covers an entire time period, such as a year or a season, and uniforms and equipment costs are often included in this fee. Basketball at the Monroe County YMCA is an example of such an activity. For a fee of between $42 and $75, a child can play basketball for the season, obtain the necessary attire, and earn a trophy.
Many activities require an ongoing monthly or weekly fee, cost for equipment and attire, and costs for performances, like tournaments and recitals. Sometimes fees such as private lessons are yet an additional cost. The most expensive activities often involve ongoing expenses, as opposed to an upfront cost per season. Here is a list of some of the more costly extracurricular activities for children.