Are you interested in sending your kids to camp this summer? Summer camps are a great way for parents to encourage their kids to cultivate their hobbies, learn something new, or refine a skill he or she already possesses. If you want to send your child to summer camp, but you aren’t sure how to budget or save for the expense, below are some creative ideas to help summer camp become a reality for your child.
20 creative ways to save for summer camp
- Location/Time – Choosing a day camp instead of an over night camp can save money. Also, a camp closer to where you live can reduce the amount you spend on travel costs.
- Themed Camps are priced differently – Check your local universities, high schools, elementary schools, and department of Parks and Recreations for different types of camps that may interest your child.
- Look for scholarships – Many camps will have a few need-based scholarship options for some attendees.
- Special Needs Camps – Check with your local health provider for camps in your area that are for children living with certain disabilities. Here are a few camps that are nation wide:
Sickle Cell Camp
Type 1 Diabetes Camp
Camps for kids living with Asbergers
Camps for kids living with Autism
- Create your own fundraiser – Consider hosting a local bake sale, lemonade stand, bowling night, etc.
- Get a second job – Use your talents to bring in extra income.
- Save extra money – Start saving your left over change in a special bank account or jar specifically for summer camp, those small amounts can add up over time. Start early.
- Recycle/Upcycle to save for summer camp – Sell gently used items on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon or a Consignment Shop.
- Get Hired – Work/Volunteer at the camp you want your child to attend.
- Pay in installments – Sign-up for the camps payment plan.
- Did you receive a tax refund? Instead of spending it all on shoes use some of your tax refund to pay for your child’s summer camp.
- Get additional support. Let extended family members provide a monetary gift for the cost of the camp. Instead of Christmas or birthday gifts ask friends or family to help pay for summer camp.
- Get a discount. Purchase a discounted voucher for camp through Groupon or Living Social. Also some some camps may offer discounts for members of certain groups and organizations. If you have more than one child who will attend ask about multi-child discounts.
- Check out free options. Apply for a free day camps such as Apple Camp, Vacation Bible School, Wildlife Centers, NYSP, participating Bass Pro Shops has day activities that parents / care-givers can take kids to during the summer. Also local libraries may have special summer programs.
- Plan your own. Create your own summer camp experience by visiting discounted movies centers, local state parks, free sports clinic, and more.
- Register early. Some camps are super discounts for people who sign up early and pay in full.
- Write-off some of the costs. Some camps are tax deductible, check beforehand to confirm.
- Prepare for other fees too. Don’t forget to also factor in extra costs that your child may need to attend summer camp. Costs like lunches and special field trips can add up.
- Lastly, partner with a friend who may be home with entertaining their own kids. Some stay-at-home parents would happily be willing to watch your child/children too.
- Do your research. Search the internet, talk to friends, teachers and other parents. Try to find the best camps you can for the money and make sure they offer experiences that your kids will enjoy and learn from.
This post was an overview of Finance Friday Live – Episode 13, which first aired on CleverlyChanging’s Facebook Fan Page.
Each Friday you can join our conversation about personal finance on Fridays at 12:30 pm EST.
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