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Tips for Parents to Help Loosen the Pinch of Increased Living Costs

Last updated on Thursday, May 04, 2023 | By Adam Heaney

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*Updated: May 5, 2023, 9:30am

Are you feeling the pinch of increased living costs? Spending too much time negotiating with Mr Piggy Bank? Weighing up the investment verses the benefits of your kid's extracurricular activities?

As a parent, it’s natural to want to give your child as many opportunities as possible, but financially it can become a strain on the purse strings. So working out what you want to offer in comparison to what you can afford, can be tricky.

The benefits of extracurricular activities for kids are enormous. Broadening knowledge, expanding skill sets, teaching social skills and building self confidence to name a few. (But the financial outlay can be enormous as well.)

If you’re looking at ways to get the balance right, here are some tips that might help.

State Government Kids Activity Vouchers

As financial climates change, election dates creep up and the focus on population needs alter, governments make changes to where and how they spend their money. Be sure to stay on top of what your state government is offering in the way of kids activity vouchers, so you don’t miss out.

As an example, currently in NSW a parent with a 5-6year old child at school is eligible for up to $450 per year in Kids Activity Vouchers. As of 30 June 2023, this amount will likely be reduced.

To find out what your state is offering, see links at the bottom of this article.

Trial Activities

Trial Activities come in many shapes and sizes, and are a great way to help you find what's right for your kid.

Some providers offer unlimited classes at a reduced rate over a short time period. Others offer a first class or week free. Some allow a free class where the amount is deducted from the total price if you decide to proceed with the course. Whatever the offer, trials are a great way for you to get a feel for what your child should expect, prior to committing, and help you decide if it's the right activity for them.

Early Bird Offers

Fortune often favours the organised when it comes to parenthood. If you’re able to plan your kids activities well ahead of time, there are savings to be had! Keep your eye out for any early bird offers when booking activities in advance.

Be sure to refer to the provider’s terms and conditions when booking an early bird offer, as cancellation policies can sometimes be a little more stringent.

Long Term Costs

When choosing activity types that you think your child might be interested in, it’s wise to consider the future costs that may be associated with your choices.

Some activity’s costs increase as your child progresses. This may be due to a variety of reasons, such as class times lengthening, the required skill level of staff increasing or perhaps additional equipment is required as the child’s level grows.

Other activities may require additional costs as the course progresses. Before committing to an activity, check to see if there will be grading days, exams, end of year concerts, uniforms, costumes, equipment etc that will require additional payments. If they do, ask the provider for an estimate on the costs prior to signing up.

A Perfect Match

Ensure your child is well matched to the activities you book them in to. If a child isn’t engaged, it can be upsetting for them, disruptive to the provider’s session and in the long run, a waste of money for you.

Talking to kids activity providers regarding what they offer is key. There are loads of amazing providers offering fabulous options for today’s leaders of the future. The search for the perfect activity and provider match can seem daunting, but there is help at hand.

Click to let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll present you with some great suggestions.

What is Your State Government Offering You

Find out what you're eligible for and how to claim it by selecting the relative links to your state.

NSW - Active Kids $100 - Creative Kids $100 - First Lap $100 - Back to School x $150

NT - Sport Voucher 1 x $100 & Swim Voucher 1 x $100

SA - Sports Voucher $100

TAS - Ticket to Play Vouchers - 2 x $100

VIC - Get Active Voucher $100

WA - Kidsport Voucher $150

If you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help.

*NSW government vouchers previously reported as totalling $500. This has been amended to $450 as at 5th May 2023.

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