Too many times have I heard the phrase, “We don’t have money for curriculum.” Honestly, there have been many times that that I have said the exact same thing. It wasn’t because I didn’t budget. Money was just tight! However, we need to do what it takes to create and maintain a workable homeschool budget.
Jesus said in Luke 14:28; “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
These homeschool budget tips should work for everyone:
1) Make your pie in the sky list
- Organizational Supplies- Think bookshelves, desks and such. Even if you are thrifty and shop yard sales, there is still a cost.
- School Supplies- paper, pencils, notebooks (I really stock up during back to school sales.)
- Curriculum- This one is clearly a given. Choose this wisely. Sometimes an initially high price tag pays off as you pass it through your children.
- Science stuff- microscopes, experiment supplies
- Field Trips
- Music/ Sports
What is the final cost?
2) Make your bare bones necessary list. This list may vary family to family or even year to year. My bare bones might include: Curriculum, HSLDA, Coop, and school supplies. What is the final cost?
3) Decide what’s realistic. Depending on your current financials and what your pie in the sky list looks like, you can come up with a workable homeschool budget!
4) Start NOW! Once you make a decision and consider the cost, don’t wait to start. Begin now. Will you put away lump sums? Will you put money to the side monthly? Some years I also coordinate holidays and birthdays into our homeschool needs list. A microscope is a big budget item. It made a great Christmas gift one year, and it allowed me to stretch my homeschool budget a little further.
How does a homeschool budget help you?
1) A homeschool budget forces you to think and plan. If you are anything like me, this is a good thing. It keeps me accountable to myself, and it gives me something tangible to share with my husband.
2) You know what you have to work with. This is helpful as you are deciding whether or not music lessons work this year. Be creative as you stretch your finances.
3) It reduces stress! Even if you have a much smaller homeschool budget than you’d prefer, you can rest in knowing what you can and cannot afford for the year. You also can begin to plan financially for the upcoming year.
Once you make a homeschool budget a priority, you will begin to see it is actually quite liberating–and reduces a ton of stress!
Do you have a homeschool budget? Please share any tips you have below!
Copyright © Rebecca Yarger, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved