Balancing the Costs of Extracurricular Activities

Like many parents and grandparents, you’ve probably already sent your child or grandchild off to their first day of class. For many, this is an exciting and busy time, but it may also bring a whirlwind of added to-do’s to your already long list, like homework, special projects, and, of course, extracurricular activities. At most schools, extracurricular activities may encompass many areas of interest, including sports, clubs, and student organizations.

Overall, studies have found that students participating in extracurricular activities are more likely to achieve higher grades, better mental health, character and leadership development, and higher self-esteemˡ. Of course, with such positives, extracurricular activities sound like the perfect addition to your student’s curriculum.
Before they sign up or you sign them up, however, be sure to weigh the pros and the cons of participating in the extracurricular activity or activities.

Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Cost to Join or Participate. Costs are a big factor in determining if your child can participate in extracurricular activities, like sports, clubs, and student organizations. Will there be special uniforms, equipment/instruments, or shoes for this activity? Are there costs to join or sign-up? What are the requirements for traveling for the organization or sport? Are there expenses associated with attendance? On average, families can anticipate to spend approximately $700 on extracurricular activities in 2023ˡ. Of course, if your student is part of travel sports teams as well as lessons and/or coaching for their chosen activities, then that cost will be significantly more². 

2. Juggling All Commitments. In addition to any monetary expenses, factor in how much time this activity will require. Depending on grade-level, will your student still have enough time for homework and studies outside of class? Although activities are important for a well-rounded student, of course, academic studies shouldn’t take a back seat. Will your student also be participating in other extracurricular activities or after-school jobs? Create a mock schedule to see if all of the activities are feasible.

3. Transportation To/From Activities, Practices, or Meetings. If not provided, will transportation be an issue to get to meetings or practices, given your work schedule or other commitments? Can your student carpool or will you need to pay for transportation to activities?

Ensuring your student is getting the most out of his or her classwork and extracurricular activities is important. When you or your child decide to sign-up for a sport, activity, or club, be sure to carefully consider everything that is required and involved with participating.

Once you determine what is best for you and your student, encourage full participation. Engagement in extracurricular activities will only benefit your child’s personal, social, and academic performance.

Reach out to a knowledgeable First Bank representative to help you along your financial journey. If you haven’t opened a First Bank Student Checking account for your student yet, open an account online today!
Be sure to read, “Three Benefits of Teenagers Having a Checking Account.”