Shame. Sometimes I feel so bad for Hannah, being a second child. Actually, I often feel like a bad mother of my second child. Especially when it comes to extramural activities. Having a child is expensive. Having two children is doubly expensive. Covering the costs of their education has required some genius planning on our parts, so there often isn’t a lot of spare cash to pay for extramural activities.

The Hidden Costs

Ava is our sporty child. She is sports mad and wants to play every sport on offer. We’ve had to put a tight limit on this for two reasons, firstly because I don’t want her over-scheduled and secondly because it’s just not financially possible. Currently, she plays softball, soccer, and netball. While all of these sports are offered at her school, at no extra cost, there is, of course, the hidden costs. Each one requires a specific sports uniform and/or equipment. Now don’t even get me started on all the sports she thought she was going to love and then didn’t. We have tennis racquets, hockey sticks and a netball hoop set up at home.

Hannah is my girly girl. She has wanted to dance since literally from the time she could walk. She has asked regularly to have dance lessons but I’ve always batted it because of time and money. This year, now that she’s in Grade R, she has the opportunity, at an additional cost, of course, to participate in ballet lessons. The lesson cost aside, there are all kinds of additional costs, extra lunch and of course the ballet kit. All these small things start to add up.

The girls are also at a brand new school, as in the school literally only opened its doors two years ago, so up until this year, there wasn’t even an option of the schools second-hand clothing shop, that goodness that has opened this year. I’ve also learned to shop around for the best deals on school uniforms and extramural kits, Mr P Sports has become my go-to shop for both mine and the girls sporting kits. You won’t see a branded sports item (aside from my runnings hoes) around these parts.

And then there are the even more hidden costs

The silly things you don’t think about, the increased transport costs, the fact that I have to start work an hour earlier twice a week so that I can fetch Ava twice a week after her sporting commitments. There’s an extra petrol (which we all know does not come cheap) and then, of course, there’s a personal cost to me, of course, as their mom, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make, but I can’t run in the mornings as often as I used because I have to be at work at 7 am. The cost is so much more than just monetary.

How Do You Manage?

One of the things my husband and I do every year, to try and keep our heads above water and to ensure that we are saving wherever possible and getting the best deal wherever possible, is to meet with our financial advisors annually and go through all our policies, insurances, medical aid, and hospital plans. My mind is blown every year by how a small change or tweak to a policy or policy provider can increase our cover and save us on premiums.

What would be your number 1 tip overcome hidden costs?

Head over to my Instagram account now, leave a comment on this image this image, with what your number one tip for staying ahead financially and managing all the hidden costs in your child’s education is and you could win a Liberty Hamper which includes a kids lunch recipe book, a Liberty sports bag and swimming towel and a lunchbox.

The T’s & C’s

The competition will close at midnight on Monday, 11th February.

For the full T’s & C’s, please see here.