A Money Coach in Canada

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2girls.jpgOne of my favourite Canadian personal finance bloggers has agreed to guest post today on … the September costs of putting your kids in school, even if it’s a public school! I’m betting some of you parents can relate…

I was running low on ideas and asked my wife for a topic for today’s blog and she came up with the cost of our “free” education system. She had been out shopping for back to school supplies (a HUGE industry in itself) and was telling me about all the “bargains” she was going to have to find to pay for all of the unwritten educational expenses.

Not Optional

These are expenses you can’t escape from and you MUST pay:

  • $45.00 yearbook & agenda/year fee which is not optional (per child). My kids in High School can’t even get their schedule before they pay this fee.
  • $10.00 for the agenda at my elementary daughter’s school
  • Class fees for individual classes:
    • Art fee $25.00
    • Music Fee $25.00 not to do with the instrument rental
    • Musical instrument rental or purchase which can be anywhere from $100 to $800
    • Physics Fee $10
    • Tech Fee $30
    • Music Fee $35.00

Not that much I guess around $100 – 200.00 per child all due in September.

Optional Expenses

These are the added expenses that you can try to not pay or find ways around them, but some are more optional than others. An example would be I can’t really not buy bus passes for my daughters who go to a school a 20 minute drive away, but I will include them here for the sake of fairness in the model.

  • Yearbook fee of $15.00 for elementary/middle school
  • $200.00 since one of my daughters plays on the school basketball team
  • Food
    • Pizza $45/child/3 months
    • Juice $38/child/3 months
    • Pita Bread $40/child/3 months
  • Class photos $40
  • Team fees for athletics $20.00
  • Team fees for football $32.00
  • Team fees Curling $50.00
  • Tournament fees for basketball $115.00
  • Skiing $60.00 for club
  • End of year camp $187.50
  • Gym Fees $24.00 for self defense
  • Team fee softball $45
  • Monthly Bus Passes $58.00 per month Per Child
  • Band shirt $25.00

The bus passes are tax deductible luckily, but a lot of the school athletics aren’t really covered under the new “active child” tax credit, and you can see these expenses can be anywhere from $100-$800.00 for a child over the year. Now this does not really include things like:

  • Pencils, pencil cases, crayons and such
  • Paper, binders and the like
  • Computer, and computer paper
  • Clothing for the start of the year

Anybody else know why I don’t have any money in September? Just take a guess.

His related articles:

Wake me up when September ends

Cost of school transit

The disappearing middle class in Canada

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

Thursday Guest Post: school expenses. oy, vey! Comment

  1. As a ( not-so-old) grandmother, I still recall the horrors of September’s extra costs. How did we manage? Besides cutting back, going into debt more and cutting back or delaying essentials, we had a great maiden aunt who always wanted to help. Since she had no children, she enjoyed helping ours. And strangely enough -now that we have grandkids – we have discovered ourselves doing the same. Since I have my own business now, I find I am helping out the next generation as well.


    Aug 31, 2007

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