I’m sitting here with my head spinning while looking up good summer camps for my kids. Yes, this is the first time both of them will be going to a few camps and the cost is a bit outrageous! From gymnastics, Lego and soccer camp, I wonder how families save when most camps are $100 per week. And if you have more than one kid going, you better hope they have a siblings discount.
Elle over at CleverlyChanging.com answered my call when I reached out to her after watching one of her Finance Friday sessions. I simply asked what tips she had for families looking to send their kids to camp and need help both planning and saving for such a huge expense. Although I had a few thoughts of my own, I knew that I was not the only one trying to figure this thing out! If you’re like me and need a few tips on saving up for camp without going broke, let’s talk about it!
How to Save Money for Summer Camp
- Location/Time – Choosing a day camp instead of an over night camp can save money. Also, a camp closer to where you live can reduce the amount you spend on travel costs.
- Themed Camps are priced differently – Check your local universities, high schools, elementary schools, and department of Parks and Recreations for different types of camps that may interest your child.
- Look for scholarships – Many camps will have a few need-based scholarship options for some attendees.
- Special Needs Camps – Check with your local health provider for camps in your area that are for children living with certain disabilities. Here are a few camps that are nation wide:
Sickle Cell Camp
Type 1 Diabetes Camp
Camps for kids living with Asbergers
Camps for kids living with Autism
- Save extra money – Start saving your left over change in a special bank account or jar specifically for summer camp, those small amounts can add up over time. Start early.
- Recycle/Upcycle to save for summer camp – Sell gently used items on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon or a Consignment Shop.
- Plan your own. Create your own summer camp experience by visiting discounted movies centers, local state parks, free sports clinic, and more.
- Register early. Some camps are super discounts for people who sign up early and pay in full.
- Write-off some of the costs. Some camps are tax-deductible, check beforehand to confirm.
- Get additional support. Let extended family members provide a monetary gift for the cost of the camp. Instead of Christmas or birthday gifts ask friends or family to help pay for summer camp.