Family and Friends

Financing Your Child's After-School Activities

Save Where it Counts

The price of sending your child to an after-school program can add up in the blink of an eye. You want to give your child as many opportunities as possible to grow and develop their interests and skills without digging into your savings or jeopardizing your retirement. It may seem like these days nothing comes for free, but with a little ingenuity, at least you may come close.

Set Limits

Consider starting off by setting a budget for each school season. For example, consider letting your child choose one after-school sport, one academic club and/or one instrument. Help them to diversify their interests without going overboard. This can help them to focus not only on their studies but also to gain the most value out of each activity without burning out--not to mention burning a larger hole in your wallet.

Think about cutting down on costs for each activity by first searching for a school-sponsored activity. The cheapest way to curb unnecessary expenses for after-school activities may be for your child to join the school's soccer team, debate club or band/orchestra. Although there are costs associated with any school-related activity for uniforms or gear, it's the most economical way to get your child involved. Many schools also have booster clubs that help shave off any extraneous expenses.

Go Used

For budding musicians, it may be cheaper to lease an instrument rather than to buy one. Most local music stores have leasing programs where you can lease on a monthly basis. Instead of taking your child to private music lessons, try looking for small group lessons, which also could provide high-quality enrichment at a fraction of the price. To save on uniforms and equipment for your young athlete, you could buy used gear that's still in great shape. Especially if your child is trying out a new activity, it's no use investing money in something they may give up by season's end.

Nonprofit Organizations

Aside from school programs, your local YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs can also be great resources for those on a budget. They offer a wide variety of programs for toddlers and teenagers. This can be a convenient option if your children are several years apart. They all can benefit from the diversity of these programs, and, better yet, you may save on time and gas driving them to opposite ends of town.

Give Back

A recent study by the Afterschool Alliance shows that more than 15 million school-age children (26%) are on their own after school. Only 15% participate in afterschool programs. Some studies show that teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are three times more likely to skip classes and to use drugs. Other studies show students who do participate in afterschool activities are 30% percent less likely to participate in criminal activity. Studies on participation in high-quality afterschool programs are also linked with major improvements in standardized test scores and fewer behavioral problems.

Perhaps the most useful after-school activities that won't cost you a cent are community service projects. These projects, which can range from volunteering at the local hospital to planting a community garden, are hands-on activities that build character and instill values. Exposing your kids to these real-world opportunities help them establish a resume for college applications and can pay off invaluable dividends in the long-run toward a balanced life.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.