Budgeting and finances are not the most enjoyable things to think on, but we must or end up in a mess. For most families walking the road of home education saving money is important. Did you know 8 out of 10 families I questioned are on an extremely tight budget for their school? These are the average middle class families just like mine who are working to keep all bills paid while buying curriculum for their children. Two of those eight are taking advantage of their state’s tax credit for homeschooling. While it's something we would never do (if we were offered), more and more families are accepting the help. It's never too late to save money while homeschooling. When my son was ready for kindergarten, I bought all of our books with a portion of my last paycheck. Yikes! I had no clue what I caused for the following year. I did not realize how much we would be sucking in our budget waistline for a belt to fit. Thankfully, I was able to sell just about all of the two kits to help in buying for the new year.
Ways to save money while Homeschooling
Set a budget – a budget set in place keeps from over spending. It’s hard especially when you see all that is out there for home education. But if you know ahead of time what you want to use (are going to use), the budgeting is not so bad.
Buy Used – don’t let the thought of used materials scare you away. Over the years, I’ve become more open to buying used for certain items. The only thing I don’t consider buying used is our Math since it is a computer disc method of learning. I’d rather buy new and have the availability of returning it if something goes wrong. Sometimes, buying used you do get burned with a seller not describing mishaps with books. I had this happen with our 8th grade Science. The seller said, “lovingly used”. When I questioned writing and highlighting in the book, she said there was minimum. Yeah, each page was covered in doodling and highlighting. If you’re leary when buying through a sale group, ask the seller to take pictures of the problem areas. If they are not willing to, don’t buy from them.
Non Consumable Books - when schooling a family of more than one, consider the cost of throw away workbooks. You can turn consumable books into non consumable - place the worksheets into a page protector and use dry erase markers to work the page. When finished, wipe clean and store in a three ring binder for the next child.
Wait for Newly Published Curriculum – several years ago, I mention I don’t like reading reviews of curricula by people who did not spend their money on it. I was told by another mom who works for a curriculum company I wasn’t being fair. I was being fair and still am. While I know those who receive items in return for an honest opinion are great for certain things. A newly published curriculum is not. I want to hear from someone who has spent their money and six months to a year working through the curriculum. Those who are writing reviews in return for curriculum are not allowed that length of time. I recently read the reviews of a curriculum I dearly wanted to use when it first came out. I’m glad I waited because there are lots of things mentioned in several reviews (from buyers) that I would have been frustrated with. Just because it is all the rage with reviewers, remember they are allotted a short amount of time to work with a portion of the curriculum before their review is due.
Sell Old and Unused Items - I mentioned selling the kindergarten kits. If you have books and related items that are not being used and you know they never will be– sell them. In the past, I use to sell on Ebay, but with their added fees along with Paypal fees, it’s not worth it anymore for me. I hit the Facebook selling groups with good results. Use that money for next year’s books or set it aside for things like a microscope and slides – pricey for decent items.
Investing - the key behind homeschooling. You’re making an investment in your children. Determine what you are willing to invest in. Investing less in one subject opens the door to invest more into another subject. For our school, our biggest investments are in Math and Science. While they take up a good portion of the budget, I don’t let this keep me from investing in the importance of them.
These are some of the Facebook sell groups where I am a member:
What are some ways you save money while homeschooling?