10 ways to budget when you're home educating
As you will already know if you're currently home educating, you can't really give a set price of how much it costs to home educate, the truth is, you can make it as cheap or expensive as you wish or need. For those of you who that need a low cost home education, here's some ideas to help you keep learning with a low budget.
1 - Don't buy books
Being a home educator you can easily buy way too many books, trying to ensure your children have all the resources they need to learn. The problem is you'll soon have too many books sat on shelves hardly ever being used. you can end up spending loads of money on books you don't need without even realising it. Instead of buying books we get all our books from the local library as and when we need them, we only buy books if we can't get a particular book at a library or we really love it; not only does it save you loads of money but it gets you going to your local library regularly too.
2 - create your own worksheets
If you haven't got a printer or you've been spending loads on ink or subscriptions to worksheet websites, then why not create your own. You don't have to create a masterpiece and spend hours preparing them, simply search images of the type of worksheet you want, get a marker pen and copy it, or you could even get the children to create their own worksheets, copying ones they like online.
3 - FREE days out
Being a home educator, you can easily spend a lot more than the average family on days out and this is going to cost a lot of money to keep up with long term. We now go on a fun full day out once per week and stick to local places like parks, libraries and meeting up with friends or family on other days. We've also found loads of free educational days out. You could go to local museums or art galleries, country parks and bike trails, and lots of other places. We've even been on a free tour of the National assembly of Wales building. We've also found lots of places that offer home ed discounts if you ask.
4 - Birthdays and Christmas presents -
Try to get some of your fun educational resources for Christmas and Birthday presents to save you money throughout the year. Things like craft resources and experiment kits are great or yearly passes to national parks or educational subscriptions your child would enjoy.
5 - Buy beeswax crayons
Before we first purchased these, we thought they were a bit over-priced for crayons, but after trying them, we realized we couldn't be more wrong. We use our tin of crayons everyday, have had them about 6 months and they are still all in the tin and usable (you can even clean them); while every other cheap crayon in our house gets snapped and nobody really likes using them. These really are one of our best home ed buys!
6 - Take a packed lunch
Pack a lunch and drink for everyone if your going out for a few hours. Cheap day trips can quickly turn expensive with food and drink costs.
7 - Term time holidays
Save loads on booking holiday's by making the most of being able to go during term time.
8 - Sell on resources you no longer use
When you notice you need to buy some new resources, look through what you've got and see if there's anything you no longer use that you could sell on to help cover expenses of new resources.
9 - Free resources
Look online for free learning resources or information packs. Your child could even hold a Marie Curie tea party to learn about organising an event and charity work. We've had free learning resources from Parliament education and Welsh water, as well as two free educational posters of the ocean and human body from Open Learn. You could even ring or email a few companies or organisations.
10 - Make a weekly menu plan -
If your children are with you for every meal and at home throughout the day, it can easily cause food costs to go up. Try creating a weekly menu plan and then leave any snacks available for your children in a basket on the counter or a tub in the fridge to stop all of the snacks being by eaten the day after you've been shopping.
Don't forget to head over to our printable's page to get you FREE 'All about me' printable activity pack.