If you’re planning for the next year of homeschooling, it’s best to create a homeschool budget before you start purchasing curriculum and resources. There’s nothing worse than feeling guilty about curriculum purchases because you didn’t plan ahead (ask me how I know!) Creating a homeschool budget doesn’t have to be hard or confusing! Here’s how to get it done quickly.
What’s the point of a homeschool budget
First, you need to know that budgeting is not a dirty word! It’s just a tool so that you can be in charge of your finances instead of being a slave to debt or poor financial choices. A homeschool budget provides a way to save throughout the year for homeschool expenses. Instead of being caught off guard, you can be proactive.
Budgeting allows you to spend without guilt because you’ve planned ahead.
Even if you’re only homeschooling kids in the early grades, getting used to budgeting for your homeschool needs will be an important foundation as your kids get older and expenses increase.
Sometimes homeschool budgeting fails because you include the obvious purchases like textbooks, but forget about all the miscellaneous expenses throughout the year.
So let’s see what categories you should include in a realistic homeschool budget.
How to Easily Create a Homeschool Budget
Let’s walk through the steps to creating a complete homeschool budget.
First, add up what you will need to spend on textbooks & curriculum this coming year for all your kids. This total should also include online courses or dual enrollment classes. One of the ways we like to save money on our homeschool curriculum is to choose resources that are non-consumable and that can be used by siblings in years to come. Finding used curriculum is a great way to save money.
Next, think ahead about end-of-year testing or evaluations, if your state requires that. Come up with a total.
Third, do you want to participate in any groups or classes that require membership fees? There are a lot of great homeschool resources with a monthly fee. This shouldn’t be a problem if you plan ahead before the year starts! List these membership fees next.
What about school supplies? Consider realistically what you might spend for all the typical school supplies you need for the year. Don’t forget things like science lab supplies too. Add in big purchases like a laptop for your teenager or a copy machine for yourself.
Next, don’t short change yourself in the area of professional development! Make sure you include some money in the budget so you can attend a conference in person or online, buy some books about homeschooling, or purchase some workshops or courses for yourself. A homeschool mom is a lifelong learner!
Finally, what extracurricular activities will your kids participate in that need to be included in the final numbers? This can include sports, musical instruments, community groups, and clubs.
Once you have a subtotal for each of these categories, add them all up. Take that final number and divide by 52 for your weekly budget amount or divide by 12 for your monthly budget amount.
Now you’ll be all set with a realistic homeschool budget projection. Save the money ahead of time, and you won’t be wracked with guilt (or worse – debt!) when you spend the money.
Homeschool Budget Worksheet
You really can homeschool on one-income and thrifty homeschooling is totally possible! You really can homeschool on a tight budget and do it well!
To help you out, grab a Homeschool Budget Worksheet to walk you through these steps. It’s in the members-only resource library at 4onemore.com
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.