How Much do your Children’s Hobbies Cost? | AD

*This is a collaborative post

As a child I didn’t really have hobbies. I read a lot, rode my bike and enjoyed inline skating. I didn’t go to clubs, have any weekend activities or have any lessons after school. I think as a child I didn’t really cost my parents much aside from in food, clothing and our annual camping trip.

But Aspire Money asked 2,000 parents across the country about their children’s hobbies and how much they’re really costing. It shows that parents spend an average of nearly £500 a year on their child’s main hobby and that a third of parents feel under pressure to buy their child the latest kit for their hobbies too.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

At the moment LP and Little Man don’t have any hobbies that cost us money aside from swimming lessons each week and really I see the lessons as learning a life skill rather than something fun and extra-curricular. It’s teaching the children something that could save their life, open up their world to more opportunities and because of that it is such good value for money.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

But swimming lessons for the two children now cost over £60 a month – that’s more than £700 a year and definitely an expense that, although I think is necessary, I do feel pressure to keep providing. I feel like now the children have started swimming lessons we need to continue indefinitely so they can keep developing their swimming skills as the month and years go by.

On top of this, many of LP’s friends take part in other lessons and clubs around the school week. Some do gymnastics, dance classes or Stage Coach lessons and I know this is something LP would love to do. But everything costs so much money – it may just be £5 a week but that’s £250 a year without the extra clothing and shoes that many of these lessons need.

I know in time Little Man will want to do some extra activities too – dancing, acting or sports. It will be another chunk of time on our calendar each week and another bill to pay every term but, if it’s something the children will love I know I will find it hard to say no.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

At the moment we’re researching local dance and gymnastics classes for LP, trying to find something that we can fit in after school and that won’t break the bank. I want to say yes to as much as possible where the children are concerned and it’s nice for them to do things they enjoy whilst making new friends and developing skills and interests that could last them a lifetime.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

The study, surprisingly, showed that younger parents – aged 25-34 – spend more money regularly on their children’s hobbies than older parents but, as the study covered children aged four to sixteen it may just be that as children – and parents – get older they spend less time doing extra activities, with more time taken up by school and activities that the school organise rather than ones parents are having to organise and pay for. This may also be the reason that younger parents feel more pressure to spend money on children’s hobbies.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

I know that as LP and Little Man get older their school day will get longer, they will have more homework to do and they may want to do other things like go out with their friends or just spend time watching movies, listening to music or playing computer games – their interests could change a lot by the time they reach their teens. They may even have hobbies that aren’t restricted to clubs after school – they may love photography, fishing, shooting or GoKarting. The world is their oyster as far as hobbies and interests are concerned and I cannot wait to see what LP and Little Man have an interest in as they get older.

I know that as a family we physically couldn’t dedicate the time to multiple clubs and activities per week but I am sure the children will gradually dedicate more time to their hobbies, potentially doing 1-2 clubs or classes a week each as well as their swimming lessons. It will be a juggling act of keeping them happy, finding the time and then finding the money to make sure we can fit everything in – and afford it too.

Do your children do any clubs or classes each week? I’d be interested to hear other experiences and whether you find your children’s hobbies affordable. You can read the full Aspire Money study here.

How Much do your Children's Hobbies Cost?

*This is a collaborative post

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4 Comments

  1. August 14, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    This is really interesting. It makes you think how much our own parents would have spent. I had violin lessons and dance classes when I was younger. Olly doesn’t have any hobbies or clubs that he goes to at the moment but he does go to football every other week with Shilts. I’m sure that will change over the next few years as he takes an interest in new things. We would love him to start swimming lessons again so he’s water safe. I need to look them up x

  2. August 14, 2017 / 5:41 pm

    Oh gosh yes, it costs a fortune! Mine do so much and it’s just increasing as time goes on. Adding in piano lessons for the eldest next term. But I want them to have as many opportunities as I can give them, so I will only say no if we can’t fit it in around their other activities.
    Nat.x

  3. August 14, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I dread to think how much my mum spent on me in my childhood. I did ballet and modern jive (then additional classes before exams),, clarinet lessons plus music school on Saturdays, (plus orchestras, windband through school and an external orchestra which included a tour at 6th form), then piano and sax lessons in school, then did sports – in school mostly, although I also played squash at a local club in the junior league, and tennis camps during school holidays. Oh and brownies and then guides, and a bit of woodcraft folk. I only had 2 days a week with nothing on most of my childhood from age 9.

    N doesn’t do much because I work and can’t get him to after school activites. Likewise he does swimming for safety although will give that up after another year probably – he starts school swimming this September as his school go from year 2. Then he does tennis – after school club and then at the local tennis club. That’s aboout £120 a term for the total cost, then £50 ish for swimming a term. Most school run activities are free, and we have someone else who picks him up for me and takes him to wrap round care, but we just can’t fit in anything else if he wanted to do it. He’s refused to learn an instrument so far, and does clubs at lunchtimes at school.

    I don’t know how parents do it. My mum was on her own and wasn’t working until we were in secondary school, but she had to ferry me and my brother around (he did a lot of sports for clubs). But we loved it. And I do think they’re valuable for kids to be able to learn a breadth of activites. It provides options for later in life.

  4. August 21, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Gosh, hobbies can cost an absolute fortune can’t they! My kids also change their hobbies like they do their minds!

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