How to Create a Homeschool Budget
One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to tailor it to your family’s individual needs. You can homeschool your teens based on their interests and learning styles, as well as your family’s beliefs and educational preferences. Did you know that a well planned budget can add to your family fun over your school months?
Because many homeschooling families rely on just a single income, working within financial constraints while homeschooling is important.
Whether you’ve got thousands of dollars to spend or are teaching on a shoestring, a homeschool budget is the best way to spend within your means and make the most of what you have.
Steps to Creating a Homeschool Budget
Ready to create a homeschool budget to fit your family’s needs? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Gather Information
If you have a homeschool plan for the year, you will be one step closer to creating a working budget. If you don’t have a plan for the year, this is a great time to create one. A homeschooling plan is an overview of what you’re children will be learning in the coming year. You should make note of books, supplies, outside classes, and extracurricular activities. Sometimes extracurricular activities can be some of your best learning opportunities. Having a dollar amount going to these throughout the year can really benefit your pocketbook and your ability to make these activities happen.
BONUS: Want help creating a four-year plan for your high school student? Download our free four-year plan guide and template!
Once you’ve gathered all the pertinent information, create a list of everything you will need for the year and your estimated cost for that item. If it’s a recurring cost like lessons or membership fees, be sure to make note of that. Don’t forget to include essentials like pens, paper, and notebooks.
Step 2: Research Costs
You may already have a good idea of how much supplies and curriculum cost based on previous years, but now is the time to compare prices, research sales, and look for used curriculum. When it comes to budgeting for your homeschool, frugality can go a long way!
Step 3: Make Adjustments Based on Your Household Budget
Once you have a good idea how much homeschooling will cost for the year, it’s time to see how those costs fit into your overall household budget. Based on your current income and expenditures, do you have enough to cover your budgeted homeschooling costs? If the answer is yes, you’re good to go. Consider dividing your total homeschooling budget by 12, and then contributing to a homeschooling fund throughout the year to help you stay on track. If you can’t make the numbers work, it’s time to do some brainstorming. Can you cut something out of your household budget? Purchase some of your supplies secondhand? Forgo a few extracurricular activities? Use your skills to make a bit of extra cash?
Creating a homeschool budget is not difficult — it just takes a bit of time. The first budget is always the hardest, but year after year, the process becomes easier. Your budget will become an essential tool to keep your spending in check and to help you prepare for the coming year.