Is Summer Camp a Good Financial Choice for Your Family?

camp-tips-ideasThe current economic downturn has many people wondering about how to make ends meet. They are trying to find ways to cut costs and get the most for the money they do spend. While they may want to send their children to summer camp they’re wondering if summer camp is a good financial choice for their family.

There are many things to consider when thinking about the cost of summer camp. Even though the cost may seem prohibitive, you may want to take these issues into consideration:

  • Camp costs versus child care costs for parents. Summer camp is great for families where both parents work. These families can know their child is being taken care, is safe and having a good time while they wait for school to start. When you think about whether or not you can afford summer camp this year take into consideration how much child care will cost for the same amount of time. Summer camp provides feeds and provides child care as well as entertainment 24 hours a day, seven days a week for each week your child attends. If you paid a babysitter the current minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour to babysit your child the same amount of time the cost would be $1,218 per week. When you compare the two choices paying $600 a week for summer camp is a much better deal than $1,218 a week for someone to keep your child. Now multiply that number by how many children you have. Does summer camp look more affordable?
  • Is summer camp tuition tax deductible? The answer depends on your family. (*Please note, to get specific financial information please talk with a professional financial advisor. This website does not give financial advice nor is it licensed to do so.) There is a child care credit available to two-earner families or those with single parents. This credit – up to 20 percent – may be possible if sending your child to day camp would allow both parents and a single parent to continue working. Overnight camping would not be included.
  • Investment in the future. Think of the benefits of allowing your child to attend summer camp. You could be investing in their future particularly if they attend an academic or technology summer camp. Attending these and other types of summer camp could provide them with opportunities to learn and network with people with similar interests. Depending upon their age and interests the friendships they make during summer camp can benefit them for years to come.

Parents often have to make tough choices when it comes to allowing their children to do certain things. Summer camp is one of those areas where parents may be tempted to cut back when money is tight. Check out to find a summer camp which will better fit your family’s financial situation and still allow your child to experience summer camp next year.