Accommodating your child’s educational needs due to the shift from in-person learning to remote learning can feel overwhelming. You’re suddenly faced with a major change that affects how everyone in your household performs their day-to-day duties. Kitchen tables have now become desks for learning; instead of 1 person home during the day, there are now 4 people home; and the list goes on. You want to help your child thrive during this complicated situation, but there is one major thing looming on your mind and that’s the fact that remote learning comes with many additional, unfriendly expenses. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies you can use to stay on a budget while enriching your child’s experience.
Your Child’s Education Doesn’t Have to Be Limited by Your Budget
Try out these best of the best strategies for managing your child’s remote learning needs while staying within your budget.
Second-Hand Stores are School Supply Heaven
Remote learning poses a challenge for parents who are suddenly on the hook for supplies that are normally provided at school. How can you provide an enriching at-home learning experience for your child with all their necessary supplies without breaking the bank?
Luckily for our budgets, school supplies are quickly outgrown by children, which means there is never a shortage of them at second-hand stores. You can try buying your school supplies like crayons from your local second-hand store or even online sources. Since remote learning is temporary, a few scratches on that second-hand ruler won’t be distracting for long. If your budget allows, you can also look for second-hand desks, chairs, or even desks lamps from your local or online stores. To spiff it up a little, have your children decorate and personalize their desks with stickers which could help them feel excited about attending class while at home.
Seek Out Support
Don’t feel alone in struggling to maintain your budget while accommodating your child’s remote learning needs. This sudden change has put major stress on most families who are trying to readjust to life with their child’s remote learning requirements too. This is a great time to reach out to other parents in your child’s class to see how you can support one another. If your family only has access to one computer, there might be a parent who can offer an extra laptop or time on their home computer for your child.
Now is the perfect time to band together and see how you and other parents can help support each other in accommodating your children’s remote learning needs, whether through borrowing supplies or assisting with childcare.
Seek Options for Lunchtime Support
Another unexpected expense for managing remote learning is lunchtime. If your budget is planned around your child eating lunch from their school, the sudden extra cost of lunchtime can be a shock. Luckily, there are options to help keep you within your budget.
Reach out to your child’s school to confirm how they’re handling school lunches. Some schools have continued to serve pick-up breakfast and/or lunch to their students even after closing. Even if your child’s school isn’t offering meals, there are still other services your child will qualify for if they were receiving free or reduced meals at their school. This tool from the USDA can help you find those services.
Get Deliberate About Your Budget
A great way to help stay within budget when remote learning is to grow that budget! Although it may be difficult especially right now, try and make a conscious effort to save money when you can. Check out some of our recent posts for ideas on how you can maximize your budget and start saving today.
Don’t Forget to Ask
We often feel like we’re the only ones struggling with a situation when in actuality, we’re one of many other families that simply haven’t spoken up. If you find your child’s remote learning requirements are unreasonably expensive or inflexible, don’t be shy about making that known — it’s highly likely there’s a least one other parent feeling the same way.
Reach out to your child’s teacher or the school’s administration as necessary to explain your needs. Providing that feedback will not only help them find solutions for your child’s needs, but it will also help the many other families who are struggling in silence with the same budget restrictions.
Try Out Financial Service Centers
A great but often overlooked way to make sure you stay within budget while managing your child’s remote learning needs is to opt for financial service centers, like CFSC, whenever possible. Using our services, you can often avoid excessive bank charges or get money quick, after cashing your paycheck.
Whether you need check cashing, electronic bill paying, or simply a pre-paid debit card, CFSC can provide you with the financial services that you need at a competitive cost. We want you to spend your money where it really matters — on your family.
Find the nearest CFSC location to you and put your finances to work where they matter most.