A Free Public Education Seems Surprisingly Expensive

A couple of months back I told you Kate and I pulled our son out of private school, and he’s now a few weeks into kindergarten at the local elementary. Last night he and I were doing our pre-bedtime reading, and I commented to Kate that our book selection was getting a little stale (my boy often claims to be “reading” when I can tell he’s got the entire book memorized).

Kate told me we could use the book order form they’d sent home from school to freshen up the home library, and I immediately complained about the cost (because apparently I’m old and grumpy now, and I really just wish those blasted teenagers would get off my lawn).

Anyway, it got me thinking about the peripheral costs parents are incurring as they get a kid (or a bunch of kids) from K through 12. Truth is, I have no idea what it costs parents to keep their kids supplied, well-read, shoed (shod?) and uniformed (referring to sports), not to mention the cost of renting or buying that shiny new tenor saxophone (heaven help us all).

I imagine there’s no better group than the YNAB community to educate me about the expenses associated with a free education.

So, what can you tell me? Outside of keeping them fed, clothed, and housed, what are you paying to get your child(ren) through the school year? Dig into your YNAB ‘income vs expense’ report and enlighten us.