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Hello everyone!

I've been a long-time reader and I've finally joined. :) My husband's younger sister and brother will be moving in with us next summer. My husband and I are 25, with no kids of our own and very little experience with kids. His sister will be in 8th grade her first school year with us, and his brother will be in 4th grade.

I am a little OCD with my budgeting, and I have no idea what to prepare for. They will be attending an excellent public school, but I have heard there are a lot of unexpected expenses. What do you spend on school supplies in the fall, and on an on-going basis? Any field trip costs, summer camps, sports, music/clubs, or other expenses you have would be wonderful. They are moving from a bad situation out of state so this will be a totally new experience for them and I want to make sure they can afford what they want to do at school (within reason!).

Thank you and happy holidays!
 

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I would contact the school they will be attending and ask some of those questions. They may not be able to tell you exactly what things cost, but they should be able to supply you with typical school supply lists for those ages, and also let you know who to contact about such things as music lessons.

Don't forget to budget for such things as therapy. Kids coming from bad situations usually have some pretty serious baggage even if it doesn't show. Getting them into sessions with a good therapist could help alleviate any problems or keep problems from surfacing later. Do some reading on typical issues with foster kids. Even though these kids are relatives, some of the same issues will apply. If these kids are in a bad situation, most likely it's not going to be all sunshine and roses once they arrive.

Also budget for any legal expenses that may be incurred. You will have to have some paperwork that gives you guardianship.

Don't forget to look into the availability of any funds from the home state, and/or such programs as medical assistance. You may be able to get some funding to help you with the expenses you're going to incur in caring for these kids.

I'm curious why, if they're in a bad situation, they are not coming to you now instead of months from now.

Good luck.
 

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It is around $60 a month for hot lunch for 1 child here. I budget $75-100 a month for school activities. Some months I don't need it but let it add up. Sports and activities. can get expensive. I budgeted $200 for beginning of the year school supplies for my preschooler. His calculator was $149 of it. I budgeted an additional $ for clothes gym shoes etc

You and dh are so awesome for taking them in!
 

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Thanks for the quick responses! I didn't mean it to sound like it's a case of abuse or something really terrible. Their mother (my husband's mom) is also moving in with us. There were problems in their marriage and also a lot of financial issues where the kids weren't living in a safe place and weren't getting the things they needed beyond basic food. They want to finish the school year at their current school and are moving right after - this was our compromise if they agreed to move in with us and away from a hostile situation. We are sending funds in the meantime. Again, I apologize if it seemed like a case of abuse, that was not my intention.
 

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It varies very widly from school to school.

At my kids school they just started pay to play so sports and music classes are $25 each for the whole year. They hated to do that as they wanted to make sure eveyone could play So they reduced the fee for reduced lunch students and waived the fees for the free lunch students.

So if a girl does high school cheerleading at our school it is $25 dollars for everything uniform trips ect. My firend has a daughter in highschool cheerleading in another public high school about an hour from my home at her school the cost for cheerleading is in the thousands of dollars.

Our school does not charge for field trips it was in your enrollmentand textbook fee. Other schools around us charge. Wait they did charge a $1 fee for the rise in gas that they had not budgeted for. Have not seen that this year.

At my kids schools all sporting events and concert ( dances except prom) are free to students after they pay the one time required fee of $5 activity fee paid at enrollment.

Most expensive school supply for my middle schooler was a 3 inch three ring binder. For my high schooler it was a graphing calculator.

I pay $24.50 for school lunches every 10 days. if they choice to eat there everyday.

So check local school to see their fees.

After my enrollment fee was paid ( and they sent out info to let you know what your fees would be months in advance) I have not had to send money to school excpt for lunch money and the not required but reaaly wanted middle school t shirt. ( they gave us a month or two to pull to gether the cash for that one LOL)

Oh and there is the occasional fundraiser dinner that I might have to bring cinnamon rolls to and buy a ticket if I want to eat the dinner. ( always reasonable priced) This is how some of the students get the summer orcestra or band trips out of state paid completely for. They put in their time at fundrasiers they earn money. If the money is not raised by the individual the parents could decided to pay or the student could skip the trip and go on another one. French ( if you take 4 years of french you are eligbible to go on the French trip to France after your senior year) students who want to do this generally do fundraisers all four years so they can go for free.
 

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It is around $60 a month for hot lunch for 1 child here. I budget $75-100 a month for school activities. Some months I don't need it but let it add up. Sports and activities. can get expensive. I budgeted $200 for beginning of the year school supplies for my preschooler. His calculator was $149 of it. I budgeted an additional $ for clothes gym shoes etc

You and dh are so awesome for taking them in!
I meant that to be $200 for my high school child! i have no idea where preschool came from :)


Imagine,
That is how our old district was priced. They had a cap of $100 a family no matter how many kids and how many sports they were in. At our current district I was sure surprised. $300 for hockey, $150 for football. Nothing is under $100 for sport and most are higher.
 

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My kids cost me a fortune in surprise expenses with school. The latest: Adopt a gorilla program in school. My daughter's classroom all received iPads for school, so she needed a stylus and headphones, too. The list just goes on and on throughout the year. I can't even begin to pin down a specific budget because there's always some sort of new addition that I hadn't counted on.
 

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My youngest is a senior in high school and I'm being "nickel and dimed" to death!! This by far will be our most expensive year.....

registration- yearbook and ASB card $110 (he hasn't wanted a yearbook until this, his senior year)

senior pics- packages started at $199 and went way up from there. We opted to pay the required $25 sitting fee so his picture would be in the yearbook and then we had senior pics taken outside of the photography company that the school used.

Senior breakfast- $50

Grad Night- $165 (we have no clue where grad night will take place, it is usually at Disneyland but the paper they sent home says "You will party at a secret location which will include music, dancing, food and awesome activities all night long.")

Graduation packages (cap and gown, tassel, announcements....)- $104-$344

He throws shotput and discus for his high school team so those costs....

Sports physical- $30
Spirit pack (pants, hoodie, t-shirts and shorts)- $110
$$$ here and there for different events, fundraisers...

And of course there is Prom (tickets alone start at $85 per person/$150 per couple, the longer you wait the more they cost) and Winter Formal and all the other activities that will happen his senior year!

Oh and the parking pass since he drives to school costs us $50 for the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My youngest is a senior in high school and I'm being "nickel and dimed" to death!! This by far will be our most expensive year.....

registration- yearbook and ASB card $110 (he hasn't wanted a yearbook until this, his senior year)

senior pics- packages started at $199 and went way up from there. We opted to pay the required $25 sitting fee so his picture would be in the yearbook and then we had senior pics taken outside of the photography company that the school used.

Senior breakfast- $50

Grad Night- $165 (we have no clue where grad night will take place, it is usually at Disneyland but the paper they sent home says "You will party at a secret location which will include music, dancing, food and awesome activities all night long.")

Graduation packages (cap and gown, tassel, announcements....)- $104-$344

He throws shotput and discus for his high school team so those costs....

Sports physical- $30
Spirit pack (pants, hoodie, t-shirts and shorts)- $110
$$$ here and there for different events, fundraisers...

And of course there is Prom (tickets alone start at $85 per person/$150 per couple, the longer you wait the more they cost) and Winter Formal and all the other activities that will happen his senior year!

Oh and the parking pass since he drives to school costs us $50 for the year.
Thanks everyone for the responses so far!! I did call the school like others mentioned, but they are very vague, telling me how much the school supplies average and what lunch costs and that's "about it." Things like yearbooks, sports clothes, dances, etc., are expenses I was curious about. It sounds like it all adds up pretty fast!

Thanks again, this all helps SO much!!!
 

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Depending on the Mom's income, which I assume is pretty low, the kids may qualify for the free lunch program and help with some of the other fees. Mom just has to fill out a few forms. If Mom qualifies for TANF (welfare) or SNAP (food stamps) or the kids qualify for Medicaid (probably unless their dad still has them on his insurance), then the free school lunch is much easier to activate. If not, the kids can still get it, it just takes just a little more information to the schools.

The same also applies to summer programs. For instance, the Y has a policy of never turning a child away. Almost every program has some kind of scholarship available - Upwards Sports, Girl Scout Camp, etc.
 

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Two of our kids are the same ages as those kids. The elementary kids go on more field trips. Today they went on a more expensive one and it was about $10, but they only go on a couple each year. School lunch can add up, but you don't have to buy it- they may qualify for free lunch too. Activities are what really get us. School sports are not expensive. I think we pay $35 per sport no matter what they pay and then some sports have extra costs- I know it was under $300 total for my son to play for the high school soccer team. That is very reasonable compared to the out of school activities- club soccer for him is several thousand dollars. You can probably find inexpensive sports/activities for the younger child too- ask around. I remember when our first child entered school and all of a sudden I found out about all kinds of things in our community that I did not know. good luck!
 

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Depending on the Mom's income, which I assume is pretty low, the kids may qualify for the free lunch program and help with some of the other fees. Mom just has to fill out a few forms.
That depends on if the rest of the household income has to be included, and how much that is. Mom and kids may not qualify for anything if everyone's income counts.

I still don't get why, if Mom and the kids are in such a bad situation they have to move completely away from where they are, they are waiting months to do so. It's not that big a deal for kids to change schools, especially before they are in high school. It's none of my business and you don't have to explain to me since I'm just being a quidnunc, it just seems odd if things are that bad.

Good luck. Hopefully, they will not have to stay with you very long.
 

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wow, you all have some cheap school fees! dd is in public...but there are about $300 to start the year to include field trips and some other things..that must be paid in full inorder to get teacher assignment...we spend at least $300/yr on school lunches and she doesnt eat school lunch all that often! but she may buy extra pretzels and water at lunch time....in regareds to outside activities, that is a biggie in our house....math tutoring is $50/wk, language lessons (another language..) $25/week, riding is $$$$$, summer camp is roughly $3000 and then acting is another couple of hundred a year....we spend a lot but we figure if we know where she is and she is busy, less likely to get in trouble when older as she will have interests
 

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wow, you all have some cheap school fees! dd is in public...but there are about $300 to start the year to include field trips and some other things..that must be paid in full inorder to get teacher assignment...we spend at least $300/yr on school lunches and she doesnt eat school lunch all that often! but she may buy extra pretzels and water at lunch time....in regareds to outside activities, that is a biggie in our house....math tutoring is $50/wk, language lessons (another language..) $25/week, riding is $$$$$, summer camp is roughly $3000 and then acting is another couple of hundred a year....we spend a lot but we figure if we know where she is and she is busy, less likely to get in trouble when older as she will have interests
You do have some steep expenses.

Our school will give students a cup and they can fill it at the water dispenser counter ( yes a special counter built in to the school where students can fill cups of water for Free)

$50 a week for math tutoring? How much tutoring is that? For tutoring it looks like we are blessed to have the school we do here. The school has built into the school day four days a week a hour that the students can go and get help from their teachers, finish in schoool projects and labs etc ( the 5th day the teachers are not available as it is their teacher meeting time and the kids start school late) They also have free after hours tutoring in English, Sciences, and Math provided by the teachers in that area at minimum of three nights a week. Buddy is currently going to his math teacher everyday after school for an average of a hour each night. All for free.

Yes I am feeling very blessed right now.
 

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Just thought of somthing else related to expenses. Optional not required trips.

Little Miss wants to go to a string event for middle school students at a university ( not the one in town) it is not school sponsored but school suggested. That means in adition to the $39 activity fee we have to pay for at least Little Miss and one parent to staty in a hotel room for 2 nights and adult meals and kid meals (some are incuded for the students)

It will add up fast.

Oh course we could always say no. We have in the past.
 
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