homeschool, money, expense, ymca, budgetI’ve been thinking about museum and gym memberships and finding a regular babysitter lately.  It’s all been rather depressing as I’ve tallied up the damage to our budget.

The Homeschool Dilemma

We’re homeschooling so I’ve been looking around for places that have programs just for homeschoolers so my boys can get out and meet up with more kids their own ages.  Most kids their own ages don’t “get” them (they were bound to be brainiacs) but I think the chances with other homeschoolers would be pretty good.  The San Antonio Children’s Museum and the Museum of Art have some great programs, but there’s city traffic, parking, and memberships and program fees to pay.  That puts a crimp in a writer’s budget.

Gym Membership

My gym membership is coming up on the one-year mark where I can cancel without any extra fees or penalties so I’ve been wondering if there might be some way to parlay that into something with a better kids’ facility.  The children’s area sucks.  My current gym (Blast Fitness) is budget-friendly at only $20 a month though.

Date Night?

As homeschoolers, the kids are with us 24/7.  Date nights would be nice, but at $50 just for a sitter and whatever the date costs, we’re still looking at a cheap night out of $100+.  Not budget friendly when you’re a humble writer.

What’s a parent to do?

I could put aside my fiction writing and Tequila Aficionado and get a job working for “The Man” for $50-70k.  The money would be great, but the boys would have to enroll in school again and I’d never see them.  This is NOT an option.

Enter the YMCA.

I found a local YMCA that has a great gym with childcare (3 awesome kids’ rooms for my guys to hang out in), they have Homeschool PE and Art, my oldest can actually exercise in the gym, I can take them to Yoga classes with me, there is a rock climbing wall the boys can train on, and they have Parents’ Night Out where we get to go out twice a month and the boys get an evening of pizza, popcorn, movies and playtime with other kids.  Did I mention the outdoor lap pool, waterslides and water play area?  Oh, and did I mention the free coffee and café with wi-fi that I can work at while the boys are doing their programs?

Joy to the Budget!

All totaled, this membership is $91 a month for a gym for all four of us, homeschool programs, seasonal sports programs, family recreation, babysitters and group classes.  Wow!

I wanted to pass all of this on just in case you’re in the same sort of situation and looking for an all-encompassing program that is budget friendly.  If you are, you may want to check out your local Y.  They aren’t just pools anymore.