The Cost of Summer Vacation Is Too Darn High!

Mom Moment 6

kids playing summer breakWhen I say I hate summer vacation, I expect the sanctimommies to pile on and tell me I'm a bad mom for not loving the chance to spend time with my daughter. It's not true. I DO  love having my daughter around because, believe it or not, I miss the little rugrat when she's in school. I just hate that summer break is so darned expensive!

I thought it was just me. Until I saw an analysis of the true cost of summer break for American parents. Did you know we're spending $16.6 billion every summer? BILLION!

That's all the parents in America added up, of course, but according to the run-down on the costs of keep our kids busy while school is out over at, the average kid costs their parents $1,116 each summer.

This is why I hate summer break (OK, that and the inevitable daily fight over sunscreen). Watching my bank account be drained slowly but surely during the summer months is stressful!

I'm not talking about doing anything exorbitant here. My daughter will spend one week at soccer camp. We signed her up early so we could take advantage of an "early sign up" cost break, and we justified the check we wrote because we won't have to pay sitters most of that week.

More From The Stir: 11 Ordinary Things That Make Moms Quake in Their Boots

All the rest of her summer fun, like hanging with my in-laws when they come to visit or a week with her cousins, will be free. Heck, it's planned in no small part to help ease our biggest cost of summer vacation -- the biggest cost for a fair amount of working parents: childcare.

I'm a work-at-home mom, but contrary to the myth, that doesn't mean I sit around baking brownies and watching movies with my kid.

I work.

All day long.

My only child is pretty good at keeping herself occupied, but she is only 8. She still needs help making lunch and unfreezing her Kindle when it freezes up. Not only that, leaving her to her own devices to be ignored all day long just wouldn't be fair.

So I have two babysitters who come to my house and play with her, two sitters who have become more like family but who still cost me money.

Quite frankly, I don't see anywhere I could cut.

So while I will delight in seeing my little girl running around our backyard with the dogs at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning this summer, love having her come up to me at 1 p.m. with random kisses, I reserve my right to love my kid and hate summer vacation at the same time.

Do you take a financial hit during summer vacation? Is it anywhere near that $1116 figure?


Image by Jeanne Sager

summer break, summer survival, elementary school


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

miche... micheledo

Well, some of you must spend a LOT more, since we have five children and the only thing extra we have paid for this summer is a $20 scooter! :)

Rysam1 Rysam1

My husband and I both work full time. It runs us about $5000 for YMCA day camp for our two kids for the summer. I looked into sitters and nannys but they add up to be just as much. I wish I could take the summer off.

Maske... MaskedMomma

Same here micheledo...except we have 4 and bought a $2 kiddie pool instead of a scooter (we had one kiddie pool but we bought another so we can fill one high and one low for the baby)

Amber Ortega

That's awesome that you can keep your five children occupied with one $20 children would get bored of that very quickly.  I have three children and all my costs are x3......I'd love to know how you can get all 5 of yours to share a scooter because I can't get mine to share the same table to draw.  

My kids are bored this summer because they don't want to do the same thing every day and I don't have the money to put them in a program...around here the Y is $150/week per kid....that's $450/week.....$1800 per month or $4500 for the entire 2.5 month summer break.  That's CrAzY!  I spent $100 on a pool and hope that at least gets them out of the house and active........

Summer would be great if it wasn't SO long.....from end of May to mid/end of August is far too long....and hot.  >_<

Irish... Irishlass77

I can find things to do with my boys (who will be 10 & 11 by the time they  dig out their backpacks again)--  it costs nothing to ride bikes,  go for walks, visit the library,  meet their buddies at the playground.. but the cost of FOOD!!!  With their dad unemployed (not by choice) and myself  stuck working idiot jobs (my education $$ got flushed basically, I didn't want to attend the trade school my fam was insistent on), my kids usually get free/ reduced breakfast & lunch.  Although I will prob send something to supplement the downsized, crappy food they have been serving, it really adds to a grocery bill when we have to feed 2 growing boys all day.  It is really hard with  basically no income.  I just spent $185 on a grocery trip and I am praying it lasts for 3 weeks. :(

miche... micheledo

LOL!!!  Amber.  I didn't mean to give the impression we only have one scooter.  It is just that is all we have spent this summer.  Last summer we picked up some scooters at garage sales.  In fact our daughter got hers for Christmas.  :D

We also have swimming pools we bought for a couple of bucks at the end of last summer.  They are still good this year.  I guess my point was that we don't spend a lot of money to have a good summer!

1-6 of 6 comments