As if back-to-school shopping weren’t already expensive enough, we’re now getting hit with another school expense: pictures! I don’t want to sound like a bad mom and say “Who needs a picture, I see my kids everyday! I know what they look like!”, but I may not be so tempted to say that if it were just school pictures. On top of school photos, we’ve also got soccer pictures. Yep, 2 sets of pictures in 1 month.
Maybe I’m just super-frugal (translation: cheap) , but 2 sets of photographs in a single month could take up over half of the “misc. & wants” category of my budget. Then what happens if I run into an unexpected “miscellaneous” expense?!
At soccer last night, I joked with one of the other mothers about just buying whichever set of pictures Aurora was cheesin’ less in. I love that girl, but she “cheeses” so hard that the corners of her mouth poke her in the eyes ! (Not really. Realistically, she just smiles big and squints her eyes at the same time, but getting poked in the eyes by lips seemed like a more colorful illustration.)
One of the mothers told me that she takes her own children’s pictures and prints them at Walmart. Then, she only buys the school and team photos. That’s a really good idea. (I take my children’s pictures all the time, but not in a fancy backdrop type of setting, nor do I always make sure their hair is combed and the ketchup is off their faces before snapping a shot.) She also saves money by just giving photos of the children as Christmas gifts to her family. Really, what grandparent wouldn’t love an 8×10 of their grandchild for Christmas? Yep, that woman is pretty smart saving money on photos and Christmas presents at the same time.
Anyway, since this is Aurora’s first year of both school and soccer, I think I’d feel guilty not buying her photos. So, I’ve decided to buy the smallest school picture package available, which costs around $15, and the class picture. That way, I’ll be able to put a photo of her and her class in a scrapbook for her. I’ll also buy the soccer team picture and a few wallet photos of her in her soccer uniform to put in her scrapbook and for in her grandparents’ wallets. Thankfully, the soccer photo options are more liberal and don’t require you to purchase a package deal.
I’m comforted that I’ll probably only spend around $30 for Aurora’s school and team photos, but I’m a bit nervous looking in to the future when all 3 of my kids are old enough to be in school and sports. I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it though, and I know that day will be very soon. If it’s too expensive then, I just won’t buy them. Or maybe now that I know what’s coming, maybe I’ll be able to save up for them if I add that amount to the back-to-school money I set aside throughout the year.
Article by Randi Millward