How Homeschooling Can Save You Money

by Darwin on October 8, 2019

While homeschooling might not be for everyone, almost any family can do it. You don’t need a special license (like you would to work as an elementary school teacher) or have to demonstrate any particular expertise (like you would when applying for an H1B specialty occupation visa). In fact, becoming a homeschool teacher is often as easy as simply declaring yourself one. Of the 50 states, only six have rigorous homeschool regulations; there is little mandatory evaluation of either students or teachers; and some don’t even require any certain subjects be taught. Indeed, the relative simplicity of starting the homeschooling process makes it easy for families to ditch public and private education options whenever the urge strikes. If you’re contemplating joining the increasing ranks of homeschooling families, you’ve probably already considered social and religious concerns, but have you thought about financial ones? If you have, you might be under the assumption that homeschooling your kids will inevitably cost you more than a traditional education — especially a public school one. But here are a few surprising ways homeschooling might actually save you money in the long run:

Clothes and Accessories

Peer pressure is expensive, specifically when it influences a wardrobe. Today’s parents spend an average of $375.77 for back-to-school clothes, shoes and accessories. No doubt, a majority of this amount is for items that are inspired by the styles and brands being worn by their children’s classmates. Homeschooled kids, however, aren’t as exposed to the latest fashion trends because they don’t see them and, thus, don’t feel the need to “fit in” or compete with friends like many of their public and private school counterparts. Their clothing has little impact (other than comfort) on their lives, making it easier for parents to establish a budget for the necessities with little regard for their “cool factor.” 


Furthermore, most public and private schools have suggested school supply lists that include graphing calculators, binders, earphones, cleaning and hygiene products and more. Many even specify color and brand! Between the four dozen Ticonderoga pencils, the TI-84 calculator, the five boxes of disinfecting wipes and the 20+ other items, the bill for simply setting foot in a traditional classroom quickly adds up. Homeschooling families don’t buy as much because they can share supplies and aren’t obligated to cover communal consumables. It makes a difference.

Incidental Fees

Think about all the small fees that parents cover every school year: the yearbooks and athletic uniforms and insurance to use school electronics, the equipment deposits and photo packages and tickets to dances, games and lectures. Throw in the costs for field trips and class parties and the gifts kids’ give to teachers at the end of each year, and you can see how it all adds up. Homeschoolers just don’t have nearly as many of these incidental fees.


When your child is schooled at home, he or she can also eat at home, saving you the cost of buying a school-provided lunch and/or the costs of a lunch box and conveniently packaged lunch foods (such as meal kits, individually wrapped snacks, etc.). You also don’t have to provide refreshments for your child’s classmates (as so often happens according to a monthly donation schedule, as well as for birthdays and holiday events).

Vacations and Entertainment

Finally, homeschooling allows you to save money on vacations and entertainment costs. Instead of heading to Disney World during peak seasons (winter or summer break), you can schedule your trip during the off-season when prices are lower and travel is cheaper. You can also take advantage of smaller, weekday entertainment specials (like those $5 movie tickets on Tuesdays), entertaining your family for less during opportune times and having class when the prices are up.

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