Going to Sleep Away camp can be a priceless experience for any child, but it can also seem crazy expensive. There are some free and cheap summer camps, but there are also programs that can help families make summer camp more affordable. Here are the best ways to save money on sending your child to summer camp:
Reach Out—If you already have a camp in mind, check with them to see what kind of financial help is available. Many camps do have at least some kind of financial assistance, including government sponsored programs. And, don't assume your income doesn't qualify.
Register Early—Many camps give HUGE discounts of as much os 50% off if you register in the Fall rather than in the Spring. If you want to save big bucks on camp, the easiest way is to plan ahead.
Get a Grant—The Foundation for Jewish Camp offers grants of up to $1000 for children to attend a Jewish affiliated overnight camp. The child does not have to be Jewish and the camps are not particularly religious, but they do have to be a first time camper. Find out more.
Pay Pre-Tax—If you have a Dependent Care Flex Spending Account, you can use that money toward summer camp and pay for camp with pre-tax dollars. You may also be able to claim camp expenses as dependent care expense and pay with pre-tax dollars or claim a dependent care tax credit of up to $6000. Check with your tax preparer to see if you are eligible.