Finances and Kids

Today I took my daughter to a Montessori playgroup for the first time. Usually on Thursdays we go to Mums’ Group but for a number of reasons I gave decided to go to the playgroup instead. When I went today I noticed a difference between the mums at Montessori compared to the mums at Mums’ Group that I hadn’t thought about or expected.

Montessori education is not cheap. It doesn’t fall under the banner of kindergarten and is privately run so the fees are, well fees. But if you believe in this method of teaching, as I do, it’s well worth the cost (maybe one for another blog??).

Back to the difference between Montessori mums and Mum’s Group mums. It’s not a negative or positive, rather the way they decide to splash whatever cash they have. The mums at Mum’s Group have new cars, new houses, new furniture. Along with all the newness come new clothes for mum and child and the hugest range of toys you’ve ever seen. Mum’s Group rotates from house to house and no activity centre is needed for the kids because everything a child could want is right there to be played with.

The Montessori mums, however, mainly had older cars and second-hand (or at least certainly not new) clothes for themselves and their kids. There were no fancy baby bags or top of the range sippy cups here. Yet these women have enrolled their kids in Montessori pre-school and are paying a more expensive playgroup fee than most centres charge.

I guess it comes down to a question of priorities. There’s no doubting the incredible cost of raising kids, not to mention the gazillion things that you can buy in today’s world, but what do you spend your hard earned cash on? Toys? Education? Clothes? Food? Health? House? Holidays? Activities? What’s most important to you? I realized today that I must fall into the Montessori mum category with education being my and my hubby’s main priority for our daughter. Health is another big one. Hmmm, food we could probably spend more on. Clothes, well who cares really? (Although it’s always nice to buy a special outfit once in a while – myself included). Toys – give me the two buck shop any day …. What about you?

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