According to a survey by Aspire Money, UK parents spend an average of £493 a year on their child’s main hobby. Girls are more expensive than boys, costing on average 23% more. Reportedly, one in three parents feel under pressure to buy their child the latest kit for their hobby and parents under 35 spend 26% more. I can easily identify with these figures as my oldest daughter’s hobby costs us more than that.

Bunny has been doing acrobatic gymnastics since she was five years old. She’s now 10years old and has finally achieved her dream of being good enough to be accepted on a competitive squad. The next goal for her is to be picked for an external competition (and to be able to go from straddle to handstand on blocks).

These five years of gymnastics have been a learning curve for me as a parent. I’ve learnt that to get to this level, you can’t view gymnastics as “just a hobby”. Most hobbies are something you can pick up when you want and it doesn’t matter if you’re a bit late or if you miss a few sessions. But gymnastics requires dedication and commitment. When Bunny first started, I’d try to fit gymnastics around our days out and holidays. I didn’t see it as a big thing if we were five minutes late. Now that we know better, it’s the other way around. We are early for every session and we fit our days out and holidays around gymnastics.



Bunny has worked so hard to get where she is and she trains at gym for two and half hours per week. It’s her passion and her motivation. But this comes at a cost… to me. Her fees alone cost me just shy of £600 per year and then there are kit costs, extra training sessions and show ticket costs on top.

I dread to think how much I will have spent on it by time she decides she doesn’t want to do it anymore. But if she’s still doing it at 16 I shall be encouraging her to get a part time job to pay for her own kit.

Ever the fair parent, I am now going to have to start paying for the twins hobbies. They are now the age Bunny was when she started gym and they are nagging me to go to dance classes (thank goodness they both want to do the same thing or I’d be run ragged!). I think by time Baby Bear is five and wants to start some kind of hobby, I’ll need a second job! However hard I have to work to pay for their hobbies and however inconvenient it is, doing all the drop off’s and pick up’s, I will persevere for as long as they choose to do those hobbies. Yes it’s expensive, but I can’t put a price on the pride and happiness my daughter feels when she performs. And as a mum, I too am filled with pride when I see all my children’s achievements and the smiles on their faces when they do something they love.

What hobbies do your children have? How much do they cost you each year?




  1. Sarah MumofThree World says:

    I totally get this! We’ve been fitting life around our kids’ hobbies for a long time now! We’re not allowed to do anything at weekends that will stop my son playing football on a Sunday. My daughter does three ballet classes, one tap class and one street class a week. I daren’t even try to add up how much that all costs! She’s getting pointe shoes next month, which will cost over £100. I’ve told her she will have to either pay half or have her half as her Christmas present. She’s not happy, but we can’t afford to pay that much!
    Good luck with the other kids’ hobbies!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..Betty Box monthly treats for teen girlsMy Profile

  2. Allison Stevens says:

    I don’t even want to begin to add it up!! My youngest daughter attends 4 dance classes per week, tap, modern, ballet and competition team and my eldest 5 per week, tap, modern, jazz and 2 ballet classes. Add on the that the cost of ballet and tap shoes as well as leotards, tights etc oh and this year they have their bi-annual show which will require them to have costumes for each dance they do which we have to send the money into for the teachers to order I could easily go abroad for a fortnights all inclusive! But it’s what they love and enjoy so who am I to stand in their way!!!

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