6 sibling discounts that can save you big
As a father of three, I can tell you that raising children is one of the toughest, but most rewarding things you'll ever do. But let's be completely honest — raising a child is expensive. And raising more than one child is really expensive. Raising three or more? Forget about it.
But if you do have more than one child, you may have some financial relief available in the form of sibling discounts. Here are six to be aware of.
1. Orthodontist Discount
My son just recently had braces put on his teeth, and the sticker price of over $5,000 was a tough pill to swallow, especially since my younger daughter is also going to need braces in a couple of years. During the appointment with the business manager, I jokingly asked if I could get a sibling discount on my daughter when it's her turn for braces. Surprisingly, she said, "absolutely, we can give you 15% off her orthodontic treatments when she's ready." Needless to say, I was very happy I asked.
The obvious time to ask about a sibling discount is with twins who need braces at the same time. If you don't fall into that category, but have more than one child getting braces in the span of a couple years, be sure to ask right before the second child gets them put on. This technique may also apply to other elective medical procedures, such as acne treatment lasers, and so forth.
2. Summer Camp
My wife and I spend a good chunk of our summer vacation driving our kids to various camps. A few years ago I started inquiring about sibling discounts, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of them offer something. The size of the discount varies depending on the length of the camp, and whether it's of the overnight variety or not. From my experience, you stand a great chance of getting a 10%-25% discount simply by asking.
3. College Tuition
It you plan on having at least two kids enrolled in college simultaneously, I hope you take advantage of a 529 college savings plan. You should also be aware of college tuition discounts that many institutions offer. George Washington University famously offers a 50% tuition grant for the second student attending at the same time. Many other universities also offer generous sibling discounts. These include Seton Hall, Gonzaga, and Western New England University. Bottom line: Do your research as this could save a big chunk of money, especially with twins or siblings very close in age.
4. Daycare Costs
If you have more than one child in daycare, ask about a sibling discount. While you'll typically have to pay a babysitter more when they watch multiple children, it's not the case at many childcare facilities. Most will offer a sibling discount in the 10%-15% range. If your children are not in "full-time" daycare, the discount will often be less, typically in the 6%-8% off range. Be proactive and ask when registering your kids.
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5. Lessons and After-School Activities
Consider all of the activities your kids are involved in after the final school bell rings. A few extra-curriculars that jump to mind include music lessons, gymnastics, swimming lessons, and dance class. I recently cashed-in on a sibling discount when my two daughters started piano lessons with a private instructor. The piano teacher gave us the option of a 15% discount for separate lessons or a 40% discount on a group lesson. You'll typically need to inquire about these discounts, as they're usually not advertised.
6. Tutoring or Coaching
If you have kids involved in any type of tutoring or special coaching, you'll also want to investigate if sibling discounts are applicable. Whether it's academic tutoring or private athletic coaching, you can often get a percentage taken off when one or more of your kids are involved. Feel free to negotiate a better rate directly with the coach or tutor. Most will happily give you a discount if you have more than one child using their service. Start at 25% off and be prepared to meet in the middle.
Have you ever cashed in on a sibling discount? If so, how much did you save?
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