Is it that time again?…. SMILE!…..Who really smiles when the dreaded school photo envelope arrives? I don’t! Not because I don’t want them, I do really. It’s just I know it’s another thing I now have to budget for. And this one is not going to be cheap!
The next dilemma is, what on earth am I going to choose? Should I get the class photo, the individual photo, the keyrings, magnets, bookmarks, stickers, wall portraits, desk portraits, gift portraits, 8,16, 24 individual wallets, jumbo wallet…. standard, deluxe, elite or ultimate package! And that’s just for the first child $+$+$+$+++….. Help! Oh wait, did someone just say sibling photos, too! It’s ridiculous! All I want is a simple photo.
Okay, let’s stop and breathe. It’s really important we first shake off that overwhelming, emotional, guilty feeling. You know the one, we all feel it! You’re NOT a bad parent if you don’t buy the all-inclusive sugar-coated ultimate package with a cherry on the top. You’re not, I promise!
But let’s just take a moment and have a think about this. If you ordered the full package or any type of package last time, where are they now? Did you utilise and distribute all the photos to family members as planned, did you put them all up on the wall or did you make a cute little scrapbook? Just asking, because I know where mine are; in the garage, in a box, with all good intentions to do something with them. Do I even dare to admit 13 years later, they are still there. Oh wow, okay! You see my point.
We all want the special memories of our kids going through their grades, the different teachers, the new classmates. And it is important that there is some sort of memory but at what price? Definitely not one that puts you in debt.
So how do we get around this? Okay, there are a few ways so hear me out. Obviously all schools have different packages they offer, so I’m hoping I can cover it on a general basis.
1. We don’t get the full package full stop. It’s not necessary and there is no way you can use or need all those photos.
2. Evaluate what is important to you, the individual photo and the class photo. Okay, that’s not too bad and definitely one of the cheaper options.
3. Check if the class photo offered, actually has the individual photo on it, often they do. That’s now two for the price of one, looking good.
4. If it doesn’t, getting the class photo on its own is fine, too. You can always take your own individual photo against a white wall.
5. Last option, if you look at the individual school photo, it’s just a photo of your child? Right! There is nothing that differs from an overpriced photographer taking it, or you! So, is there any reason why we couldn’t actually, just take the photos ourselves?
In this day and age smartphones or cameras are great. And as I said before, if you take the photo up against a white wall, individually or with siblings it doesn’t matter you can click away to your heart’s content and best of all you get to choose which one you like to have printed for 10 cents! Now that’s a memory in itself. And, great saving too!
So remember, it’s really important not to feel guilty or to feel the pressure from other parents. Because only you know what is possible for your budget. It’s ok to choose differently, you don’t need a crazy price tag to capture memories that could possibly end up in a box in the garage. Work out what’s important as memories for you and your family. .And SMILE!
Budget Angel xx