Everything You Need To Know About Paying for Youth Sports
The Price Tag
Most families involved in athletics can expect to pay an average of $693 for each child per sport on an annual basis. That said, the cost varies greatly depending on the sport.
The most common costs associated with youth sports are equipment, registration fees, camps, coaching, and travel. For most sports, there are fixed costs that everyone is required to pay, such as the registration fee to join a team. But, there are also optional costs involved, like paying for private coaching and training.
In general, the more equipment a sport requires, the more expensive it’s likely to be. This is why the five most expensive sports are ice hockey, skiing, field hockey, gymnastics, and lacrosse. A parent with a child playing ice hockey, skiing, or field hockey can expect to pay over $2,000 per year.
Youth sports can clearly be expensive. Luckily, there are a few ways to reduce the financial burden so that your kids can play, have fun, and learn valuable life lessons.
Reducing the Cost To Play
To start, you can save a lot of money by buying used equipment instead of equipment that is brand new. If you have multiple children, siblings can often repurpose that same equipment.
Another idea is to sign up for a travel rewards credit card, if you expect to be doing a lot of traveling for sports. A credit card will help you recoup some of the travel costs in the form of rewards points at the end of the year.
Finally, some parents opt to have their child “earn” their sports participation. You can do this by encouraging them to find ways to make money during their off-season. At an average cost of just under $700, it’s feasible for some kids to raise the money on their own, depending on their age. This can also provide an opportunity for teaching money management skills.
One of the most important steps when it comes to paying for youth sports, is preparation. With proper planning, you can treat it like any other large household expense and build it into your budget.
Budgeting for Youth Sports
Before the season starts, it’s helpful to get a full understanding of the expenses associated with playing. You can do this by chatting with the coaches, school administrators, or other parents. In addition to upfront equipment costs and registration fees, there can sometimes be significant travel expenses later in the season.
Look to cut your costs by volunteering to work with your child’s organization, registering as early as possible, and pooling resources together with other parents. This also applies to carpooling to and from practices or games.
Playing youth sports is a great way for kids to learn communication, teamwork, and discipline. Although these activities can be expensive, with some financial savvy you can reduce your financial burden and give the kids a chance to lace up.
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