Every parent is committed to seeing their child succeed, and part of growing up happy and successful is taking part in extracurricular activities. Sport is one of the most popular out-of-school activities for kids, however, depending on the sport, the cost of sending your child can really be high, particularly if your child turns out to be very good at the sport! Here are 5 Money Saving Tips to Reduce the Cost of Kids Sports:
While all these extra activities can help your child make friends, learn important skills, and increase their chances of attending higher education, some children’s sports can come with a pretty hefty price tag.
In recent years, the cost of youth sports has continued to rise, with equipment, travel, and tournament fees burning huge holes in the wallets of dedicated parents.
If you’ve found yourself struggling to keep up with the increasing costs associated with your child’s sport of choice, consider these tips to help reduce the costs:
#1. Leverage The Power of Pre-Registration
The early bird gets the worm when it comes to registration fees. Many sports clubs offer hefty discounts if you pre-register your child months ahead.
If you know your child is going to get involved in sports this upcoming year, check online or ask their coach for the registration dates and see if you can save by remaining on top of the game (pun intended!).
#2. Volunteer Your Own Time
If you have any knowledge of your child’s sport, you might consider volunteering your time to coach or manage their team. If you’re hesitant to coach your own child, or you know little about the sport they’re involved in, consider offering to serve refreshments, or recording the scores, times, or anything else necessary.
Helping out with tasks like these can sometimes garner a discount, so ask around and see what might be available. If you don’t ask you don’t get!
#3. Shop Around for Sports Equipment
One of the most expensive parts of some sport is the constant need for equipment. As your child grows, you’ll likely have to repeatedly replace and upgrade equipment, so the money can really add up. Here are some ways to shop around:
- Always check out local consignment and secondhand stores. If you’re lucky, and patient, you can find nearly new equipment that’s hugely discounted.
- If you’re looking for specific gear, always go online. The rise of e-commerce stores means you can often find the best price with a simple google search, and there are websites focused on each sport with all the equipment needs your child may have. For example, if your little one is getting into baseball or softball, check out the baseball bats here. If they’re on their way to becoming a soccer star, be sure to look at cleats and shin guards here.
- Ask around other parents to see if they are selling on any equipment that has been outgrown (as long as it’s still in good condition of course).
#4. If Travelling, Share the Burden with Other Parents
If your child happens to be good at competitive sports, it can be an extremely expensive business. With overnight stays, mileage, food and subsistence costs it can add up, never mind entry fees to tournaments and competitions. So sharing the burden with other parents can really help save and after all everyone is in the same boat.
- Why not team up with other parents in the same boat to car pool for events or to practice?
- Look for discounted hotel rooms online to try to keep accommodation costs low. Or ask hotels for a group booking discount if a number of rooms are booked at the same time.
- Ask your club or coach if they have a list of upcoming events so you can book ahead and budget too.
- Consider putting together a Whatsapp or Facebook group for the parents of kids in the same group so organising car pools etc is easier
#5. Seek Out Scholarships and Sponsorships
Most parents think of college when they hear the word “scholarship”, but your child might be eligible for a local scholarship, especially if they’re involved in notoriously expensive sports. Speak to program directors, coaches, and other parents to see if there are any scholarships available in the program.
If you can’t find a scholarship, consider sponsorships. Depending on the sport and league, the team may allow each player to find their own sponsorship from local businesses. These usually require a child resume of sorts, and shows the business how dedicated your little one is to their sport of choice. Write clearly about the benefits a sponsorship would provide, particularly if your child or team wins. If there was ever a time to leverage your contacts, it’s now.
Helping your child achieve their sporting dreams shouldn’t mean going broke in the process. Hopefully these money-saving tips can alleviate some of the pressure on your wallet while ensuring your child cultivates their sporting passion.
Over to you now. Do you have any tips for saving money on your child’s sporting activities? Share them with us in the comments below.