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Kids & Money

5 Ways to Keep Kids’ Sports From Draining Your Budget

Have you ever thought about how much money you spend on sports for your kids?

The equipment. The travel. The fees. The equipment. And, oh yeah, the equipment!

All of that adds up quickly, and the money you spend on kids’ sports can easily become a major part of your budget.

But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can keep your kids’ sports from tackling your budget.

1. Keep it local.

Travel teams are all the rage, but they also come with a lot of added costs. If you can’t afford the extra jersey, travel expenses and registration costs, then that’s okay. Don’t guilt yourself into taking on debt or stretching your budget. Your kid will still get plenty of exercise and experience by playing in local recreation leagues.

2. Budget your time too.

A financial budget is simply stating your priorities, so it makes sense that you would need to do the same thing with your time. If you know that your son will be practicing soccer two hours a week and playing a game one hour a week, then you’ll have to make cuts somewhere else.

3. Buy used when possible.

As long as you’re not skimping on safety, there’s nothing wrong with buying used equipment. A baseball bat that’s only been used a few times is just as good as a brand new one, right?

You’ll have much more fun watching your kids play when you’re not worried about how you’re going to pay for it!

4. Focus on one sport.

At the very most, focus on two sports. Fewer sports mean fewer expenses. Your kid doesn’t need to be in year-round sports. Let them pick their favorite sport and focus on it. You’ll save money, and they’ll hopefully avoid burnout!

5. Be realistic.

Let’s be honest: There’s a 99% chance your kid isn’t going to play professional sports. So for your own health, and for theirs, be realistic about their future. That doesn’t mean your kids can’t love to play sports, but don’t put pressure on them to be the best of the best. Let them have fun.  

If you have the time and money—and your kid has the passion—then there’s nothing wrong with going all out on kids’ sports. But you shouldn’t feel obligated. And you definitely don’t need to put yourself in a tight spot financially because you’re traveling to ball fields and hockey rinks all year long.

Put sports in the budget, and be reasonable about what you’re willing to spend. You’ll have much more fun watching your kids play when you’re not worried about how you’re going to pay for it!

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