Tips From 9 Year Mortgage On Keeping Kids’ Sports Costs Down
At this time of year, with kids going back to school and sports starting back up, 9 Year Mortgage feels that it is important to learn how to keep the cost of these sports to a minimum. After watching the Olympics this summer, kids are eager to pursue their own athletic talents. And while it is important to give your child opportunities and experiences playing on teams or developing such talents, it is not required to give up your retirement or other savings in order to do so.
It is easy for the parents of exceptionally talented children to be expected to pay well over 20,000 a year on classes and coaching sessions. And even if your child is not a future Gabby Douglas or Michael Phelps, the potential to hand over a small fortune is still there. 9 Year Mortgage knows that with playing sports there comes equipment, uniform and league fees, as well as added costs for traveling teams, training camps and personal coaching. Even incidental costs like gas, trophies and snacks can add up.
These tips from 9 Year Mortgage should help to keep the costs down:
Begin Inexpensively. Beware of spending too much time, energy, and money on a single sport until your child has shown real capacity and interest for it. Sign up at first with community rec centers or the YMCA instead of private teams or gyms. Choosing to start here will give your child the opportunity to develop talents and see if they are truly interested in the sport before paying a pretty penny for private training. 9 Year Mortgage knows that it is also financially smart to pick a less expensive sport, like soccer or basketball, versus ice skating or horseback riding.
Go for Used Equipment. Asking friends with older children to sell or trade old equipment their kids have grown out of is an excellent way to reduce costs at the equipment store. Posting on Facebook gets the word out to the masses that you are looking for a purchase or trade. Some organizations even coordinate swaps, because kids do grow out of equipment so quickly. If you can find a team that organizes a swap between team members, you will benefit greatly. Other ways to save are to shop at places like Play It Again Sports, eBay, or Craigslist.
Don’t Go Overboard. You can’t always buy used, but that does not mean you should spend on the very top products. Try to find coupons and then buy the cheapest things. Kids will just destroy, lose, or grow out of them anyways. It is very easy to find ways to spend more on a sport, but it is so much better to save. 9 Year Mortgage suggests taking your own pictures of your athlete and their team rather than paying for the professional photos. Coaches can help parents waste their money as well, by offering unnecessary one-on-one coaching sessions. Your child should get the same attention while at practice and games as everyone else, without you having to pay for extra time.
Take a Stand. One example of a tradition that can turn into a parents’ arms race is the post-game snack. With the whole group involved in planning, the cost of this snack can be limited, and the potential for parents trying not to be outdone can be eliminated. Make sure to be proactive in all the different aspects of team planning and vote for frugality. 9 Year Mortgage knows that all the other parents will also be relieved.
Don’t consider costs a college investment. So many parents honestly think that the money spent on little kids’ sports will pay off in college scholarships. The percent of high school athletes that get scholarships is so tiny that it is almost a non-possibility that your child will get one. Only 1.6% of male and 1.1% of female undergraduates received a sports scholarship in 2008. Counting on a scholarship for your child’s college education is just like counting on the lottery to fund your retirement.
Having your children play sports is a wonderful way to get them involved, active, and to develop their talents. But paying too much for your young athletes while they are still learning what they like and excel at is an easy way to quickly drain your own savings. 9 Year Mortgage asks you to remember to be smart, be thrifty, and save as much as possible as your kids start the new sport’s season.
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