Sports can be expensive – even for kids! As a mom of kids who play sports, we have spent so much money over the years on lessons, tuition, gear, travel, and more. It is important to expect that sports costs will add up, but you can plan accordingly. Here are some ways to help reduce your expenses.
Picture of my daughter starting her career as a field hockey goalie!
Buy used equipment
Instead of getting brand new equipment off the bat, which can be quite expensive, look for used equipment that is still in good condition, especially if your child is growing in size and ability. Check on online marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. There are often used sports stores or consignment shops that also carry sports items, from dancewear to ice skates.
If you’re part of a team, consider carpooling with other parents. This can save you money on gas, as well as reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Look for discounts
Some sports stores offer discounts to teams or leagues. Also, check with your child’s school or the community center to see if they offer any discounts.
Buy equipment and supplies during off-seasons to avoid the price increase that can happen right before the start of the season. If your child travels for sports, make arrangements sooner rather than later. It’s also a good idea to book accommodations well in advance. Many sports team hotels offer special rates for off-season bookings, providing another way to manage your team’s budget effectively.
Look into lower cost sports and/or leagues
Some sports can be more expensive than others. For example, ice hockey may require a lot of gear as well as upkeep (blade sharpening, etc), as opposed to track or swimming, which requires less gear.
Different leagues have different fees. Choose the league that offers the best value for your money.
Rent equipment for specialty sports
Equipment required for specialty sports like skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating can be quite expensive. Renting equipment can be a great way to save money.
Take good care of equipment and sell what you don’t need
Be sure to take good care of equipment, from storage to cleaning. You can reduce damage to gear by proper care, and even if your child outgrows it before the equipment can no longer be used, you can sell it to make money back.