5 Ways to Cut Costs When Your Kids Play Sports

The majority of American children grow up playing sports, either outside of school, as part of a school team, or even in a gym class. Many students play multiple sports, and parents play a big part in encouraging their kids to excel at sports. Many parents want their kids to be athletes, or at least they want their kids to try different sports. A truly talented athlete can get a scholarship to college, or even play professionally.

Of course, most parents understand that their kids’ talent won’t get them quite that far, but sports have many other positive outcomes as well. Sports improve physical health, but can also improve academic achievement and self-esteem. Unfortunately, sports can get expensive. Sports require equipment, transportation to and from games, and hefty fees. Thankfully, there are ways to cut the costs of kids’ sports.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Start early

It probably sounds counterintuitive, but starting your kids on sports early can actually save you money. When kids are young, the fees for sports are usually much cheaper. T-ball, Pee Wee soccer, and other sports that are designed for very young kids are usually relatively affordable. Many cities and towns also offer summer programs for preschool-aged children that are very cheap. Many of these programs don’t require any equipment at all; usually the coach or program provides the soccer balls, t-ball, gloves, and so on. Encouraging your kids to try sports before they enter elementary school will give them a chance to see which sports they really enjoy, which will save you money because you won’t have to pay as many fees or pay for equipment for multiple sports later. As kids get older, the fees for organized sports usually increase, as do the equipment costs. Even if you don’t sign your kid up for a sport early, you can still note their preferences by playing sports with them in your backyard.