How to Save Money on Youth Sports

Diane Hoffmaster
by Diane Hoffmaster

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When you first have children, you read all these statistics about how much money it costs to raise them to adulthood. The number is rather staggering and I don't doubt it for a minute. Of course, I think that number would be significantly higher if people factored in the cost of youth sports! Of course, if you are thrifty and organized, there are a number of ways to save money on youth sports.

Getting your child involved in sports can put a serious dent in your budget. And when your child chooses to play more than one sport during the year, the cost can skyrocket. The tips that I am going to share here will help you get your kid on the field (or in the water) for a little bit less money.

How to Save Money on Youth Sports

If you are looking for ways to cut costs while still having your kid get involved with youth sports, try a few of these money-saving tips:

Don't buy new unless you have to:

When your child first gets involved in youth sports, they really don't need brand new sports equipment. Look for hand-me-down uniforms from older players on the team and scout out second-hand stores and online retailers for good deals on gently used sports equipment.

Once your child gets really serious about a sport, you can consider buying new. Suggest to your child's coach that the team sponsors a 'used sports equipment swap' to get everyone involved.

Learn to carpool:

The cost of gasoline might seem small but when you factor in traveling to away matches or those weekend trips when your child's team makes the finals, it can really add up. Ask around and see if other parents are interested in carpooling to practices and games to help save on gas and make your life a little bit easier.

Skip the expensive sports drinks:

Unless your child is older and playing on an incredibly competitive sports team, they don't need electrolyte replacement drinks. If you are looking for good ways to save money on youth sports, the cost of brand-name sports drinks really adds up.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it up from the tap. Not only will you save a lot of money but you will also be cutting down on your child's intake of sugar and artificial ingredients.

Register early:

Many teams offer discounts if you register your child early. Discounts vary depending on the sport but procrastination can lead to higher costs.

Choose group lessons when going private:

Sometimes, parents want their child to get coaching outside of team practice. Private lessons with a coach can cost quite a bit. Your child will still get plenty of additional attention with one or two more children in the group. A semi-private lesson will be much less expensive than a one-on-one coaching session.

Choose one sport at a time:

Studies have shown that playing multiple sports is beneficial to a child, however, playing more than one per season can really stretch your budget. Cut back on costs and simplify your schedule by having your child choose one sport per season to focus on.

Skip the post-game trip to the drive-through:

Many teams have a tradition of hitting a fast food restaurant after a game. If you are looking for good ways to save money, skipping the drive-through is a great one.

Not only will you be saving money but fast food isn't all that healthy a choice when it comes to meals. Instead of hitting the drive-through, head to a team member's house or go play at the park.

Get involved:

Save money on youth sports by getting involved in team management. Some teams offer a discount if you volunteer to be a team manager.

There are a few free online tools you can use to manage your sports team so it isn't quite as overwhelming.

Shop around for camps:

Sports camps for kids are incredibly popular but they vary widely in terms of cost and quality. And you don't always get what you pay for. Talk to other parents and find out which camps they have tried and whether or not their kids enjoyed them.

Remember it's just a game:

A lot of parents want their kids to be the next Olympic star but the chances of that happening are fairly slim. Learn to just let your child play the game for fun instead of insisting on extra coaching, expensive camps, and pricey travel teams. Many recreational facilities offer inexpensive youth sports options for kids just looking to have some fun.

More Kids Sports Tips:

Youth sports are great for your child's health and a wonderful way for them to make friends. Here are a few more posts you might enjoy if you have a kid who plays sports:

  • Tailgaiting essentials list: Check out this list of tailgating essentials before fall sports start up again.
  • Tips for Managing Kids Sports: Read my post about managing kids' sports to make it more fun and less chaotic to be the person in charge.
  • How to remove armpit odor from shirts: If your kid's team jersey smells like the inside of a locker room, check out my post on how to remove armpit odor from shirts

Unfortunately, children's sports can become fairly expensive if you don't learn to cut costs here and there. Hopefully, these tips help you save money on youth sports so your child can get out on the field and have fun without breaking the bank! Have any other good ways to save money on youth sports?

Diane Hoffmaster
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