Summer is here, and that means your kids are likely excited to start playing their favorite sport with the local team, if they haven’t already started practices. Unfortunately, kids’ sports are growing increasingly expensive, with many families stretching their already tight budgets to accommodate these hobbies. When nearly 80% of Americans are struggling with debt, youth sports can seem like a luxury not worth the money. However, that doesn’t mean your kids will have to go without seeing their teammates this summer; here are a few ways you can make your kid’s favorite pastime more affordable.
Borrow Or Buy Used Equipment
Buying all new equipment for your kids every season, especially since they’ll be quickly growing out of it, can be incredibly costly. However, going without protective gear isn’t a safe option either. The AAPD notes that 10 to 39% of dental injuries in children are caused by sports, particularly chipped and broken teeth. For larger items like helmets, knee pads, and other items that can be easily washed and cleaned, look to borrow or purchase lightly used equipment, possibly from older team members. You’ll save money while still keeping your kids safe.
Take Care Of Health Concerns
If your kid is expressing concerns about a sore muscle or aching joint after a team practice, don’t put it off. While it might seem more expensive to get the issue addressed now if it isn’t serious, there’s a chance that your child is injured and could need treatment. Untreated injuries due to repetitive motion are common in childhood sports, but usually can be addressed fairly affordably with the right types of treatment. 55% of doctors recommend massage therapy to patients, particularly when it comes to repetitive motion issues. Leaving injuries unaddressed now could turn into painful and serious issues later, so it’s best to tackle the issues earlier rather than later.
Some teams pull players from a wider area than others, and this can change how far you’ll end up needing to travel to make it to practices, games, tournaments, and other events. Try to stay as local as possible when searching for teams for your kid to join. You’ll end up saving on travel costs, particularly if larger teams often participate in more large-scale tournaments and competitions. Of course, this won’t be an option for every sport; some hobbies are only available in certain areas, meaning depending on where you live, you might get stuck traveling a bit for your child’s hobby. If you do have to travel, see if car pools are an option.
Is the only team available for your kid a bit too expensive or far away to make it work? Get involved in your child’s hobby so they don’t have to give up on the sport that they love. Some sports that kids enjoy are a great workout for adults as well. Playing tennis for fun can burn around 169 calories in 30 minutes for a woman, and 208 calories in 30 minutes for an average man. Find some affordable basic equipment pieces to keep at home, and help your child practice when they need to get up and moving.
Youth sports have become increasingly expensive in recent years, but that doesn’t mean your child can’t get involved. By finding ways to cut down on costs and make their favorite hobby more affordable, you’ll be able to encourage your kid’s fun and physical interests without breaking the bank.