ENSURE YOUR PLAYER’S COMMITMENT
Is the money you will be paying out well worth it? Have a frank discussion with your child beforehand to gauge their level of interest. It can be very frustrating for a parent to commit financial resources out front, only to find their child’s interest waning or low level of commitment.
GET YOUR PLAYER TO CONTRIBUTE
Depending on your player’s age, you may want to have them contribute to their sport’s expenses. Or maybe agree upon extra chores or things the athlete can do as a way to show how much they appreciate and want to help out in pursuit of something they love and benefit from.
TRY A REC OR COMMUNITY LEAGUE FIRST
Is this your child’s first time trying a sport? Instead of going all out with a club or travel team where the fees and costs are generally higher, why not see how much your child enjoys the sport first by engaging at a lower level like those offered by community or recreation programs. Normally these are less intense programs that give your young athlete a chance to learn the basics and get their feet wet, while also costing only a fraction of what higher-level leagues and programs require.
PURCHASE USED SPORTS EQUIPMENT
Kids grow fast and sometimes can quickly outgrow supplementary equipment or gear. These days there are a lot of businesses that offer sales of used or secondhand equipment like Play It Again Sports. Craigslist is also a great resource to find great deals. Keep equipment expenses minimal until you are sure that your child is serious about pursuing this sport or activity. As an aside, never skimp or go cheap when it comes to things that enhance your child’s safety such as helmets, padding, etc. Those types of things are well worth the cost in terms of peace of mind and injury prevention.
SELL YOUR OWN USED EQUIPMENT
The flip side of this is to sell your own used sports equipment. Once your player has outgrown it, the likely result is it will end up taking space in your garage or storage unit. Instead, clear out that space and generate some returns on your initial investment to put forward to future sports equipment purchases.
PLAN MEALS OR SNACKS IN ADVANCE
If your child is playing a travel sport that requires long weekends of tournament games, you might find yourself on the road a lot, and thus is a situation where you are forced to eat out quite frequently. These meals can add up quickly. To keep costs down in this area, prepare meals and snacks ahead of time that you can take with you. Not only will this reduce your expenses, but it’s likely your child will end up eating healthier, more nutritious meals because of it. Better yet, you may want to team up with other parents to prepare meals that the team can enjoy together.
LOOK FOR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Do you have an area of expertise that you can contribute to a team, perhaps as a coach or team parent? Many programs will reduce your costs or credit your player’s account the more you volunteer in return to help out the program. Not only is this a great way to cut your costs, but it shows an example to your children about how committed you are to their passion.