Tips for Managing the Costs of Your Kids’ Sports

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By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor

At a time when so many children are involved in organized sports, and often more than one, how do you avoid breaking the bank to fund these extracurricular activities? Back in the day, kids often honed their athletic skills at the neighborhood park. Organized sports teams, camps and clinics have now replaced these pick-up games. What’s more, the cost of youth athletics has dramatically increased over time.iStock_000022734069_Medium

How can you manage the costs and plan for the future? First, and foremost, evaluate your goals and expectations
for an athletic activity and determine what level of play and involvement makes the most sense given your child’s time, talent and interest and your budget.

Second, keep the following in mind:

  • You can always say no to a sport if the cost is too far outside your budget and look at other options. Keep an
    open financial dialogue with your children so they have a better understanding of the big picture.
  • An intramural team may be a more affordable alternative to a traveling team because they tend to have fewer practices and games and to rely on volunteer coaches rather than paid ones.
  • Team meetings can be an opportunity to ask important questions, for example, “Do the kids really need new warm-ups every year?” or “Can we reduce the number of out-of-town travel trips per season?”
  • You can help get your child’s team involved in fundraising activities to help generate revenue and offset costs.

Third, remember to plan for the future. For every dollar you spend on sports today, consider investing the same dollar amount in a college savings plan for your son or daughter. Since athletic scholarships are few and far between, this will help ensure that your long-term goal of a college education for your child isn’t compromised by your current investment in their athletic development.

Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ®, is a private wealth advisor and managing director with Whitlock Wealth Management, a franchise of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Learn more at WhitlockWealth.com or call 703-492-7732.

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