How to Save Money when your Kids Play Sports

How to Save Money when your Kids Play Sports

Sports can teach children valuable lessons and keep them productive and active when they’re not in school. However, paying for these activities can cost you more than you bargained for. We put together a few tips that will help you save some extra money while letting your children do what they love.

Used and Rented Equipment

One of the most expensive parts of sports is the equipment. Instead of buying brand new equipment for the full (often high) price, try finding lightly used equipment instead. Used equipment is much cheaper than anything off the shelf, and can still be found in great condition. You can purchase these items at stores like Amazon or eBay, or check your local neighborhood forums for equipment on sale. You can also try asking friends and neighbors with older children if you can trade or purchase equipment that they no longer need. If you have older children who no longer use old equipment, you can trade or sell those items as well.

Free Classes

As an alternative to paying expensive team fees for your kids, do some research in your community to see who offers free sports classes. You can usually find free lessons in your local community center. If your child is part of an afterschool program or a camp, you won’t have to pay extra for any sports lessons because they are often included.

Group Lessons

Private lessons can be very hefty in price, especially if your child plays more than one sport.  The cost of private lessons can also be pricier due to hourly rates. To save money, enroll your child in group lessons instead. Group lessons are usually a fraction of the cost of private ones and your child will still benefit from individual attention along with the opportunity to meet new friends.


While there teams will sometimes provide transportation to far away games, most of the time you may have to get to these locations on your own. Traveling with kids can be both hectic and expensive, especially when it is done every weekend. Meet up with some of the parents and take turns carpooling to games. This will allow you save money on gas and give you a back-up plan in case there is a game you can’t attend.

Packing Snacks

Anyone who has kids knows that they love to eat – especially when they are very active. It can be very tempting to eat out after a game, but this cost can add up over time. Instead of always hitting a restaurant after a game, bring snacks from home. Always remember to pack lunches and drinks for your children so you won’t be persuaded to visit a restaurant or drive-thru. You can even make your own electrolyte sports drink so you won’t have to buy new bottles every weekend.

One Sport

One long-term way to save money on sports for your kids is to encourage them to try a sport early on. If they find something they love at an early age, you can avoid the expense of signing up and buying equipment for multiple sports in the future. Even if your child enjoys more than one sport, a good rule of thumb to cut down on costs (and keep your schedule lighter) is to play only one sport a season.

Early Sign-up

A foolproof way to save money on sports is to sign up your child early. Many teams will offer discounts for early sign-ups. On the other hand, signing up late can result in you having to pay a late fee. Take the time to find out when your local teams open up their registration so you can sign up as early as possible.

School Teams

If you can’t afford weekend sports teams, have your child join a team at their school. School teams will usually only charge a fee to cover equipment, a uniform, and transportation. Without paying for the team itself, your kids can play as many sports as they’d like while you avoid spending more than you can afford.

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