Nearly half of parents spend more than $1,000 annually on activities for their kids.
Over 60% of parents have gone into debt to pay for their child’s activities.
Parents can strategize to pay for these activities without damaging their own financial futures.
Most parents are invested in their child’s future but some parents are willing to overspend when it comes to their kids’ success. An April 2019 CompareCards.com survey revealed that 62% of parents have gone into debt to pay for their child’s activities. And among those who’ve gone into debt, 9% owe more than $5,000.
And while 52% admit that they can’t afford these expenses, 48% don’t regret spending it. This might be because 81% of parents believe their child’s extracurricular activity could earn them income one day. And the more parents spend, the more they believe the activity will pay off in the long run. The study found that nine in 10 parents who spend more than $4,000 annually believe their child will eventually make money in their hobby.
How To Save Money on Extracurricular Activities
Thirty percent of parents surveyed pay for their children to be on sports teams. Extracurricular activities are important for a child’s social and physical development. Sports can help kids learn to enjoy exercise, increase their confidence and teach them how to be part of a team.
But parents shouldn’t have to sacrifice their own financial future to pay for these activities. Here are four ways parents can be strategic and pay for extracurriculars without taking on debt.
Meet Early Registration Deadlines
Most sports programs offer a discount if parents register early. Parents can save money by keeping track of early registration deadlines and always paying on time. For parents whose children play year-round sports, some leagues will offer a discount if the fees are paid in full.
Find a League at a Local Community Center
A local community center or YMCA will offer a variety of inexpensive activities for kids. For some programs, there’s no long-term commitment required so this can be a good way for kids to find out if they like a certain sport.
And many of these organizations rely on parent volunteers. If parents have the ability to volunteer their time as a coach, they could receive a discount on their child’s fees.
Find Ways To Save Money on Equipment
The signup fees aren’t the only cost parents have to think about. Equipment expenses can quickly add up as well.
Many thrift stores have used sports equipment that is still in good condition but costs much less than buying it new. And many parents will sell their old sports equipment at neighborhood garage sales.
See More: Items You Should Never Buy New
Say ‘No’ on Occasion
Spending money on sports and other activities is a worthwhile investment but it shouldn’t cause parents to go into debt. It’s okay to tell kids “no” on occasion or to make them choose only one activity per season. Parents should be realistic about their financial situation and find a budget that makes sense.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 4 Ways To Pay For Your Child’s Activities Without Going Broke