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Recreational Sports and Your Budget: The Best Ways to Plan Ahead

Kids taking part in recreational sports

If you or your children are going to partake in recreational sports, it may serve your family well to think ahead about the potential costs. Just as you can plan to buy a house, or take a vacation, you can plan to save for recreational sports, ensuring that the activity is fun, rather than stressful.

Equipment Budget

Your first step will be to identify any equipment needs for your recreational sport. It will depend on the sport that you or your child is participating in — a lot of group sports have higher costs for safety reasons. Many will require padding or at the least a mouth guard. Here are some common expenses for an array of different recreational sports:

Swimming and Diving -- Bathing suits, goggles, flip flops, and a towel

Soccer -- Jersey, shorts, long socks, practice clothes, cleats, and shin guards

Tennis -- Racket, tennis balls, white clothing, and sneakers

Basketball -- Jersey and matching shorts, basketball sneakers, socks, practice clothes, basketball, and a mouth guard

Baseball or Softball -- Uniform, baseball or softball mit, cap, bat, balls, and cleats

Football -- Jersey, padded shorts, football pads, helmet, cleats, mouth guard, and practice clothing

Lacrosse -- Jersey, lacrosse pads, shorts, mouth guard, helmet, lacrosse stick, and lacrosse balls

Track -- Sneakers, and track uniform

It’s important to note that, once a child makes it to a more intense level of play, the team may also need to buy special warm-up clothing and gym bags. You can always reach out to the recreational league to ask about the typical equipment costs for the season. The more transparency around the costs, the better!

Membership Fees and Travel Costs

Some recreational sports require small (or large) fees depending on the organization. If you are joining a town league, the prices tend to be more affordable. Most recreational sports take place on one field, or at least within a local area. As teams progress, however, participating can often require travel to and from games. Again, try to ask as early as possible about any accompanying fees or travel information to do the math on potential costs ahead of time.

Creating a Budget

When you have figured out how much money you will have to contribute to a recreational sport, you can start to find some wiggle room in your budget. If you can give yourself a lot of time to save, any changes will have a smaller impact on your day-to-day life. Simple acts like skipping popcorn at a movie can make a big impact in the long run. You could consider bringing lunch to work or taking money out of an entertainment budget. As always, try to set aside a little more than you expect to give yourself a buffer. And, get ready to have some fun!

Do you have any suggestions for creating a budget for recreational sports

The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.

Image source: Flickr

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