Cost of kids playing sports adds up fast: Ways to reduce spending, put more towards retirement

MILWAUKEE -- From equipment to private coaching and out of town tournaments -- the cost of youth sports continues to rise. Financial advisory, Brad Allen, from Drake & Associates joins Real Milwaukee to share ways parents can provide kids athletic opportunities without wrecking their financial future.

• In a recent survey, parents say a third of their income goes toward covering their children's expenses, including sports.
• And 8% say they spend more than $1,000 a month on their kid's athletics.
• I understand the desire to give kids as many opportunities as possible, but it`s important for parents to strike a balance between kids` athletic dreams and their retirement dreams.

CREATE A BUDGET
• The costs of year-round training programs, coaching fees, travel, equipment and facility use have turned youth sports into a $17 billion-a-year industry.
• Create a budget to determine how much money you are able to put toward extracurricular activities.
• Figure out how much money you have coming in, along with how much is going out every month.

FIND COST SAVING ALTERNATIVES
• If your kid is passionate about playing sports, there are ways you can provide them that outlet without breaking the bank.
• Pick a sport or two instead of one for every season. This will save you on equipment costs and travel expenses for a few months.
• Buy and sell used equipment from previous years.
• Consider rec leagues instead of traveling teams. Again, this will save you time and money while still providing competition for your young athlete.

SEE THE BIG PICTURE
• I hate to break it to parents, but all that money spent probably won`t get your kid a college scholarship.
• The actual rate of high school athletes who receive even a partial scholarship is just 2%!
• There`s nothing wrong with helping your kids live out their sports dreams, but it should not come at the expense of your own retirement.

PRIORITIZE YOUR RETIREMENT
• More than 74% of parents say youth sports is negatively impacting their ability to save and invest for retirement.
• Get your money priorities straight. Identify financial goals and commit to a plan.
• Parents who are behind in saving for retirement may want to consider getting help from a financial professional.

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