“This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.”
How to Afford Sports for Kids?
It happened. The things we had been waiting for. I was secretly hoping it didn’t happen. That she didn’t want to go through with it. I may have said, a small prayer. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my daughter to achieve her dreams. I just didn’t like what it did to me.
Isn’t it hard when you have to make choices that would benefit your children but deplete your bank account? How can you say no to “Mom, I want to try gymnastics.” You start to say, “Yes, by all means you may be the next Simone Biles but my wallet isn’t ready.”
I had gone to the website because all of her friends are doing it and now she wants in. And, she knows. It is too late to hide another activity. But, what it will cost? What will I give up to make it happen? Can I make it happen? These thoughts are running through my head like a train without sufficient tracks.
I type in the URL to the gym. I may have said a prayer to the frugal gods. It comes up $68 a month and $25 to register. I calculate the damage. $816 for the year plus $25 registration then there are the uniforms. Do not forget the gas to get to the location and the time spent away from my job. I breathe.
I take one of those long breathes that fills your lungs. I try to take in every bit of that oxygen as I exhale. I remember something that left my mind in that moment of panic. My husband and I have planned for this. We didn’t exactly plan for this sport, but we have put aside money for her activities. I have three kids so the question isn’t if they wanted to do sports it is when and how many? It is also how am I going to fit this into our tight budget? We know that having a child or children that play any kind of sports is expensive. You have fees and equipment to buy. Then you have travel expenses. It can be overwhelming if you do not have a plan. So we used the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com to figure it out. Youth activities can cost more than $2,500 per year, and almost 40% of us spend more than $1,000 a year according to a recent SunTrust survey. We actually budget for $1,000 for each child. I know that sounds like a lot, but we often go over. They get sports instead of gifts.
I am not saying it isn’t worth it. I spend every weekend at some sporting event for my children, and I couldn’t be prouder. I know investing in sports teaches my children so many valuable lessons. It also teaches them the lesson of how to budget our money so we can afford to say yes, to cross country, gymnastics, travel soccer, and basketball. We can say yes to them pursuing of their dream without giving up our dreams of living debt free and having a bountiful retirement account.
This same SunTrust survey shares that, parents make tradeoffs to help children’s dreams come true. They sacrifice dining out (42%), shopping (35%), vacations (29%), retirement savings (21%), other savings (25%), paying off debt (27%) and upgrading their car (23%). I want to make sure that we don’t have to make too many sacrifices – I want to be able to save and take family vacations. That means using budget planning tools, like the one from SunTrust, and sticking to it.
SunTrust launched the onUp Movement to inspire many of Americans to take a step toward financial confidence. The onUp Movement is about having the confidence to move forward—one smart step at a time. I was able to say yes to every sport this year since we saved $275 of each paycheck. There is nothing better than watching your child shoot a free throw and run across the court forgetting that he has another one to shoot or watching your daughter score the winning goal. It is incredible to cheer your child on as they beat the last best time on the track, every second counts. You can reduce your stress and savor the moment by planning ahead!
Learn more on how you can save and afford sports for kids, visit SunTrust’s OnUp Movement.
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.