Another summer is almost over. With back to school season upon us, it is a good opportunity to have a discussion about something that keeps jumping out of your wallet – money. Expenses to have your child participate in school-based sports programs are on the rise. Some analysts attribute the cost to be as much as a 5 percent bite out of your annual family income.

Participating in school-based sports is an important and exciting time in a child’s life and should be enjoyed to the utmost by both participant and parent. However, a crucial part of planning for your child’s athletic journey is to consider the enormous expenditures involved, as it concerns your finances.

Keep Track of What You are Spending

The cost of specialized sports equipment, travel and accommodations (both local and out-of-town), registration fees, clinics and camps are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what it will cost to help Junior achieve all he can during his school sports career. While it is a currently debated issue, the cost of children’s sports participation is not a tax-deductible expense, nor can you utilize pre-kids  soccertax funds. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you keep careful account of the money you are spending because these expenses factor into your overall household budget. It is easier to make a decision whether or not to go forward in the sport based on accurate figures of what it is actually costing you.

A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt

Saving money on your child’s participation in school sports can include searching for deals in neighborhood yard sales, online auction sites or consignment shops. Carpooling with other parents and packing homemade meals are other ways you can save more. Spread the word around the office that your child is joining a school team. You might be surprised to learn how many co-workers have equipment such as an old lacrosse mask that their youngster has outgrown. There are countless online resources available where parents can trade stories, strategies and shin-guards. Sharing the burden and learning how other parents manage financially will definitely help to cut the high costs down to a more manageable level.

To learn more about responsible household budgeting that includes parenting and child needs, contact the attorneys at Clark & Washington. With over 30 years experience helping families avoid bankruptcy or get through the hurdle of financial struggle, you will be sure to benefit from their knowledge and experience.