Let’s face it: raising children is expensive.
Of course, in business terms, the return on the investment is totally worth it!
After all, you love your kids more than anything else in the world. It’s natural for parents to want to provide them with the best childhood possible. Alas, doing so isn’t cheap.
Indeed, on average, American parents spend an enormous $230,000 to raise a child up until age 18.
Of the plethora of expenses that occur, kids' sports equipment can put purse strings under particular pressure. It can feel like your kids have a new hobby and interest every week!
All that equipment doesn’t come cheap, meaning the costs can quickly stack up.
When money is tight, it can be difficult to justify the expense. Thankfully, there are ways to afford it regardless of your current financial predicament. Want to know how?
Read on for seven top methods for paying for your kids’ sporting equipment.
1. Take it One Sport at a Time
First things first: don’t let the sporting situation get out of hand.
A child that’s involved in three sports at the same time requires three times the amount of equipment. Save yourself some money by encouraging your children to stick with one at a time.
Doing so will save you significant amounts of cash and ease the financial pressure as a result.
Equally, as you know, children change their mind in a flash. Buying masses of equipment at once (to cater for multiple sporting endeavors) can represent a financial risk: all that expensive gear could soon find itself thrust to the back of the cupboard.
2. Choose Sports Wisely
Some sports require more gear than others.
What’s more, kids grow at a frightening rate! What fits them today almost certainly won’t next year. Imagine putting them into a sport with lots of gear that needs replacing every 12 months.
Obviously, don’t force your children into a sport they hate. But, if money’s an issue, consider funneling them into sports that require minimal equipment.
Think track and field, swimming, tennis, or volleyball. Taking this approach can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
3. Buy Second Hand
This suggestion is by no means revelatory.
However, as long as the gear’s clean and functional, buying second-hand remains one of the best ways to save money on kids’ sports equipment.
Looking for used items is often the most sensible approach to take from the outset.
As we’ve already noted, children are fickle and change their minds in a flash. Why buy brand new gear at full price when it may only be used once or twice? Buying second-hand reduces the potential financial loss in that eventuality.
In the same way, it makes good financial sense to sell the equipment your child no longer wants, fits or needs. You’ll never get back as much money as you paid for them, but some money back is better than nothing, right?
4. Speak to Friends and Family
Have friends or family with older children?
Ask around if anybody has spare and/or unused equipment for your child to use. With older kids in the house, chances are high that they have a cupboard full of it.
A sense of pride may make the thought of this unappealing. However, don’t see it as charity. It’s just a logical approach to the problem of sourcing sports equipment. After all, friends and family may have the exact second-hand goods that your child needs.
If they no longer need it, then it makes good sense for you to put it to use instead. They might even thank you for uncluttering their home!
5. Partake in Equipment Swaps
One way to reduce any perceived awkwardness is to offer swaps instead.
Remember, many other families will be experiencing exactly the same thing. They’ll be reluctant to spend any additional money on sporting equipment.
As such, they may happily accept a trade. Ask if they’d be interested in swapping their old sporting goods for yours.
You could even make an event out of it. Host a trading night, where everybody brings their old and unwanted equipment to find potential swaps.
This is a great way to pick up ‘new’ goods for your children at no cost.
6. Leverage Off-Season Sales
Clever parents wait until the off-season to buy their kids’ equipment.
The trick is to look to the future and anticipate what you’ll need.
Buying summer equipment in the dead of winter (and vice versa) can save you bundles of cash. For instance, tennis rackets, soccer balls, and swimsuits can all be bought at discount prices in the winter months.
It’s about supply and demand.
With fewer people looking to buy, store-owners slash prices to attract custom. Sure, you’ll be buying last season's products, but the quality of the items are still the same. The only difference is in the price-tag.
7. Get a Loan
Our final suggestion is arguably best used as a last resort.
However, if you’re totally stuck for alternatives, then consider taking out a personal loan.
They provide a relatively quick and easy way to access cash quickly. Some loans don’t even require a credit check (learn more about this here).
Of course, be wary of high interest rates and missed repayments. Debt can quickly spiral out of control if you let it.
Nonetheless, with essential sports equipment to buy and insufficient funds in the bank, these loans provide an undeniable outlet. In worst-case scenarios, it might be worth considering.
Final Thoughts on Affording Kids' Sports Equipment
There you have it: seven ways to pay for your kids' sports equipment more easily.
Bringing up children isn’t cheap. In fact, they literally set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Of course, the money goes on all manner of things. However, as we’ve seen, sports equipment is one particular expense that can be a burden on any parents’ bank balance.
When finances are tight, affording this essential equipment isn’t easy. Hopefully, though, this post has highlighted exactly how to do it.
Looking for more articles like this one? Search ‘sports’ on our website now!