Budget for kid's sport?

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pomidoro
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Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 7:40 am

Me&my wife are trying to increase our savings ratio and we realized that we do pay a lot for our son's (7years old) activities. The current situation is - Ice Hockey twice per week (it's the cheapest sport available), Basketball once per week (son enjoys it), Taekwondo twice per week (coach is doing phenomenal job in teaching self discipline, maturing etc) and Chess twice per week (son loves it somehow). The total price is $500 per month and my wife is mad - we have a toddler and $1000 per month in future isn't an option.
Disclaimer - my son is worse than average kid in every sport so we do not have any sport career or scholarship in mind.
My point is - the son looks athletic and healthy so we want to keep it but cutting the budget in half would make a lot of sense.
Is there any cheaper way to achieve a good mental and physical health for kids? Church sport, boy scouts etc?

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buccimane
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by buccimane » Thu May 03, 2018 7:46 am

Ice Hockey cannot be the cheapest sport available. In New Jersey, it is one of the most expensive sports a child can play. Ice time costs and the massive amount of equipment involved actually prohibit many in my town from ever trying the sport.

Availability may be an issue with some sports, but if a town offers hockey I'd imagine soccer would also be an option. Cleats, shin guards, and maybe a mouth piece.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

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Alexa9
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Alexa9 » Thu May 03, 2018 7:56 am

Jogging, swimming, strength training, and yoga are inexpensive.
Fitness and exercise is important but I find high school level sports to be very overrated (especially if you say your son is not that talented) and you're better off emphasizing school and teamwork there.
Learning an instrument can be very rewarding and help obtain a scholarship.
You can play chess on a computer or school club, basketball with friends at a park, get a punching bag instead of Taekwondo. I'd cut ice hockey and pick up soccer.
Last edited by Alexa9 on Thu May 03, 2018 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

pomidoro
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 7:56 am

buccimane wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:46 am
Ice Hockey cannot be the cheapest sport available.
Sorry, it is what it is here. I live in a southern state where hockey isn't popular but ice rink owner still wants to run his business. I spent less than $150 for equipment during the last 4 years.

surveyor
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by surveyor » Thu May 03, 2018 8:04 am

He only has his adolescence once. Try to figure it out if he is enjoying everything. Soccer is relatively inexpensive as well.

Sorry, something isn't adding up on the hockey. Our relatively inexpensive league is close to $800 for October through February. That's 2 practices a week and a game nearly every weekend. Zero travel.

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buccimane
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by buccimane » Thu May 03, 2018 8:15 am

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:56 am
Sorry, it is what it is here. I live in a southern state where hockey isn't popular but ice rink owner still wants to run his business. I spent less than $150 for equipment during the last 4 years.
I guess your area is the extreme outlier than:

http://time.com/4913284/kids-sports-cost/
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

magicrat
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by magicrat » Thu May 03, 2018 8:19 am

Unstructured, unsupervised play with other kids is free, and they'll come up with their own sports and games using what they already have.

SpaceMonkey
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu May 03, 2018 8:20 am

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:40 am
Me&my wife are trying to increase our savings ratio and we realized that we do pay a lot for our son's (7years old) activities...Disclaimer - my son is worse than average kid in every sport so we do not have any sport career or scholarship in mind.
Sounds like me as a kid, though I was strictly a baseball and soccer nut, and I had free chess instruction through a club at school. Since we're not even talking about "modified'/junior high school-level sports yet, consider that as he gets older and the level of competition increases (along with his homework), it's entirely likely that his interest in and ability to play sports 7 days a week will decrease.

Also consider what you might have to pay for summer/after-school care instead, if he isn't in these activities.

renue74
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by renue74 » Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

Our town is a mecca for weekend soccer, aquatics, and softball tournaments. Kids and parents come from all around the state for these "travel sports."

It amazes me when I drive by the local natatorium at 9pm on Sunday nights and kids are still competing in a swim meet! (so late on a Sunday)

Anyways....try to steer clear of any travel sports. We have an AirBnb and we see these travel sport families a lot. They come into town Friday and leave Sunday...They love the AirBnb because they get a kitchen and multiple bedrooms for a family to sleep. The local Hampton Inn charges $150/night for one room. We charge $110/night for a 1600 sq/ft 3 bed/2bath house.

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?

soccerrules
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by soccerrules » Thu May 03, 2018 8:44 am

seems like a very full plate for a 7 year old.
We were a 1 sport /per kid at a time family (3 kids). We did allow for a little overlap from soccer to baseball or similar, at the end of one season-start of another.
We primarily did rec sports before age 10-11, that cost about $70 a season (9-10 games and practices, coached by a interested parent(me :happy ))
I would try and limit the activities and wait 4-5 years before a larger time/financial commitment.

If you pick 1-2 activities for the next 6 months and your child "misses" one you dropped-- maybe you switch.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

pomidoro
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 8:50 am

surveyor wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:04 am
He only has his adolescence once. Try to figure it out if he is enjoying everything. Soccer is relatively inexpensive as well.

Sorry, something isn't adding up on the hockey. Our relatively inexpensive league is close to $800 for October through February. That's 2 practices a week and a game nearly every weekend. Zero travel.
I see some Bogleheads are upset by Ice Hockey price - ok, let me show the numbers
Hockey: $890 for 9 months = roughly $12 per session
Basketball: $190 for 7 sessions = $27 per session
Chess: $160 for 6 sessions = $27 per session
Taekwondo: $150 per month = roughly $17 per session
Unstructured, unsupervised play with other kids is free, and they'll come up with their own sports and games using what they already have.
Well, whenever he sees kids playing in a local park he goes there even if we returned from the sport 1 min ago.

stuper1
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by stuper1 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:18 am

I've got kids, and we spent very little on sports for them, mainly because I thought it was a waste of money. I believe in being honest with kids. If I were you, I would figure out how much you can afford, and then sit down with him and tell him what the number is and figure out which sports he wants to cut to get down to the number. Just tell him that you can't afford more than that. He has to learn at some point that there is only so much money to go around, and he won't be able to afford everything in life. It sounds to me like he will fill in the rest of his free time with good stuff anyway, so just let him do that. Better yet, fill in some of the free time with family stuff that can be very inexpensive, like just going for a walk or a hike, or playing some board games. I think family times are much more important than organized sports.

10YearPlan
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by 10YearPlan » Thu May 03, 2018 9:19 am

soccerrules wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:44 am
seems like a very full plate for a 7 year old.
We were a 1 sport /per kid at a time family (3 kids). We did allow for a little overlap from soccer to baseball or similar, at the end of one season-start of another.
We primarily did rec sports before age 10-11, that cost about $70 a season (9-10 games and practices, coached by a interested parent(me :happy ))
I would try and limit the activities and wait 4-5 years before a larger time/financial commitment.

If you pick 1-2 activities for the next 6 months and your child "misses" one you dropped-- maybe you switch.
I agree. Regardless of finances, that is a lot of structured activity for a kid.
We have two kids. We limit to 2 major recurring activities/sports per season. This is less about budget and more about valuing my time, honestly, but even at two sports/activities per season for two kids it adds up.
Is there one activity your kid loves a little less than the others? That is the one I'd consider dropping, even it if is the less expensive one.
Congrats on finding cheap hockey...hockey and crew are the most expensive sports around here. By a lot.

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lthenderson
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by lthenderson » Thu May 03, 2018 9:31 am

We limit our kids amount of paid extracurricular activities. However, they have unlimited opportunity to do yard work, work on the farm, take bicycle rides, go hiking, running, skating, playing with other friends at the park/basketball courts/etc.

onourway
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by onourway » Thu May 03, 2018 9:37 am

We have two 7 year olds and I, as an extremely athletic parent, cannot imagine having them in that many activities. What, exactly, is the point other than to not have to spend time with the kid yourself or let them engage in free-play?

Cut it down to 1 sport at a time - budget fixed.

If they need more, buy them a bike or let them go for a run.
Last edited by onourway on Thu May 03, 2018 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu May 03, 2018 9:38 am

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:40 am
Ice Hockey twice per week (it's the cheapest sport available), Basketball once per week (son enjoys it), Taekwondo twice per week (coach is doing phenomenal job in teaching self discipline, maturing etc) and Chess twice per week (son loves it somehow).
That's seven things per week. How does this kid have time/energy to do his homework?

dknightd
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by dknightd » Thu May 03, 2018 9:50 am

magicrat wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:19 am
Unstructured, unsupervised play with other kids is free, and they'll come up with their own sports and games using what they already have.
This is how I grew up. And I still think it is the best way. Things have changed. We let our kids try several activities. They chose the one they liked the best. One did swimming, one did TKD. Taekwondo worked out really well for this kid. Is 5th degree blackbelt now. Much more thoughtful and disciplined. That could have also come from growing up ;) The swimmer got busy and more or less quit swimming. Has put on a few pounds since still eats as though was swimming miles per week.
Only you can decide how much you want to budget your time and money for this.

Brokepilot
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Brokepilot » Thu May 03, 2018 10:21 am

My 2 cents on sports, find one or two that he is interested in and stick with that. Persistence is key in mastering any skill and if he enjoys it and wants it, he will get better. Natural talent is great but those with drive can perform at the higher levels too if they have the drive. Unfortunately, drive is something a youth has to develop within.

Also picking a sport/hobby that's transferable is also great, one he can do all the way through college or even life. Taekwondo is great, however, it takes years and years to master and if he wants to truly master it, he must compete at it. Boxing and other martial arts demand many skills ranging from strength, flexibility, endurance, agility, etc to something you cant get in baseball or other team sports... real confidence to stand up and defend one's self. Everyone I know who stuck with martial arts from before puberty and through their teens, all became quite amazing fighters and were confident and humble.

His current performance does not mean become he cant become a serious college level athlete. Wait and see if he won the genetic lottery, as that plays a major role in some sports.

quantAndHold
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu May 03, 2018 10:24 am

Is this in lieu of paying for daycare? If it is, it’s probably cheaper than daycare. If it isn’t, then I’m with your wife. This is insane. No 7 year old needs that many activities.

What low cost/free activities does the school offer? Or the local rec center? Or the Y? Do kids ever get together to just play? Is someone at home after school?

We let our kids each choose one activity that we would pay for. The kid got to choose what they wanted to do. As long as it wasn’t too expensive. We said no to horseback riding, but yes to tuba lessons. None of them ever wanted to be in traveling sports leagues. If they were serious about the sport, we probably would have said yes. The tuba became fairly expensive over time, but he practiced and worked at it and it made sense to continue paying for it.

There’s a lot of value in the kids having free time to think and create for themselves. All those activities are taking that away from him.

If it’s that you want him to stay fit, there’s a lot to be said for doing hiking and bike riding and stuff with his parents.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Thu May 03, 2018 10:32 am

renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
For some reason, there are parents out there that do believe their child will be the next (insert professional athlete name here).

skp
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by skp » Thu May 03, 2018 10:42 am

My children are older. Even 20 years ago, the problem was, at least where I live, all the kids are overscheduled and there is no one around to play pick up games with.
I think you can do activities. You just need to be selective and creative. This is what I did to keep costs down. IMO convenient easily accessed activities are just as important as cost. We live semi rural and I wasn't going to drive all over creation.
We did Boy Scouts. Just down the road, weekly meetings, occasional weekend activities, weekly camp. Camp was the biggest expense and it was around $200. Relatively cheap compared to other camps.
We did music thru the school band. Free lessons offered thru the school starting 5th grade. A couple summers one child was supplemented with private lessons. The other one wasn't interested. The only definite cost was the instrument which could be rented until you are sure your kid is serious. They are available used on Craigslist.
We did church activities. My kids were involved in Youth Group thru our local church.
My kids weren't athletic but we did do sports. Again mostly thru the school. They did play baseball thru the local organization until it got competitive in 7th grade. That was intense, pretty much daily practice and twice a week games, but the season was short. And travel was local. Plus the whole season was less than $100. By then they were in Jr High/ High school. They ran cross country. Great sport for a non athlete. Everyone participates. That was a commitment but they loved it. And so did we, there was a nice commaraderee with the team families. Weekly pasta nights pre meet etc. .Other than that I focused on "life" sports. They learned to swim thru the Y. They learned to ski thru a program offered thru the school. We have a local ski resort just down the road (which in Ohio is a tilted corn field.) They offered once a week lessons and rental equipment. Wouldn't exactly call it cheap, but it was like $25 a week. They learned to ski there, so did I eventually, and we graduated to bigger resorts. It turned into a family hobby we all enjoyed. They also took a few skating lessons at the rink, about 30 minutes away, just enough to learn how to. They wanted to play hockey, but the rink was quite a drive and hockey is expensive around here. That was too much of a time commitment for me and too pricey for 2 non aggressive, not super athletic kids. I didn't think it was worth it. And we did one summer of tennis lessons at the local tennis court. Again, enough for them to learn how to play. They then goofed around on the local tennis courts which are free. I debated golf..but never did do that. Their dad took them golfing a few times on a par 3. My older son picked up enough to play on rec team at his work, they younger one isn't quite as athletic and still can't play.

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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by stoptothink » Thu May 03, 2018 11:05 am

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 10:32 am
renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
For some reason, there are parents out there that do believe their child will be the next (insert professional athlete name here).
My background is in strength & conditioning, I spent the early part of my career working with collegiate, professional, and olympic athletes at some of the world's top athletic performance facilities. I can not tell you how often I am still approached by parents of young children (I'm talking as young as 3) who want me to help them, who are willing to devote virtually all of their free time and literally thousands of dollars a month to athletic endeavors. Do they not realize that the chance of them even receiving a partial athletic scholarship, let alone make a living with athletics, is infinitesimally small?

I love sports and athletic competition. I come from a family where 3 of the 5 blood siblings received athletic scholarships (I played D1 football), my wife is a pretty serious athlete herself; my kids definitely have some genetic advantages, and at age 6 and 3, are both well above average size and have shown some athletic proclivity. There is no way we are becoming that family who spends all their free time and money traveling to tournaments. My 6yr old does both gymnastics and jiu jitsu one day per week (separate obviously). Her brother is likely to join her in jiu jitsu pretty soon. Two days a week 9about 3hrs total), and about $300/month; that is pushing it on what we are willing to budget for kid's organized sports.

Irisheyes
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Irisheyes » Thu May 03, 2018 11:12 am

10YearPlan wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:19 am
soccerrules wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:44 am
seems like a very full plate for a 7 year old.
We were a 1 sport /per kid at a time family (3 kids). We did allow for a little overlap from soccer to baseball or similar, at the end of one season-start of another.
We primarily did rec sports before age 10-11, that cost about $70 a season (9-10 games and practices, coached by a interested parent(me :happy ))
I would try and limit the activities and wait 4-5 years before a larger time/financial commitment.

If you pick 1-2 activities for the next 6 months and your child "misses" one you dropped-- maybe you switch.
I agree. Regardless of finances, that is a lot of structured activity for a kid.
We have two kids. We limit to 2 major recurring activities/sports per season. This is less about budget and more about valuing my time, honestly, but even at two sports/activities per season for two kids it adds up.
Is there one activity your kid loves a little less than the others? That is the one I'd consider dropping, even it if is the less expensive one.
Congrats on finding cheap hockey...hockey and crew are the most expensive sports around here. By a lot.
I agree with both these comments. A structured activity, in addition to school, 7 times a week? That seems insane to me and really does seem to be setting the kid up for not being able to play alone/amuse himself without structured adult intervention. I firmly believe being bored sometimes and having to develop ones own resources as a result is important for a child (whether that be reading books, reaching out to friends, etc etc).

My daughter is 15 now, but she had at most two activities a week when she was that age -- a saxophone lesson once a week and Aikido once a week. That seemed plenty to us. Now she has music lessons twice a week. Dropped the Aikido and added bassoon lessons.

As they specialize and develop their expertise in whatever interests them, the cost seems to rocket up. In addition to expensive lessons, we have spent more money than I care to mention on saxophones, and now are looking at possibly having to buy a bassoon too (school instrument sucks). So you may want to budget for increased expenditure on whatever becomes your son's passion in later years :(

winterfan
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by winterfan » Thu May 03, 2018 11:20 am

I budget around $200/mo. for activities for my third grader. Right now a good chunk of that is being spent on music lessons (130 a month) and swimming lessons (70 a month). She plays basketball through her school which is pretty cheap, maybe $60 bucks for a two month season.

She is more into the social aspect of sports though. I imagine when she gets older she will end up dropping most of them as they get more competitive. Same with music. I'm forcing her to take lessons as part of her education. She doesn't particularly enjoy it.

pomidoro
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 11:43 am

Ok, thanks everyone for the input! Will shuffle some things

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 03, 2018 11:46 am

We play 3 sports a year - flag football, little league baseball and soccer.

Flag football - comfortable sweatpants, shirt, mouthgard, sneakers.
The wardrobe is stuff we already have in the closet, mouthgard is like $20, sneakers we have.
It's played in town, so no real travel.

Little league baseball - bat, glove, groin protection, rubber cleats, uniform. Probably $400 total.
You can buy bats that cost $400 - i'm not kidding, but at that age, why? We bought our bat for $49 with a coupon.
Glove - same thing, they have low, middle of road and high. We picked up a glove for $50 with the coupon, it should last a season or two, maybe more depending on how fast kid grows.
Cleats were almost $80. - Have to replace these each year.
Uniform - was $40.
Annual fundraiser dinner is $50.
Miscellaneous stuff - $100 (chest protector).

Soccer - rubber cleats, use the same ones from baseball if they still fit.

Avoid travel teams - they can bankrupt you! Most expensive sports in my town - ice hockey and lacrosse.
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DanMahowny
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by DanMahowny » Thu May 03, 2018 11:48 am

When I was a kid, we just threw rocks at each other.

It was free, but explains why I turned out this way.
Funding secured

Glockenspiel
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Glockenspiel » Thu May 03, 2018 11:56 am

buccimane wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:46 am
Ice Hockey cannot be the cheapest sport available. In New Jersey, it is one of the most expensive sports a child can play. Ice time costs and the massive amount of equipment involved actually prohibit many in my town from ever trying the sport.
Same here. It’s super expensive in the Midwest too, even in the “State of Hockey”. Not sure how soccer, basketball, tennis, cross country, or track could be more expensive than hockey.

pomidoro
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 11:57 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:46 am
You can buy bats that cost $400 - i'm not kidding, but at that age, why?

Avoid travel teams - they can bankrupt you! Most expensive sports in my town - ice hockey and lacrosse.
Another day I saw son's teammate using Vapor 1X stick - it's $260. I heard that Toronto parents have to spend $70k per year if they want their kids to be OK in hockey.

dknightd
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by dknightd » Thu May 03, 2018 12:00 pm

Everybody should learn how to swim - just in case . . .

harrychan
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by harrychan » Thu May 03, 2018 12:01 pm

That's way too much. Both of my boys love sports and the older one is particularly athletic. They participate in a league where they rotate 4 sports across the year but with the same team. Each season (3 months) is $80 each. Older son seems to go through a pair of shoes per season. He reuses his football shoes for baseball. Younger one is ok with hand me downs. DW just became SAHM so we cut piano lessons. Between the 4 you listed, I would probably cut taekwondo as you can learn discipline and patience in the other sports. Chess, you may be able to swing by looking at chess clubs at the library or you play with him during family time. Haven't heard of chess club where you have to pay a lot to be a part of.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:06 pm

Wow. I paid $12 per session for ice time in the early 70's for myself. That's gotta be what? $100 today. Keep hockey. You're getting the bargain of the century.

Can you get a discount on karate by paying a full year at a time. I earned my black belt some years ago and did exactly that and saved something like 20% over a month to month payment. Have you figured test costs and tournaments into that cost? I seem to remember that the black belt test was maybe $200......but it went for 3 hours.

Overall, I'm going to say to let the kid keep up all of these things he's interested in. We have 2 boys who did all that stuff plus lacrosse and soccer and scouts and eventually lost interest in absolutely everything. One went into downhill biking until I told him I couldn't afford it anymore. The other one dabbles in music. As homework increases, let him choose what to drop.

I do understand the surprise. When I was a kid, only hockey and ski team had any fees attached. With our kids, everything has a fee attached. I took the bus for free. Our kids....it was $275 a year. Parking space at school....I paid nothing. Our older son was smart enough to know where to park and calculate the $350 fee against $20 tickets. 3 tickets in the year for $60.....he won the game. Our younger one goes on field trips. Every one of them have fees to cover transport and entrance fees of some kind or another.
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pomidoro
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 12:16 pm

renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
If you see your kid is crazy gifted - why not? They say McDavid's (https://www.nhl.com/player/connor-mcdavid-8478402) father was spending 120k+ annualy in his development

Hockey10
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Hockey10 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:18 pm

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:50 am

I see some Bogleheads are upset by Ice Hockey price - ok, let me show the numbers
Hockey: $890 for 9 months = roughly $12 per session
Like others have said here, your hockey cost is very low, so you are fortunate. When my son started playing travel hockey about 20 years ago, we were paying $1500 just for ice time for a 6 month long season (3 practices and 2 games in a typical week). Add to that the equipment, jerseys, tournament fees, gas, tolls, etc... and pretty soon it gets very expensive. Some rinks will have in-house programs that are a lot easier on the budget and with no travel involved.

For a 7 year old, let him do the activities that he enjoys and don't over-schedule him. I remember seeing some 7 year olds that did not appear to be interested in playing hockey, but their Dads were pushing them thinking little Johnny was going to be the next Mario Lemieux.

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tyrion
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by tyrion » Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 pm

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:16 pm
renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
If you see your kid is crazy gifted - why not? They say McDavid's (https://www.nhl.com/player/connor-mcdavid-8478402) father was spending 120k+ annualy in his development
Survivorship bias. For every kid who made it there are untold numbers who seemed just as gifted (if not more so) whose parents spent the same crazy amounts.

pomidoro
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:18 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by pomidoro » Thu May 03, 2018 12:47 pm

tyrion wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 pm
pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:16 pm
renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
If you see your kid is crazy gifted - why not? They say McDavid's (https://www.nhl.com/player/connor-mcdavid-8478402) father was spending 120k+ annualy in his development
Survivorship bias. For every kid who made it there are untold numbers who seemed just as gifted (if not more so) whose parents spent the same crazy amounts.
I used to play hockey myself and I can clearly see if a kid has a true talent - there is a huge gap between 'being bright' and 'being gifted'. In McDavid's case he would make NHL even without this $120k annually but this investment mad him a real beast with the perfect technique.

mw1739
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by mw1739 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:58 pm

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:50 am
surveyor wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:04 am
He only has his adolescence once. Try to figure it out if he is enjoying everything. Soccer is relatively inexpensive as well.

Sorry, something isn't adding up on the hockey. Our relatively inexpensive league is close to $800 for October through February. That's 2 practices a week and a game nearly every weekend. Zero travel.
I see some Bogleheads are upset by Ice Hockey price - ok, let me show the numbers
Hockey: $890 for 9 months = roughly $12 per session
Basketball: $190 for 7 sessions = $27 per session
Chess: $160 for 6 sessions = $27 per session
Taekwondo: $150 per month = roughly $17 per session
Unstructured, unsupervised play with other kids is free, and they'll come up with their own sports and games using what they already have.
Well, whenever he sees kids playing in a local park he goes there even if we returned from the sport 1 min ago.
I'm impressed you're able to do 9 months of hockey for $890. I've spent $900 already for my 6 year old from February-May in the Midwest.

We generally let our kids try anything they're interested in and have required them to take swim lessons until they can swim by themselves ($100/mo/kid). Other than hockey and swimming, most other sports (basketball, soccer etc.) cost $75-$100 for each session, usually about 2 months. This excludes any equipment requirements, but we generally look for deals or borrow equipment until we're sure it's going to be a recurring sport.

Back to your question, I budget roughly $200 a month for kids sports. Registration fees are spread throughout the year, but on average that's probably about what we spend. Assuming the interest in hockey continues, I expect that number to increase exponentially over the next five years.

DarthSage
Posts: 218
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by DarthSage » Thu May 03, 2018 2:05 pm

I'm a big fan of having kids try a number of things to see what they like. I guess we were fortunate when my older two were little--we lived rural, and there was an amazing and cheap selection of rec leagues. In their younger years, my kids tried: soccer, gymnastics, dance, baseball, basketball, karate, and wrestling. Not all at once, of course, and we'd re-evaluate interest periodically. Eventually, everything dropped but dance. Plus, my oldest took up running, and continues to run to this day. She said, when she was in soccer, she liked running around the field more than kicking the ball.

Obviously, every family is different, and there's nothing wrong with kids pursuing a sport or two that they really enjoy, even if they don't have talent. Most of our rec leagues were free or dirt cheap (i.e., soccer was $5 for the t-shirt). But as kids get older, a couple of things happen: (1) lack of talent becomes more obvious, and (2) any given sport demands more and more time. There will be more meets, more practices, more travel, and generally, coaches expect kids to do cross-training (weight lifting, running, whatever) on their days off.

Another possibility to consider is, have your kids join Scouting. It's a great way for them to be exposed to a wide range of activities, many with little to no cost. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, ropes courses, archery--pretty much, if you like to be outdoors, there's a sport you can learn at camp. My son's troop even does a scuba diving class in the summer.

shawndoggy
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by shawndoggy » Thu May 03, 2018 3:11 pm

we found wrestling to be extremely inexpensive (and a huge time suck, so on a dollar per hour basis, a bargain).

supersecretname
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:33 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by supersecretname » Thu May 03, 2018 3:21 pm

your kid is overscheduled. drop one of the sports. I'd say hockey, only because the time commitment involved will skyrocket if he continues to do it. probably not basketball since that will come in handy with friends as he continues to grow up.

nolesrule
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:59 am

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by nolesrule » Thu May 03, 2018 3:29 pm

We limit our kids to two different activities at a time, with reasonable costs. They get to choose. if they want to try something different, then they have to drop something.

Beach
Posts: 123
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Beach » Thu May 03, 2018 3:35 pm

1 sport per season per kid, their choice whatever it is. Right now its Baseball (Spring), Golf (Summer), Soccer (Fall) and Basketball (Winter). Our kids are still young (6 and 7) and its working well. Most pro athletes were multi sport kids growing up anyways. I secretly hope they pick my favorite (golf) but I swore to myself I wouldn't force them into anything they didn't want to do.

We do throw in some 5k running events that mom and dad can participate in with them. They really like these too and are inexpensive since you can go "train" for free as a family. Just running a mile or two around the neighborhood.

Veni Vidi Decessi
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Veni Vidi Decessi » Thu May 03, 2018 3:40 pm

Addressing the mental side:

Books. Find out what he likes to read (mystery, sci-fi, historical fiction, etc) and either read it to him or have him start reading. I was eight when I read the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Little Women, Red Badge of Courage, etc series/books. My parents lavished me with books early on, read books to me from before I can remember. I loved reading. Though to be fair, I only slogged through Little Women for our school's accelerated reader program points. :twisted:

If he doesn't already have it, cultivate reading. A love of reading will naturally, I believe, create a love of learning through a sense of exploration. That, in turn, will correspond to academic success later on. I wouldn't push books on him that he doesn't like, though - there's no better way to kill a love of something before it starts to grow than forcing it.

I played soccer my entire life as well, but didn't pursue it in college. I, instead, went on to be a chemical engineer.

RetiredCSProf
Posts: 150
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by RetiredCSProf » Thu May 03, 2018 4:31 pm

I spent a small fortune on my kid's sports and on music lessons. My motivation for sports was that, as a female engineer, I was often told by management that I lacked the team-building experience that my male counterparts derived from playing on sports teams (I guess marching band didn't count as a "team" effort and in "my day," girls were not allowed to play Little League or high school sports.)

My budget for my son's sports escalated to close to $20K per year when he was in middle school. Through high school, he participated in at least two sports at all times. After trying many sports, he decided on running and has run cross-country and track in college for the past two years (at a cost of $150 per semester, not counting running shoes).

Here's the rundown:

His most expensive sport was ice hockey; he played ice hockey for ten years, of which seven years were travel teams. The AA travel team fee was $10K for the season (not counting equipment, "clinics" with the coach, and out-of-town travel to tournaments.)

His second most expensive sport was indoor volleyball -- about $3K per season for team fees. He played three years on club teams. His least expensive sports were Little League (4 years), AYSO soccer (2 years), and a local youth tennis club (one season).

He also participated on school teams. In middle school, he played on the boy's indoor volleyball team for two years and did track and field the third year. In high school, he was in marching band (one year), high school ice hockey team (3 years), and ran cross-country and track all four years.

He is still taking piano lessons ($600 a month) and that is now his most expensive extra-curricula activity (not counting what I pay for car insurance).

Hillview
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by Hillview » Thu May 03, 2018 5:17 pm

I think with your first it is easy to get carried away. Once you have 2 you will not only have more limited $ resources you will also have both less energy and scheduling conflicts. We have 2 kids (boys) and we limit them each to one or two activities each. Community sports run 200-400 a season.

peseta
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:40 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by peseta » Fri May 04, 2018 9:35 am

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:50 am
I see some Bogleheads are upset by Ice Hockey price - ok, let me show the numbers
Hockey: $890 for 9 months = roughly $12 per session
Basketball: $190 for 7 sessions = $27 per session
Chess: $160 for 6 sessions = $27 per session
Taekwondo: $150 per month = roughly $17 per session
The basketball price seems really out of whack. Basketball should be by far the cheapest sport. That's one of the reasons it's so popular in low-income neighborhoods.

Can your kid join a local rec league, run by either your municipality or a religious organization (on the East Coast, the Catholic CYO leagues are big and you don't need to be a member of the congregation to play)?

peseta

James1
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:59 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by James1 » Fri May 04, 2018 2:02 pm

You can also look for different funding options. There are 3 different options I know of.
1. Ask for lessons/memberships instead of presents. Grandparents now pay for 6mo of lessons for their birthday and another 6mo for Christmas. This also helps reduce the number of toys.
2. My kids are homeschooled and have access to $200/mo/kid from the district for lessons.
3. Scholarships.

halfnine
Posts: 856
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by halfnine » Fri May 04, 2018 4:17 pm

pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:47 pm
tyrion wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 pm
pomidoro wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:16 pm
renue74 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 am

But...for goodness sakes...what family can devote so much time and money to a child's hobby!?!?!?
If you see your kid is crazy gifted - why not? They say McDavid's (https://www.nhl.com/player/connor-mcdavid-8478402) father was spending 120k+ annualy in his development
Survivorship bias. For every kid who made it there are untold numbers who seemed just as gifted (if not more so) whose parents spent the same crazy amounts.
I used to play hockey myself and I can clearly see if a kid has a true talent - there is a huge gap between 'being bright' and 'being gifted'. In McDavid's case he would make NHL even without this $120k annually but this investment mad him a real beast with the perfect technique.
In most sports it is going to be nearly impossible to identify which children will be semi-pros and which children will go on to be pros until around 16. Some start early and fade. Some start late and excel.

User avatar
MikeWillRetire
Posts: 311
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Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by MikeWillRetire » Fri May 04, 2018 4:37 pm

I'm glad my two sons eventually chose skateboarding as their sport. No trainers, no travel teams, little parent involvement, and relatively cheap. A big part of the sport involves filming tricks and creating skateboard videos. Now as college students, they are members of the skateboard club, and they use their video skills to make money filming weddings and corporate events! Who would have thought....

vshun
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:48 am

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

Post by vshun » Fri May 04, 2018 5:39 pm

My 2 kids are playing ice hockey and this is as expensive as it can get but what other game could be more fun for them to play and for you to watch? Every moment could result in a goal in one or another net so there is never a boring moment. Just enjoy it till they enjoy it, and once they quit ask them to find something they are passionate about. And my kids also do basketball and tae kwando or wrestling but nothing compares to ice hockey in money spent or excitement.

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