Paying to play: Kids and sports - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Paying to play: Kids and sports

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Sports are a great way for kids to get in shape and build up their confidence. But they can also blow up the family budget, if you aren't careful!

For many sports, there's a cost to join a team. Then you have to buy the equipment. And if it's a traveling team, you'll pay for gas and hotels, too.  Multiply that by two or three sports a year, and by how many kids you have, and you could find yourself spending thousands.

But there are some ways to trim costs.

"First, be a realist. Not every kid is a budding Mia Hamm or Joey Votto," says Money Expert Nathan Bachrach. "So you don't really need to buy your 5-year-old the most expensive cleats in the store. The local rec league and basic gear is just fine when they're little."

Nathan also notes that it's good to know going in which sports are the most expensive. For example, golf can cost a fortune once you buy the irons, a club membership, the clothing and shoes, and pay the tournament fees.

One easy way to save money is to buy used sports equipment, but be careful about buying used helmets or masks. And remember you can also sell your kids' sporting goods when they've outgrown them or dropped the sport.

Here's another idea: If you live in a neighborhood that's full of kids, get everybody together and swap your sports equipment! The odds are, somebody's got a kid a few years older than yours, who's got to be finished with something!

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