Smart ways to save cash on sporty kids

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Get them out on the field without busting your budget

Aussie kids love their sport! Whether they’re out on a field, a court, in a pool, in a dance hall or on a stage, it’s great to see them having fun and being active.

But expenses including registration fees, coaching costs, uniforms, protective and specialised equipment and shoes often mean kitting your kids out for the season can cost a small fortune. And when your budget is already tight, perhaps because you’re unemployed, on government benefits, trying to overcome bad debt and struggling to make ends meet, kids’ sport can too expensive. The good news is, there’s some smart ways to save so your kids don’t have to miss out.

Here’s 8 great ways to save some fast cash on kids sport

  1. Grab yourself a voucher!

In many Australian states and territories, the government offers vouchers of up to $200 to help families cover the cost of kids participating in sports. You could be eligible for one – don’t miss out! Click here for some more details if you’re in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory, or Western Australia.

  1. The early bird catches the savings!

Register early to take advantage of potential early bird savings on enrolment and registration fees.

  • Many sporting clubs use discounted fees that are available for a limited period only to encourage people to sign up early.
  1. Double up and save some cash

Look for 2-for-1 or ‘refer a friend’ specials with your sporting club, dance school or whatever sport it is that your child is wanting to enrol in.

  • Many organisations offer a family discount if you’re registering more than one child.
  • Some clubs and groups give you a cash reward or discount if you bring a friend along to sign up with you.
  1. Offer to pay with time instead of cash

Most sporting organisations and clubs are run by volunteers, who manage the administration, accounts, registration, equipment and so on. Why not volunteer your time, perhaps in exchange for savings?

  • Explain to the club that your child is keen to sign up, but that coming up with the cash is a little tricky for you – so you’re happy to help out with your time instead.
  • Getting volunteers is really hard in today’s time-poor society, so many clubs will be more than happy to offer a substantial fees discount if you’re able to volunteer your time instead.
  1. Don’t be shy – it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Honesty is always the best policy, and most organisations are happy to consider someone’s circumstances rather than turn a player or participant away.

  • Are you on government benefits, unemployed or a student? Ask if your club or group offers a discount to low income earners and recipients of government benefits.
  • Explain that your child is really keen but that your circumstances mean coming up with the cash is tricky. Perhaps the club will consider a discount, or a payment plan that enables you to make several small payments instead of in a large lump sum.
  1. Buy, sell, swap – embrace second hand!

The uniforms, protective equipment, gear and shoes required for many sports can cost hundreds of dollars. But just remember – you don’t have to buy everything brand new!

  • Ask your club or organisation if they sell any second hand gear or know of any families who might be looking to.
  • There’s loads of great second hand gear available on websites like eBay, Gumtree, and TradingPost.
  • Use your network of parent friends to trade hand-me-down gear and equipment between you.
  • As your child grows and needs larger clothing and gear, sell the old to help pay for the new.
  • Suggest to your club that they host an equipment exchange, so that families can come together to buy and sell the gear they need.
  • Sports equipment and clothing don’t have to break the bank. Check out discount department stores like Big W and Target for good prices on lots of sporting gear.
  • Search for groups on social media sites like Facebook to find people in your area buying and selling sports gear.
  1. Keep it simple – set a limit

Many sporty kids want to try their hand at everything, all at the same time. But of course each different sport and activity adds up to a huge cost!

  • Set limits for your kids, and agree on just one – or two, if it works for you – activities per season.
  • You’ll not only save a load of cash on fees and equipment, you’ll also save time on training, classes, matches and all the running around, giving you more family time together instead.
  1. Carpool- you’ll save time and money!

It’s not just the registration and class fees and the cost of equipment that you need to consider. There’s also the cost – in time and money – of all the running around to get your child to and from their sports and activities.

  • Join forces with other parents and carpool to share the load. You’ll save on petrol, and time.
  • If your child has a friend who lives nearby and has similar interests, encourage them to sign up to the same team or class. Not only will they have each other for fun and company, but you can then share the load with their family.

And remember – playing sport or participating in an activity doesn’t always have to come with a cost!

  • School sports, dance and activity programs often mean kids can play and participate without the fees involved in community clubs and private organisations.
  • You can always DIY – use your backyard or local park, oval or court to play sports with your kids and their friends – for free!
  • Try non-team sports – activities like running, bush walking and ocean swimming are all free and can provide hours of fun and fitness for everyone.