Clark Howard: School Sports Savings

DAYTON — Parents who are working two and three jobs, and families in debt, so their kids can play sports.

It’s a reality for more than 70 percent of U.S. parents, that’s according to The Aspen Institute.

Consumer advisor Clark Howard said it is possible to keep your kids playing without breaking the bank.

Basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, baseball, and swimming. Nathan Allen and two of his four kids say their family knows a thing or two about sports equipment.

“I have tons, like lacrosse balls. Probably around $500 worth of that laying around somewhere in the house. Um, football helmets are everywhere,” Allen said.

According to a 2022 survey by Project Play and Utah State, the average family pays just under $890 on one child’s primary sport each year.

“It’s real expensive. There’s no way around it,” Allen said. He continued and said his family is always looking for ways to save.

“We are big, we are big fans of Play It Again Sports. I mean, after every year, every season, we go through all our equipment and determine what we don’t need anymore,” Allen said.

Play It Again Sports will buy your old gear, or you can take credits to use for the equipment you need. Sideline Swap and eBay are also great options for buying and selling gear.

Allen said the most underrated way to save, is to talk to parents with older children.

“It’s amazing how many times you go into these garages and your friend’s, and they’ve got seven years’ worth of baseball equipment or football or soccer, which is just sitting there,” Allen said.

When it comes to the team fees, Allen said you may be able to get them waived or a scholarship may be available.

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