(WPRI) - Experts say parents are now spending up to $1,000 per month, just to give their children an opportunity to participate in after-school clubs.
For most, that means some sort of sport teams. For others, arts-based activities like dancing and music programs. Either way, fees for these hobbies are increasing every year.
Add to that a rough economy and difficult job market, some families find themselves choosing between bills and things to keep their children busy.
We wanted to find out what was driving prices higher, and how we could potentially curb costs.
One of the major factors leading to pricier sporting organizations is the level of competition. Instead of just having a parent volunteer for the season, some teams are paying well-trained coaches to groom their players.
From there, coaches want to make sure their team has the advantage, which could include the latest equipment. For example, suggesting their future baseball hall-of-famers invest in a $300 bat, versus a generic $20 alternative.
As a way to save money, without missing out on opportunities and memories, experts suggest taking it slow. Start your child out in a recreational program when they are ready to participate. Seek out cheap equipment to get them started, but don't necessarily invest in elite gear until they are ready to make a commitment.
For families with multiple kids, ask organizers about discounts for siblings. To cut uniform costs, re-use an older sibling's jersey, or ask a former player to borrow their shirt for a season.
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