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3 steps for parents whose kids play after-school sports

KOMO File Photo

SEATTLE -- Back to school often means back to after school activities. Between equipment, team fees and more, costs can stack up quickly.

Parents across the country are expected to spend about $86 billion during the back to school season and after school activities often take up a big chunk of that.

“It really is expensive,” said Jason Parker of Parker Financial. “A study by TD Ameritrade found parents spend between $100 and $500 per month per child.”

Parker said as many as 20 percent of parents spend $1,000 per month on athletics for their children, but about one-third of those same people aren’t saving anything for retirement.

“I think people really need to strike a balance between providing that sports experience for their kids but also continuing to save for the future," Parker said.

Parker has three steps for parents.

First, be realistic. Don’t bank on your child getting an athletic scholarship. It is possible, but those opportunities are rare.

Second, shop for off-season equipment. For example, now is a great time to buy baseball and basketball gear because it’s not in season.

Lastly, invest your time well. Sitting at soccer practice, for example, is a golden opportunity.

“Parents are saying they’re spending 10 to 12 hours per week at sports,” said Parker. “There’s a great opportunity for parents to listen to a podcast on personal finance, read a book or maybe even work on a budget."

KOMO News is helping you and your children get ready for the school year. Need more tips about going back to school? Check out our back-to-school page.

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