The cost of extracurricular activities is rising

(U.S.) – A recent study by comparecards.com examines the climbing cost for parents to keep up with their kids’ extracurricular activities!

The study explained eight in 10 parents with young children who participate in extracurricular activities think those pursuits could someday lead to income for their kids. And so, the more you spend on those activities, the more likely it’ll pay off.

The survey asked parents about extracurricular activities ranging from rom sports and music to beauty pageants and debate teams. It showed that about two-thirds of these parents have gone into debt to support these activities. Bout the same number say they’ve been stressed about how they are going to pay for it all.

Key findings:

  • 8 in 10 parents think their child’s competitive activity could one day lead to income.
  • 90% of parents who spend at least $4,000 per year think their kid will one day make a career out of it, compared to 75% of parents who spend less than $1,000 annually.
  • 94% of parents currently paying off debt for their child’s activity think it will lead to future income.
  • Sports teams are the most popular (30%) then music (16%), dance (15%), gymnastics (12%), cheerleading (9%), martial arts (8%), beauty pageants (3%), and debate team (3%).
  • 46% of parents spend more than $1,000 annually on their kids’ activities.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of parents are stressed about paying for their child’s competitive activities.
  • 62% have been in debt for their kids’ activities – and 1 in 3 are currently paying it off.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 of those in debt (9%) owe more than $5,000.
  • More than half (52$) say they spend more than they can afford on their child’s activity – but 48% don’t regret it.
  • Credit cards are by far the most popular payment choice with 42% using that payment method.

According to comparecards.com, you don’t have to cut your children off from things they love, and you shouldn’t. But they do suggest you are smart about how you finance it!

The following tips come from comaprecards.com.

Here are a few tips for keeping your kids’ dreams alive while keeping yourself from drowning in debt:

  • Consider lower-cost alternatives: There are plenty of professional soccer players who never played in an expensive select league. Some of the greatest musicians in the world never had pricey formal lessons. People with passion and drive can find low-cost instruction all over the Internet. YouTube is a goldmine for that type of thing. In addition, many coaches or teachers in all types of disciplines have made small businesses out of selling videos or books that share their wisdom. While they won’t be free, spending $100 on some useful videos that your kid can work with at home every day can be every bit as useful as that $2,000 you spend to play on that travel team.
  • Save for the expense: If you know your child will need several hundred or even several thousand dollars for that special league or camp or competition, make savings a major priority in your budget. If you can put away a few extra dollars a week, it can make a major difference when that bill comes due.
  • Have your son or daughter pitch in Part of following a passion is being willing to make sacrifices in order to pursue it. Depending on your child’s age, consider talking to them about working to help pay the cost. Anything from babysitting and dog walking to mowing lawns and refereeing games can help raise some extra money, as could a garage sale in which the kid raises money by selling books or games or clothing they’ve outgrown. They may embrace the idea or they may say no, but either way, it can be a great teachable moment.
  • Use crThe cost of extracurricular activities is rising!(U.S.) – A recent study by comparecards.com examines the climbing cost for parents to keep up with their kids’ extracurricular activities!The study explained eight in 10 parents with young children who participate in extracurricular activities think those pursuits could someday lead to income for their kids. And so, the more you spend on those activities, the more likely it’ll pay off.

    The survey asked parents about extracurricular activities ranging from sports and music to beauty pageants and debate teams. It showed that about two-thirds of these parents have gone into debt to support these activities. Bout the same number say they’ve been stressed about how they are going to pay for it all.

    Key findings:

    • 8 in 10 parents think their child’s competitive activity could one day lead to income.
    • 90% of parents who spend at least $4,000 per year think their kid will one day make a career out of it, compared to 75% of parents who spend less than $1,000 annually.
    • 94% of parents currently paying off debt for their child’s activity think it will lead to future income.
    • Sports teams are the most popular (30%) then music (16%), dance (15%), gymnastics (12%), cheerleading (9%), martial arts (8%), beauty pageants (3%), and debate team (3%).
    • 46% of parents spend more than $1,000 annually on their kids’ activities.
    • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of parents are stressed about paying for their child’s competitive activities.
    • 62% have been in debt for their kids’ activities – and 1 in 3 are currently paying it off.
    • Nearly 1 in 10 of those in debt (9%) owe more than $5,000.
    • More than half (52$) say they spend more than they can afford on their child’s activity – but 48% don’t regret it.
    • Credit cards are by far the most popular payment choice with 42% using that payment method.

    According to comparecards.com, you don’t have to cut your children off from things they love, and you shouldn’t. But they do suggest you are smart about how you finance it!

    The following tips come from comaprecards.com.

    Here are a few tips for keeping your kids’ dreams alive while keeping yourself from drowning in debt:

    • Consider lower-cost alternatives: There are plenty of professional soccer players who never played in an expensive select league. Some of the greatest musicians in the world never had pricey formal lessons. People with passion and drive can find low-cost instruction all over the Internet. YouTube is a goldmine for that type of thing. In addition, many coaches or teachers in all types of disciplines have made small businesses out of selling videos or books that share their wisdom. While they won’t be free, spending $100 on some useful videos that your kid can work with at home every day can be every bit as useful as that $2,000 you spend to play on that travel team.
    • Save for the expense: If you know your child will need several hundred or even several thousand dollars for that special league or camp or competition, make savings a major priority in your budget. If you can put away a few extra dollars a week, it can make a major difference when that bill comes due.
    • Have your son or daughter pitch in Part of following a passion is being willing to make sacrifices in order to pursue it. Depending on your child’s age, consider talking to them about working to help pay the cost. Anything from babysitting and dog walking to mowing lawns and refereeing games can help raise some extra money, as could a garage sale in which the kid raises money by selling books or games or clothing they’ve outgrown. They may embrace the idea or they may say no, but either way, it can be a great teachable moment.
    • Use credit card sign-up bonuses strategically: Credit card rewards are about maximizing what you already spend. Instead of writing a $1,000 check from your savings for that cheerleading camp, pay for it with a new credit card and use those savings to pay down the credit card bill. Many cash-back cards will give you a $100 or $150 cash back bonus after you spend as little as $500 in the first three months with the card, and that bonus can help you extend that family budget just a little further. Just make sure you use the new card wisely. The last thing you need is to see that new card as an excuse for a spending spree. That’s just asking for trouble.
    • Don’t be afraid to think of yourself: Reality can be harsh. Sometimes that expensive extracurricular activity is just out of your family’s reach, and short of going into long-term debt and possibly sacrificing your own retirement, there’s just nothing you can do. If that’s the case, you owe it to your family to make the hard choice. Be honest with them. Talk about the sacrifices that mom and dad would have to make – getting second jobs, working long hours away from family, selling something of value that they love, whatever – but also make sure that your kid knows that you understand how disappointing this will be to them. That’s when you can promise to work with them to find other ways to keep them working toward their dream because there’s never just one pathway to success. Your kid might shed some tears, and you might, too, but ultimately, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing.

    edit card sign-up bonuses strategically: Credit card rewards are about maximizing what you already spend. Instead of writing a $1,000 check from your savings for that cheerleading camp, pay for it with a new credit card and use those savings to pay down the credit card bill. Many cash-back cards will give you a $100 or $150 cash back bonus after you spend as little as $500 in the first three months with the card, and that bonus can help you extend that family budget just a little further. Just make sure you use the new card wisely. The last thing you need is to see that new card as an excuse for a spending spree. That’s just asking for trouble.

  • Don’t be afraid to think of yourself: Reality can be harsh. Sometimes that expensive extracurricular activity is just out of your family’s reach, and short of going into long-term debt and possibly sacrificing your own retirement, there’s just nothing you can do. If that’s the case, you owe it to your family to make the hard choice. Be honest with them. Talk about the sacrifices that mom and dad would have to make – getting second jobs, working long hours away from family, selling something of value that they love, whatever – but also make sure that your kid knows that you understand how disappointing this will be to them. That’s when you can promise to work with them to find other ways to keep them working toward their dream because there’s never just one pathway to success. Your kid might shed some tears, and you might, too, but ultimately, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing.

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