Youth sports may seem expensive, especially if you're on a tight budget. Between team fees, extra lessons, and all the gear needed for a growing athlete, it adds up fast. And with the holidays coming, the list of sports-themed needs and wants is likely getting longer and longer. But sports don't need to be exclusive to families with money to spare: You can give the gift of sport on a budget.
Here, parents and coaches have shared their top tips on how to save money while ensuring your athlete has everything he or she needs to succeed.
1. Give experiences (with rentals)
Often, parents assume that it's necessary to get their athletes a full set of gear for every activity, but many times, renting once or twice is much more cost-effective. If your child is interested in a sport but hasn't joined a team or fully committed, look for rental options or gear you can borrow before you decide to buy the entire setup. And experiences like a day at a downhill bike park with a bike rental or a session at the local batting cage can help improve performance without adding to your gear closet at home.
2. Check Facebook Marketplace and other used gear sites
In addition to Facebook Marketplace, you may have a sporting good consignment store in your area, and those can be treasure troves for gently used gear. Because young athletes grow so quickly, used gear is typically still in great condition since it's rarely used for more than a season. Check on local parent groups on social media to see if anyone has old gear they're not using. Some parents might be so happy to clear out a garage that you'll get nearly-new sporting goods for free.