File this phenomenon under the heading ‘I Don’t Get It’. Parents are now going into debt to fund their kids sports and extracurricular activities because they believe that the skills will help them earn more money some day. What?
The recent survey from LendingTree.com, shows that 8 out of 10 of today’s parents believe that the money they spend on sports (30%), music (16%), dance (16%), gymnastics (15%), cheerleading (9%), martial arts (8%), and even beauty pageants (3%), is an investment that will pay off financially for their kids.
And these parents are serious about it. The survey says 62% of these parents are going into debt to fund the activities – about $3,000 already on average. Most of the debt is racked up on credit cards and 64% of them are already “stressed about being able to pay” the debt off.
I wrote this post about the surprising cost of kids’ sports when I joined a tennis club a few years ago. Since then, I’ve spoken with dozens of people who pay thousands and thousands of dollars each year on sports – sometimes for more than one kid in their household. Our son was in scouts, band, ran cross-country/track, and which maybe cost us hundreds of dollars a year, but certainly not thousands.
As a public service, I thought I would include this chart which shows the very long odds of making money in professional sports (source) …
I’m a big fan of sports at all levels – high school, college, and professional. These and other activities are a lot of what a well-lived life is filled with. That said, anyone who thinks these are solid investments for making money in the future (except in a small number of unique cases) are seriously deluding themselves.
Image Credit: Pixabay