More Canadian families spending on kids' hockey than saving for school: survey
A survey released on Thursday suggests Canada’s favourite sport is becoming too expensive for the average family and kids’ education savings are being sacrificed.
The study, called "Beyond the Blue Line," was published Thursday, by the Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST), an RESP provider.
The report showed that approximately 66 per cent of Canadian parents have, or know someone who has, borrowed money or used retirement savings to put their children through extracurricular activities.
“When you see parents making choices to borrow money or put off things like saving for your child’s future, post-secondary education so you can pay for the hockey bill today – that’s a concern for us,” says Peter Lewis with the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.
The survey polled 1,500 Canadians and revealed one in four families regret signing their kids up for sports, 49% of those surveyed said they had to pull out of sports because they couldn’t afford them.
The Williams’ family is one of those forced to compromise.
“So our commitment is using the money we’d use for an extended holiday vacation things like that, the kids are willing to give that up to play hockey,” says Stacey Williams.
And it’s even more expensive if you play rep hockey, like Braden Henderson who travels almost every week from Kingston to Cambridge with their parents.
“Every time I’m on the ice I just want to prove that it’s worth it. They don’t say much about it but I know it’s hard for them but I appreciate it,” says Braden Henderson.
The Barrie Minor Hockey Association (BMHA) uses tournaments and sponsorships to keep costs down. Every August the used equipment swap helps families save hundreds of dollars.
“The last equipment swap we had we outfitted probably 75-1000 and the parents are so thankful that for $75 they were able to almost completely equip their children,” says Lisa Fox with BMHA.
Ultimately experts say there is way to keep your kid in the game but it involves being smart and also creative. Look into tax credits, saving money on equipment and travel costs because at the end of the day they say it’s not worth breaking the bank for a game.