How to finance your child’s sports dreams

Keep a buffer for any unexpected expenses (Illustration: Shrikrishna Patkar)

While building a fund for your child’s sports career, the range, and depth of engagement in a particular sports line will dictate the level of expenses for it.

The major expenses could involve sports trainer (technical) fees, training gear or playing equipment, gym trainer fees (including the things bought for home use such as Thera bands, foam roll, ice packs, weights and balancing ball), costs of hiring the ground or net, club membership fees, match playing fees, fees of a nutritionist, fees of a physiotherapist (to ensure that her form while playing is right and the longevity of the player is enhanced), costs of diet supplements such as protein, multivitamins, hydrating supplements, costs of consulting doctors, tests (blood and X-ray) as and when an injury happens, fees of a sports psychologist (plus costs of undergoing personality factor and mental endurance tests) and costs of undergoing regular cryotherapy.

Some area of sports may not need the additional costs. For example, a chess player may not require a physiotherapist or doctor’s fees.

The planning starts with listing the essential costs involved under various heads on a monthly, annual, ad-hoc and one-time basis. You can work out an average of the data for the past few years. It’s best to start investing in a sports fund on a monthly basis and keep digging into it for the expenses when they incur. Keep an extra buffer for 5-10%.

The key is to ensure that you don’t end up making ‘feel good expenses’ and eat into the essential ones. Some feel-good expenses could be costly brands of sports- kit, jersey and mode of conveyance.

It’s best to create a sports fund to fund these expenses through it rather than use the monthly surplus to fund these expenses in an unstructured manner.

The downside of using the monthly surplus for funding these costs is that the sports-related expenses could be asymmetrical (training fees could be lesser in off season, while expenses on physio and doctors could be higher in the playing season ).

While building a corpus for sports for the child it’s extremely critical to prioritize it besides your retirement expenses, other kid’s education expenses, pre-payment of home loan, taking a sabbatical, starting an enterprise and house purchase, etc.

In addition, be clear about the role of sports in the child’s life. Is it for recreation and for all-rounder personality development or it is as a career/ profession?

Be clear about the role of sports in the child’s life. If you can’t do the planning yourself, seek help for clarity, allocation of assets and future cash flows accordingly.

Deepali Sen is a certified financial planner and founder partner of Srujan Financial Advisers LLP.

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