GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - In a recent survey many parents say they are spending between $100 and $500 per month for each child to play sports. And nearly 20 percent are paying at least $1,000 a month.

That might seem like a lot, but think of the price of equipment, travel, summer camps and even personal trainers. But unfortunately, all of this is coming at a cost to their savings. One-third of those parents say they are not regularly putting money aside for retirement, and more than half say they have no long-term financial plan.

“I understand the desire to give kids as many opportunities as possible, but it’s important for parents to strike a balance,” said Mike Kojonen, owner of Principal Preservation Services.

Not only are parents putting off saving for retirement, many are also not saving for their kids’ college. Sixty-seven percent of parents believed their kid would get an athletic scholarship to college, but only 24 percent did.

Kojonen suggests that parents need to take a more realistic view. “Try enrolling kids in the same activities on a level that’s less competitive - and less expensive,” said Kojonen.

Another idea that he suggests is to have a child pick one (or maybe two) sports instead of multiple sports.

Tips to avoid overspending on kids’ sports:

1. Be Realistic
2. Invest Your Time
3. Set Goals
4. Get a Winning Coach

For information on a wide variety of aging-related topics, call the Minnesota Board on Aging’s “Senior Linkage Line”. Experts will answer your questions weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. The toll free number to call is 1 (800) 333-2433.