Survey: Parents believe investing in these will make their children wealthy

Almost 100% of the parents that reported spending at least $4,000 a year on these kinds of programs professed that their kid will earn more money.

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A new report from CompareCards.com revealed that 81% of parents believe there is a beneficial correlation between the amount of money they spend on extracurricular activities for their children, and the degree it will pay off later. Forty-six percent of parents spend more than a grand a year on their kids’ nonscholastic activity, and 27% spend more than $2,000.

Ninety-percent of the parents that reported spending at least $4,000 a year on these kinds of programs professed that their kid will earn money from it one day. Ninety-four percent of these optimistic parents are currently in debt due to this investment, and two-thirds admitted that maintaining these expenses causes them emotional stress.


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The most popular mode of this strategy is sports. Thirty percent of parents reported dumping money into the various costs that accompany joining a sports team, with music following at 16%. Check out the complete list below:

  1. Sports (30%)
  2. Music (16%)
  3. Dance (15%)
  4. Gymnastics (12%)
  5. Cheerleading (9%)
  6. Martial arts (8%)
  7. Beauty pageants (3%)
  8. Debate team (3%)

It pays to be well-rounded

Of the 62% of parents that are currently in debt, one in 10 owes more than $5,000.

The study noted two interesting trends: the more parents spent, the more likely they were to believe their children’s income would benefit from these expenses, in addition to being more likely to be stressed. Seventy-six of respondents that reported spending more than $4,000 said they were burdened to some degree because of it.

Plastic is the most popular mode of paying for these activities by a pretty significant margin (42%).

The authors of the study, encourage parents to handle their children’s aspirations with care,  however extravagant but dually warned about the harsh realities of the likelihood associated with many of the occupations mentioned above.

“Despite what 81% of our respondents say, most kids are never going to earn a dime from the activity that’s their passion. Some may eventually make a little bit of money on the side, like a musician playing gigs around town for some side cash or a former athlete refereeing recreational league games for a few extra bucks.”


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.