By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Have your children been glued to the TV watching the summer Olympics?

It’s isn’t hard to understand how the Olympic Games can inspire a lot of budding athletes, but as any parent knows, kids’ sports can cost lots of cash. So 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on how to save.

An Olympic-sized commitment to a sport can take a financial toll on a family, as lessons, travel and equipment add up. The 2012 Games have a lot of youngsters starry-eyed with dreams of Olympic glory right now.

If your budding Olympian wants to dive into a sport head first, Janet Bodnar from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance advises taking things slow at the start. She says, “It’s really good to give your kids, I think, a broad experience, but you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to overdo it on yourself, and you don’t want to overdo it on the kids.”

Sports equipment can be a waste of cash if your child loses interest, so don’t buy new right away.

“Get something used. Get something used first, at least for the first one, maybe even through the first couple of seasons, until the kids, again, really make a commitment to this,” Bodnar says.

Purchase new equipment at the end of a sport’s season, when items are likely to be on sale.

With gas prices still high, shuttling kids to and from practices and travel team matches can add up. A carpool is a cost-saving and time-saving move. As for multiple kids, check with your local youth league, pool or gym to see if they have a discount for families. Some do, all you have to do is ask.

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