Sports, Fitness and Household Budgets

Sports expenses include all expenses incurred on attending live sports events. Some examples of these costs are entrance fees, food and drinks. Sports expenses also include money spent on participation in sports on items such as participation fee, clothing, footwear, food and drink, and purchase or hiring of equipment.

Sports expenses in detail

As per 2012 data, the average UK household spent £2 every week, or around £104 each year, on sports watching and participation. Out of the total spending on sports, a major portion, or £1.40 every week is spent on participation.

Participation in sports

As per the Active People Survey of Sports England, among the various sports, the maximum number of people in the UK participate in swimming. This is followed by athletics, cycling, and football. For participation in sports, people pay either a monthly or yearly membership fees or a fixed fee per session.

Example 1: Swimming

Taking the example of Medway Park in Kent, a swimming session for an adult costs £4.80 for a non-member and £3.00 for a member of the club. The fee for a junior under 16 is £3.20 for a member and £1.90 for a non-member. For regular swimmers, a monthly membership option is available at £17.5 each month, which allows unlimited swimming.

Example 2: Badminton

Continuing with the Medway Park example, a 60-minute session of badminton costs £8.20 during peak hours of 5 to 1030 PM between Mondays and Fridays. During off-peak hours of 630 AM to 5 PM, the badminton session costs £6.25. The cost of hiring a racquet is £2.40.

Watching sports

In 2012, over 75 million spectators attended live sports events. While the number was extraordinarily high in that year due to the London Olympic and Paralympic games, which was attended by 11 million people, the numbers give an indication of the most popular sport. Not surprisingly football was the most attended sport with 42.2 million attendees or more than the half of the total number of spectators in 2012.

Example 3: Barclays Premier League

For the Barclays Premier League, ticket prices vary by clubs. Ticket options include match-day tickets or season tickets. As per BBC's 2013 annual survey of price of football, among the clubs, Arsenal tickets are the most expensive with the highest match day ticket at £126. The cheapest ticket is £6 at Montrose. Among season tickets, again Arsenal is the most expensive at £1,955 and Montrose was the lowest at £90. Among food and drinks, Crystal Palace and Kidderminster had the costliest pies at £4, and Manchester United had the most expensive tea at £2.50.

Sports expenses as part of the household budget

Money spent on participative sports is an investment as it can provide long-term benefits and savings on healthcare expenses. You should consider taking long-term memberships to save on these costs. Similarly watching spectator sports can be an enriching experience and can also serve as an inspiration for kids. As such, sports expenses should be a part of every household's budget. Our household budget calculator will help you in seeing the role of sports expenses in your household finances.