Having grown up in a town where hockey is the predominant winter sport, there are tales of parents taking out loans at the beginning of the season just to pay for all of the equipment, fees, traveling, etc. This isn't exclusively with hockey--although, I must confess, my son played hockey for many years and even though it's not in the same town as where I grew up, it's still expensive. This can be for any of your child's activities.
What I suggest for those out there fighting this battle is this: start a sports fund.
The concept is simple. Figure out what you'll need for the entire season (or even for the entire year) and split that total up by 12. If you really want to get crazy, you could divide it by 26 if you get paid every two weeks, but going by a monthly budget, this works the best.
For example, let's say you figure out that all sports will cost around $2,000.
$2,000 / 12 months = $166.67 a month.
Okay, but what if your total sports costs around $5,000?
$5,000 / 12 months - $416.67 a month.