Author Topic: Summer swimming pool membership  (Read 3524 times)

Crummelhart

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Summer swimming pool membership
« on: March 23, 2016, 10:02:31 AM »
We are a new mustachian family and summer will soon be upon us and I would love some advice!
Do we buy a pool membership?  It costs $500 to join the town swimming pool.  We only use the pool once or twice a week and it's open from mid-May to mid-September.  You can not pay for individual days.

 I know it's a ridiculous waste of money, but our four kids love swimming and the social aspect of running into a bunch of kids from school.  We've been pool members for years.  Can I take that away?

What would you do?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 10:10:15 AM by Crummelhart »

rubybeth

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 10:08:12 AM »
Is it $500 for the whole family? So $500 for 4 kids plus two adults? And how long is the swimming season? Assuming it's 3 months, and you go about 2x/week, it's about $20 per visit for the whole family, or about $3.50 per person. That doesn't seem all that costly, and maybe you will go more often than 2x per week. I'd hope that this isn't a financial strain.

I would probably say to go for it--swimming is really good for kids, keeps them active, tires them out so they eat/sleep well, gives them something to do and less "I'm bored" whining. At least, that's how my parents justified putting a pool in our backyard when I was a kid. :)

zephyr911

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 10:25:30 AM »
I wouldn't call it a ridiculous waste. Swimming is one of the healthiest possible summer activities, as long as you avoid sunburn. I swim every day in the summer if I can, and I'd pay that much for my whole family to do it.

It sure beats spending tens of thousands on your own pool.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 10:31:28 AM »
Ours is about $850, which I think is crazy but its cheaper than the costs to maintain/insure a pool of our own...not to mention the cost to actually put in a pool.  A friend of mine has an above ground pool and he said he estimates that between chemicals, water, electric for the pumps its about $500-700 a summer not including additional insurance.  He also had to replace a liner last year, which was steep. 

Our kids use it many days of the week - sometimes all day 12-9pm and sometimes only for a few hours.

So yes its a lot, but we find it worth it from a social, active, and parental sanity. 

slugline

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 10:32:22 AM »
Considering that we know nothing else about your financial situation, all I would suggest is thinking about available alternatives -- whether it's other spending, investing, or debt payoff -- and ask yourself if the pool is really the best use of $500. If it is, then at least you know you've followed your own values.

mm1970

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 10:41:20 AM »
How many people?  How many times?  Calculate the cost per person per use.

Mid-may to Mid-Sept = 16 weeks (approx) x 2 times per week x 4 people?  128 uses, or approx $4 per person per use.

norabird

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 10:52:00 AM »
I lived at the pool summers growing up and don't think that cost is too much if you have the budget for it.

BeanCounter

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 10:56:29 AM »
We pay $450 for our pool and tennis club. I think it's ridiculous, but it's also nearly all of our summer entertainment. I can't imagine my kids having a summer without pool trips. Could there be things that you could change to get more usage out of it? We will have a summer nanny (instead of sending them to camps while we work) and she will take the kids their during the week. We also carry in a picnic dinner after work on Friday's and do that as our family time.
If you can use it enough that it's $4 per person per trip, I can't think of very many less expensive family outings. Just make sure you pack lunch and snacks!!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 11:10:05 AM »
If I wasn't in a hair on fire debt emergency, I'd do it for sure.

Then I'd go to the pool more than 2 days a week.  The more days you use that pool membership, the fewer days the kids are going to want you to spend money on other things.  Plus, swimming is better than video games at home.

katstache92

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 12:12:56 PM »
I was at the pool constantly when I was a kid.  If we were suddenly unable to go to the pool I think we would have all gone stir crazy within days.

The pool is probably most of your entertainment budget for the summer plus there is a great social aspect that you can't necessarily find anywhere else.  Your kids get to spend their energy having fun and learning how to be comfortable in and around water which, in my opinion, is really important.

If it's important to you and your kids and you have the money for it, I would say go for it.

Noodle

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Re: Summer swimming pool membership
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 02:29:29 PM »
Assuming you are not in a serious financial emergency, if you live in one of the parts of the country where summer weather is oppressive, then definitely. $500 to have kids exercising and playing actively instead of sitting in AC is worth it. If you live somewhere where they can be doing other outdoor activities, then--maybe; I think before I cut something the kids love that promotes exercise and socialization, I would look seriously at other expenses, though. I have family with a pool membership and they find an extra benefit is being able to entertain there--they get use of a picnic shelter and pool admission for guests for a relatively nominal cost--they have a child's birthday mid-summer and will usually take their turn to host for a couple of organizations they belong to as well. People always seem excited to go to a pool party...