Author Topic: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.  (Read 5373 times)

fartface

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Daughter tried out for a competitive cheer/dance team. After six hours of try outs, came home elated last night b/c she was chosen for this 'select' team.

Along w/that came a huge stack of paperwork with (to name a few) fees:

$400 for camp
$ 80 backpack (WTF?)
$ 80 shoes
$ 85 uniform
$100 practice outfits
$150 music/choreography fee

MANDATORY strength, conditioning, and tumbling classes to the tune of ~$100/month.

And I only got about 3/4 of the way through the paperwork. There are also little nickel and dime costs like 'treat bags' and 'sign fees' and such. They want her attending these classes Mon - Thurs half of June and all of July PLUS practice. That's pretty much her whole summer break. On top of it all theres a full page of 'fundraisers'. Excuse me...I'm paying $1000+ for the privilege of this 'select' team and you want me to FUNDRAISE on top of it?

So....I'm trying not to kill her excitement and pride in making this team by complaining about the over the top exorbitant costs...however, I can't help but wonder if we're suckers. And if we are, how do you tell a young girl that? It means the world to her.

Also, disturbing to me, clearly this is a 'privileged class' kind of sport. I've got a surplus of $4K in checking right now. I've saved $25K already this year in retirement, brokerage, and college accounts. Clearly, I can afford this, but it's bothering me more than it should.

Do I just suck this up and watch my daughter enjoy the sport? Encourage her to try something different? Heck, the little school sponsored pom-pom team is nearly free and does not require the huge time commitment.

Also, forgot to mention, I have a SECOND daughter who is also in this sport and wants to "try out" in two years when she's eligible....aaarghhh

gecko10x

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 06:32:05 AM »
My initial reaction was holy crap that's a lot for a sport with no equipment! But I've paid $50+/ mo for the past 3 years for my now 5 yr old to be in gymnastics, so it probably isn't all that bad.

I'd say that since you can afford it, if that's what she wants to do, just suck it up and budget for it. Sports are expensive. If you couldn't afford it, that would be a different story.

math-ya

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 07:13:26 AM »
Def sounds like the business to be in. Charge the parents whatever you want b/c you know they are going to pay. Sorry, that sucks- but I bet all the fees are legit. If they aren't, and they're charging everyone- it's fraud.
You act like this taking up her whole summer is a bad thing.. Isn't this what she wants to do?

sheepstache

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 07:26:06 AM »
Ugh, thanks for the heads up. Helpful to let other parents know to insist on knowing the full costs of the program before letting their kid try out.

You act like this taking up her whole summer is a bad thing.. Isn't this what she wants to do?

Maybe she's pointing out the issue of commuting costs.

Bob W

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 08:02:05 AM »
That is too much!   Find away for her to earn the money.

fartface

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 08:21:09 AM »
Def sounds like the business to be in. Charge the parents whatever you want b/c you know they are going to pay. Sorry, that sucks- but I bet all the fees are legit. If they aren't, and they're charging everyone- it's fraud.
You act like this taking up her whole summer is a bad thing.. Isn't this what she wants to do?

I'm a teacher and husband is FIRE'd, therefore we're usually traveling most of the summer. This year we're not planning any major out of state trips, but my sister from Colorado just bought a 5th wheel and is spending her summer here in Wisconsin. We were going to buy a pop-up and tool around the state with them (doing lots of stay-cations).

So to answer your question, yes it's a bad thing to be 'grounded' here in our hometown Monday - Thursday for six out of eight weeks. She's 14 now, and in two years will get a job. I just want to squeeze in as much family time as possible before the real world creeps in.

UPDATE: We had a long talk this morning when she woke up. She really wants to spend most of her summer with our extended family. I told her the costs are secondary to the time commitments BUT they are also a factor. We're going to take the weekend to think about it. I also contacted the Pom-Pom coach to find out the time commitment/costs of being on THAT team. We're keeping an open mind and weighing all the options before signing on the dotted line!

Janie

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 08:26:46 AM »
Many kids her age work babysitting, pet sitting, dog walking, etc.

Dee18

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 08:34:20 AM »
I did not see any mention of the costs of actually competing, such as entry fees, travel, hotels.  And have you attended one of these?  I did with my daughter and it was an unbelievably painful experience with horrendously loud music all day long.  Also consider the safety issue...will they be doing pyramids? 
It is a tough situation because she competed and made it, but it sounds like you had a good talk about it.  I headed my daughter off from this, but before tryouts so it was easier. 

GizmoTX

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 08:39:46 AM »
At age 13, my son & his friend decided they wanted to do the Boy Scout Entrepreneurship merit badge, which requires starting & running a small business for at least 6 months. His friend walked dogs in his neighborhood. My son decided to grow & sell organic tomatoes. After paying for all expenses, he netted over $400. He did it again the following summer.

fartface

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 09:02:46 AM »
Many kids her age work babysitting, pet sitting, dog walking, etc.

Yep - she is Red Cross certified in babysitting and walks dogs/pet sits as much as she can (has never turned down a job opportunity). She also started her own online business on Etsy (all on her own - pulled in $200 one week - REALLY impressed me).
 
However, jobs are few and far between. She LOVES animals. At 14 she can volunteer at our local Human Society -- already submitted her application (though technically doesn't turn 14 until May).

I did not see any mention of the costs of actually competing, such as entry fees, travel, hotels.  And have you attended one of these?  I did with my daughter and it was an unbelievably painful experience with horrendously loud music all day long.  Also consider the safety issue...will they be doing pyramids? 
It is a tough situation because she competed and made it, but it sounds like you had a good talk about it.  I headed my daughter off from this, but before tryouts so it was easier.

Oh, yes, currently both of my daughters do this at the middle school level. It is everything you say and more. I always forget my earplugs! Each year they fundraise to pay for entry fees. I pay for everything else, but most competitions are within an hour or two from home so we rarely pay for a hotel.

They do pyramids (aka stunting) and look just like the pros on TV. My youngest is a "flyer" so gets thrown up on the top often. It's fun to watch, and they truly love this sport.

At the middle school level the time commitment was manageable...moving up to the HS level is intense and overwhelming (hence my Ask a Mustachian post).

Thanks everyone for your replies, feedback, and questions!

mm1970

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 09:09:46 AM »
Well, I would think you can cut the costs a little bit, but probably only the backpack (WTF is right).

But yeah, get her to hustle to make more money, and fundraising?  Eh...

Olde Stache

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2015, 09:17:46 AM »
I had this same issue with my daughter a few years ago.  I thought the costs were way too high, but went ahead with the program anyway.  It was a good move for her and she really enjoyed the program.  She is a junior in college now and still is interested and follows her old team on Facebook. 

I would not have thought so at first, but now believe it was good for her.  It built her self-confidence and she made a lot of friends.  The team was also in Wisconsin.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 09:49:55 AM »
I'd look at it as an investment in your daughter.  She is going to be involved in a sport requiring commitment and discipline to excel. Seems a much better way to spend her summer than hanging around the house - lots of idle time leaves a lot of time to get in trouble. Participating on a team may also be something to distinguish her when the college admissions process rolls around.

jamaicaspanish

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2015, 10:04:50 AM »
fwiw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBCa82iAt8o

just another concern that's worth keeping in mind.
(sorry for the quality of the link)

lakemom

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2015, 10:29:43 AM »
A good lesson in WHY to find out the total costs associated with a sport/league/dance troupe etc. BEFORE you allow them to "try out."  I too learned this the hard way many moons ago and from then on we negotiated costs/time commitment before the kids were allowed to participate in these types of activities.

Cwadda

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2015, 10:31:37 AM »
Could this lead into a full college scholarship?

JLee

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2015, 10:48:51 AM »
Hey at least she's not into (automotive) endurance racing..that can set you back $700 for one weekend. :P

larmando

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2015, 10:49:57 AM »
Also consider the possibility that people telling you it's a great investment are just falling for it too, or have to justify to themselves previous expenses. I'd say it all boils down to: what's the "per family member entertainment budget"? If below avoid it, if above go for it. Doing otherwise is just lifestyle inflation and leads to "but I also want to spend" situations.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2015, 11:10:15 AM »
If she really wants to do it, she should find ways to earn the money, or at least an agreed upon percentage of it.

Personally I hate the time commitments of organized sports. I thought that way even as a kid myself. I gave up on team sports when the commitments got in the way of jobs that earned money, granted I wasted all of that money, but...

No right or wrong decision here, just a values one.

madamwitty

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Re: Trying not to let my stinginess interfere with Daughter's Joy.
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2015, 11:21:45 AM »
Tough call! I'm with the "have her pay for part of it" camp.