Most Memberships Make Moneysense
Posted by Beckie | Filed under Beckie
I think that is definitely enough M’s for a catchy title!
Life with little kids is hectic to say the least and we often spend our family time doing ordinary things like going to the grocery store, playing at the park, and visiting friends and family. But we also live close to Toronto, and although living here has its pitfalls (insane real estate prices and gridlock, for instance) we are also thankful to be able to take advantage of the many wonderful cultural, educational and fun institutions.
Of course the other practical reason for us to be out of the house is because if we aren’t home, we can’t make a mess in the house. Sometimes it looks like a food fight happened after a meal and it almost makes me wish we had a dog to eat the mess off the floor. But I digress…
As a family, we generally have memberships to about two or three places within a 30 minute driving distance. Although I mentioned in an earlier blog that I wasn’t so keen on taking frequent and expensive vacations while my kids were little (involving airplane travel), I do think that having fun locally is the easiest way for our family to experience different things. Since my daughter (age 2) still naps in the afternoons, we usually get up really early to avoid the inevitable crowds, and leave right after lunch.
I try to time the renewal of our memberships so we can take advantage of Canada’s Wonderland and the Toronto Zoo in warmer months and visit the Science Centre during the winter. So sometimes we take a break visiting a place and I wait a few months before renewing, to effectively prolong our fun by a few months (and postponing the bill). As many places advertise, usually we break even after visiting a place twice, so in my mind visiting a place three or more times is generally a fiscally sound decision.
But of course, there is a caveat. If you don’t visit a place a certain number of times, the memberships are just a waste of money. Some of us (gym…cough cough) have been guilty of doing that at one time or another in our lives. And despite my weak stomach, the “little dude” has recently become enamoured with roller coasters after a visiting relative took him on the older kid rides (e.g. The Ghoster Coaster and the Silver Streak). He thinks the new rides are “awesome!”
Note to self: buy some Gravol