Our Pool Membership – An Epic Failure

August 18, 2013 at 9:52 PM 6 comments

Hanging Out At The Pool

In the middle of July during a particular hot week, (the temperature peaked at a toasty 97 degrees), the pool in our area began offering a reduced membership for the month of August.

Originally the price was listed as $185 per family plus an $85 maintenance fee. Divided over thirty-one days the pool would cost $8.70 per day if we used it each and every day of August. That was much more than I was willing to spend so I shelved the idea completely.

About a week later when temperatures were still in the upper 90s the price dropped to $99, which resulted in a daily price of $3.19. That seemed like a really good deal. 80 and 90 degree days are commonplace in DC during the month of August so I chatted with my husband about the cost and then handed over my credit card info.

On the first few visits my son had a great time jumping in the kiddie pool. On more than one occasion we were the only people there so he had free reign to splash around, but as he became more familiar with the area he grew tired of the kiddie pool and asked to venture into the regular pool which ranges from three to nine feet deep.

Unfortunately for me he isn’t really interested in swimming as much as he is running back and forth along the pool deck, which is, of course, an activity that is strictly forbidden. He likes to step onto the ladder on one end of the pool, dip his toes in, climb back up the ladder, run along the side of the pool and then climb down the ladder where the water is even deeper. Of course he’s not old enough to swim, which means I have to climb out of the pool to chase him down and make certain that he doesn’t actually jump in after he climbs down the second ladder.

Some days he listens better than others, but on the days when he isn’t listening it is no fun to be at the pool. I spend my entire time there jumping in and out of the water making sure that he doesn’t accidentally slip into it.

It’s also been remarkably nice weather for August, which means most days I’m content to take my son to the park or playground. The water at the pool is exceptionally cold so if the weather is not really hot it’s just not that enjoyable to swim there.

All of this has resulted in us visiting the pool just a handful of times in the last three weeks.

Unfortunately we won’t get a whole lot of use out of the next few weeks either. Being new to the pool I didn’t realize that hours change after school starts in our area. Starting Monday, opening hours will move from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm.

I typically take my son early in the morning, because his afternoon nap ends very close to the time I need to start cooking dinner. That means I’ll need to prepare meals ahead of time if I want to go to the pool after his nap rather than before it. Odds are that it will be enough of a bother that I be less inclined to drive over there in the early evening. At the very least it will involve much more planning.

Needless to say our $99 pool membership did not turn out to be a good deal after all. We’ll be lucky if we make it to the pool ten times in the entire month of August. If we hit that magic number, which I’m not so sure of, the daily cost of visiting will be roughly $9 a day.

It turns out as alumni members we could have attended the university pool for only $7 a day and I wouldn’t feel pressured to go just because we already paid for a membership.

So live and learn. Who knows what next year will be like, he’ll be older and perhaps more interested in swimming. I think the lesson is to try out things on a day to day basis rather than signing up for a monthly or seasonal membership. In this case we would have been better off paying for daily admission.

How about you? Do you belong to a pool? If so, how often do you visit it?

Entry filed under: spending money. Tags: .

Now What? Just One of Those Days

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. elle sees  |  August 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    oh no! but at least you learned that it wouldn’t work for you.

    Reply
    • 2. One Frugal Girl  |  August 19, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      $99 down the drain isn’t such a bad lesson. Imagine if I’d purchased a membership for the whole summer!

      Reply
  • 3. Ellen K.  |  August 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Our Y has a separate outdoor pool membership; this year the price dropped from $150 to $75 for long-time members, so we thought we could swing that. I think we’ve been three times. My girls are 4.5; one twin is a bolter and the other is a clinger… on land. In the water, it’s the opposite. Needless to say, I cannot take both to the pool by myself. It’s not fair to anyone. Also, the sun and water wipes me out for the rest of the day, so it’s better if we go as a family so that there is one awake adult in the house. : P

    I was amused to hear the girls’ preschool aide say that her dad refuses to get the outdoor pool membership and still rants about wasting money for two years in a row. There are 6 kids in the family, all very athletic and attractive, but even they never went to the pool.

    Reply
    • 4. One Frugal Girl  |  August 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Oh Ellen K. I see parents with multiple kids at the pool and I have no idea how they manage to keep them all afloat. It seems one always wants to go one place and the other is running in the opposite direction. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who failed to use my membership. It makes me a feel a little better about the error :)

      Reply
  • 5. Elizabeth  |  August 21, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    This is totally unrelated to your post, but I was reading the comments to an article on Alisa Bowan’s site and saw your name and remembered your blog! I apparently fall in and out of blog topics, so my reading shifts, but I remembered you and wanted to say hi and hello and I hope all is well. :)

    Reply
    • 6. One Frugal Girl  |  August 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Hi Elizabeth – It seems your blog fell off my radar as well! I think you must have changed domains because I recognized the dog, but I thought your blog was called something else. Things have been great. How are you?

      Reply

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