Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nickel and Diming

When my oldest daughter started preschool this fall I paid them a pretty good chunk of money. They had an option to give us a 5% discount on tuition if we paid for the whole year up front. I had been socking away some money for a while and had enough to manage this, so I went ahead and did it. Better making 5% on the money than 2% in my savings, right?

I felt really lucky to have had the money to be able to do this. We’ve been through some tough financial times in the past, and I think we learned some really valuable lessons about debt and savings. That’s not what I want to write about today though.

What I want to write complain about today is how this preschool has been squeezing us for more and more money, and it hasn’t even been 2 months yet! Just off the top of my head, here are all the things they’ve said we need to pay for on top of tuition:
  • Ice cream day
  • Field trip
  • School shirt to wear to field trip
  • School pictures
  • Yearbook
  • Book Order
  • Candy to throw from parade float
  • Birthday treats to share with the class
I am not a stingy person. I want my daughter to have things the other kids have, and I want her to be happy and enjoy school. However, this is just completely over the top. We paid for preschool already, not to mention paying an ENROLLMENT FEE and a great big BOOK FEE. This isn’t even a fancy shmancy preschool. It’s a nice church-based program.

So what gives? ME. Hahahaha.


Really – does a 4-year-old need a yearbook? It’s ridiculous. Matching t-shirts for a field trip? That’s what they tried to get me to buy this morning and it finally set me off.

The note says, “All students are to wear their L.S. Preschool T-shirts and/or hoodies.” I didn’t even know they had L.S. Preschool gear. And of course the field trip is tomorrow.

Did I pony up the money for the t-shirt? I know you’re wondering…

I did not. I refused. I told her teacher that it was too last minute and I didn’t have the money for it. She’s a good woman, and I caught her nodding her head when I inadvertently (I couldn’t stop them!) rolled my eyes about buying shirts for a field trip that we are chaperoning.

Later I complained to my husband about how that school is nickel and diming the heck out of us. He agreed and was very sympathetic while I ranted about how all these $5's and $10's are adding up. Even though he hasn’t been the one forking over the money on a practically weekly basis, he is dealing with preschool while he’s off work this week, and he’s the one going with her on the field trip tomorrow. So I told him it was his call.

And guess what?

He is going to buy her a t-shirt when he picks her up today. He says she can use it multiple times throughout the year and it’ll be fun for her to have a shirt with her school’s name on it. I totally bet he gets the hoodie too.

In the words of Precious Roy…. SUCKER!


Becky said...

That is a lot of extra stuff for the school to have you pay for in only 2 months! Our school has a limit on how much they can ask parents to pay for in a year. After that limit has been met, they have to plan things differently. They also have to let the parents know the amount a year ahead of time. I'm feeling for you. I whould have never suspected that a pre-school would have a "hoodie" or a yearbook.

Lynzee said...

I noticed the same thing when my kids started preschool. Now, in elementary school, it's even worse! They wear uniforms to school and on 'dress down' days they make the kids pay $1 to wear street clothes to school. Not to mention snacks, book orders, fund raisers, yearbooks, and of course school logo attire. I was more staunch about not buying extra things last year, but when your kids look up at you and ask for a Jamestown tshirt they can wear to school spirit day it's hard to say no.

Amanda said...

Amen sista. We paid about 300 bucks in Ocotober for the school's music classes and field trips. We had to say no to their 58 dollar yoga and extra math classes and getting our child's art put onto a mug for 30 bucks each...yep I could have 3 precious cups for the low low cost of 90 bucks. I hate the feeling stingy but at some point enough is enough. What happened to lining the kids up for a tacky class picture while saving year books for high school and making paper name tags for field trips to the zoo that the school paid for?