Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pool pros and cons

When we bought this house - the pool was kind of an afterthought. We loved the house, the location, and the land, but the pool didn't really figure into our choices. I knew having a pool would be wonderful! I pictured the great free entertainment for the whole family. I looked forward to having groups of friends, family, and students over for all kinds of get togethers. And it HAS been incredible, it certainly is a way to stay active and outside when it is unbearably hot. But, I don't think I even thought of the expense of maintaining a pool! The chemicals are running roughly $100 -150 a month. Maybe it would be less if I knew what I was doing. I'm learning. Maybe that estimate is high as some of the expense so far has been getting the pool started for the summer.

I didn't realize that the pool would also mean probably 1 load of laundry extra per day. The water bill must surely be affected with putting water in the pool and increased showers. Not to mention the $20 a month we are spending on sunscreen! Also, I don't know why but something about having a pool means you have to cook out more. I spend probably $30 a month more on steaks and hamburgers and things to grill outside. We grilled some fish in packets with a few veggies last week and they were wonderful!

If I was super frugal I could probably cut out a lot of these costs and make it more reasonable, and I could buy pool chemicals throughout the year for use in the summer to even out the summer budgeted amount. But overall, it is probably worth it. I think with a pool you stay at home more- a stay-cation is easy! The kids can't stand the thought of leaving the house for a day with no swimming! I'd much rather have them swimming than using any kind of electronics! Nobody has cared at all that we don't have a TV in this house, or that we haven't hooked up the wii.
Here's what they are up to when they AREN'T in the pool. The dog just looks at me with a miserable face, like, "Can't you make them let me inside so I can nap?"

This picture (with TV) was taken at my parent's house. I've never seen a kid so affected by what she reads! After The Secret Garden all she wanted to do was plant. After After reading the Little Princess, Gracie wanted a china doll, and suddenly she wants to wear dresses all the time. And she does chores with a "princess attitude." So she bought this doll with her own money at a junk shop.

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