I am sure that I am not the only child who grew up wanting to have a family pool. I feel like I grew up with gills, wanting to spend every free moment in the summers swimming. What made the issue worse was the proximity of my neighbor’s pool and the limited number of times that we were invited to swim in the pool. From my front yard, I could see the neighbors having fun, enjoying their in-ground pool. After much begging and pleading, my parents bought an-above-the-ground pool and I couldn’t be happier.
Not everyone can afford a pool, but many people are spending the big bucks for a backyard pool. In some ways, it seems like it has become part of the American dream. Instead of a white-picket fence, a backyard pool has become the norm. My in-laws just remarked on how 50% of their neighbors have their a private pool. It has led me to wonder if young families should buy a pool. There is nothing like providing your children with great memories growing up, but is it the best decision?
Buying a Pool is Unnecessary and EXPENSIVE
Most people when considering buying a pool think about the upfront costs. I recently heard a friend of mine spending somewhere between $10k-$15k on a pool. He was excited to get it for his family and he has a pretty good job where he can afford it. Sounds like a small investment for many hours of fun and enjoyment right? As it turns out, maintaining a pool costs money as well. When you factor in both costs, it hardly seems worth it. Here’s what I mean…
My wife and I recently bought a pool membership for the community pool. It cost us $300 for the both of us and we can go as often as we like for the entire summer. It is a great way to enjoy the nice weather in the summer and gives us something to do. It’s a cheap hobby when you average it out. For $300 a year, we can enjoy the benefits of a pool, but without the large costs associated with owning a private pool. Sure, we don’t have as much privacy, but that hardly matters. I would much rather be around people than relaxing in a private pool without anyone to enjoy it with.
Buying a Pool Contributes towards an Unhealthy Society
Buying a pool is a symbol of being able to do whatever you want with your money because it’s yours. It’s your money, you should be able to do whatever you want with it, right? This is the message that we tell our kids. We tell them that the only things that matter is us – not anyone else. Unfortunately, this is part of a larger problem that we only look out for ourselves. This is the same reason that we hate paying taxes and are reluctant to give to charities. Buying a pool is a poor waste of resources and uses a lot of energy, which in turn pollutes the air that we breath and leads to an unhealthy society.
Before you jump at the opportunity to give your children the lifestyle that you never had, consider the costs of buying a private pool. Perhaps there is a cheap alternative to spending the summer in the backyard pool that teaches your children more about money.