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Nickel and dimed

I'm on a rant. I hate fundraisers. The elementary school wants me to buy something every other week. If it's not T-shirts, it's cookie dough, wrapping paper, or coupon books. The swim team–to which I already pay enough each month for a new car for God's sake–wants us to bake goods, sling pancakes, sponsor a swim-a-thon, and eat dinner at a local burger joint.

Clip box tops, turn in old phones and batteries, donate buckets and shovels for the new outdoor classroom. And on and on and on…

I know that for people who can't/don't want to pay the money without getting something in return, fundraisers are a great option, but for the rest of us it's nothing but a nuisance.

This is why my husband and I are so enamored of the all-inclusive vacation. Just tell me how much it will be up front and then leave me alone. My son's school offered this option. I took it. And they hit me up regularly anyway. Of course, if I don't come through, he feels like a pariah for being the only kid who didn't buy the T-shirt, cookie dough, or wrapping paper.

And we never order enough for him to get the stupid prize that's going to be cheap and unworthy anyway.

A couple of years ago my sons' school in VA had a cookie dough fundraiser for the PE department to buy Dance Dance Revolution. Never mind the irony of selling sweets to help the kids get healthy. I just didn't want the dough. So we wrote a check as a pure donation. The teacher looked at us funny, then took it. But here's the thing.

If I buy cookie dough, the school gets some cut of the money. If I write a check, the school gets all of it. Which makes more sense?

I really don't mind supporting my kids' schools, or their teams, but just don't nickel and dime me to death along the way.

Rant over.


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