When I think of memberships, I usually think of unused gym memberships, or memberships to big box stores. I’ve never had a gym membership (which should probably not be a point of pride for my out-of-shape self…), and I dislike the idea of paying a store to allow you to spend money there. They may have great deals, and I’ve shared memberships with family or friends in the past, but overall, I disagree with spending money to spend more money.
Having a kid has made me think of memberships in a different way. Joining an organization you approve of and enjoy is a great way to show your support. It’s also a great way to save money! My son LOVES the Children’s Museum of Memphis. I loved it as a kid, but you can only go if you’re with a kid, so it had been a long time between visits for me! They often have special events – fun and educational, and they have a splash pad in summer. Now they have a refurbished carousel, which is gorgeous and a fun ride.
The downside was, it cost $20 per person per visit. That is EXPENSIVE! But the museum is a nonprofit, and I have a soft spot for nonprofits. I remember it from my childhood, and my son loves it. We were gifted a membership, and I am so thankful for it! A year-long membership for 4 guests is $140. That is cheaper than paying for 4 guests to visit twice. HUGE savings! The membership prices and benefits for the Memphis Zoo is pretty similar, and it’s also a nonprofit. Bonus: having a membership means free parking at both of these places! That’s a savings of $5 per visit!
The benefits to memberships like these when you have kids are so numerous. You’re saving money and time – instead of paying almost $100 per visit and having to stay for hours and hours to feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth, you can pop in and out for a shorter period of time. You can stop by one day after school, just for fun. You’re saving money and giving your kids (and your family) more time to have fun together and more ways to learn together.