Perhaps it’s a sunny day outside or maybe you’re making a “where-to-go” list for your vacation. You or the First Lady of the home recommends going to X-park or Y-event and if you’re like me, your mind starts calculating…(hit dream sequence music), For all of us to go that’s $25 per ticket x 7 equals $175 and we’ll only be there 5 hours, so really that’s $35 per hour of entertainment/activity. I don’t make that much at work per hour!”
Now let me introduce the CornerstoneDad-Cost-to-Fun-Factor (CCFF)! During the summer, my family hates to spend time inside the house. I don’t even like to visit other people if I know all we’re going to do is sit inside on a bright sunny day. Therefore, we tend to be a bit more loose with the entertainment envelope as we seek out places to take the kids without breaking the entire budget. Please still understand, If It’s Free, It’s Me! That’s still this CornerstoneDad’s motto, but sometimes you just have to unfold the wallet and do what you have to do for the family, something you already know as a CornerstoneDad.
So again, here’s our equation:
1.) Price per ticket x number of tickets = Total Cost
2.) Total Cost / Length of Time having fun = Total Cost per Hour (or minute depending how you far you want to calculate)
3.) Whatever the result, that decides whether we go or not.
Now for an example:
Major League baseball game tickets for decent seats run about $40 per ticket. A game lasts about 3 hours. So for all 7 of us to attend a game, the CCFF is over $93! If I include the $10 for parking (we’re not parking close, we all need the exercise anyway), $5 for a program, and my kids already know I do not stand for being gouged at the concession stand, that bumps the CCFF up over $98. Now you all know I’m a baseball fan all the way through, but it’s hard for me to justify paying that much money to watch a bunch of millionaires play ball when, like LeBron James reminded me, when I wake up tomorrow I’ll have my same problems (like financial ones) and they will be just fine.
Now the CCFF does not take into account other factors that may make an unreasonable high score a trip to consider. If my children have never attended a baseball game or there was a special team/player that they wanted to see, I may just shell out the cash. But where it comes in handy is reflected in a trip to an amusement park. The total between parking and tickets was around $140 (Twilight rate but only from 5-10pm) for a CCFF of $29. Now, if we would have done the typical all-day trip, the CCFF would have been around $40. Therefore, we went after 5pm, did not have to buy food and just wander around the park to get our money’s worth. The best part, the park was less crowded and the kids were still able to ride the “necessary” roller coasters.
Now how about you? Do you use something like the CCFF with your family and how have the results been? Has it worked out well? If not, give it a try and let us know the results.