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  #1  
Old 09-03-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Got A Great Idea From This Forum!

I'm kind of scared to post with the fear that I'm new and posting something that's been over posted and I'll be reprimanded for it! But, it is nothing "negative," so hopefully I'll be ok!

I was reading and saw a post about a provider who bills her parents a yearly rate, divided by months and she figures in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for herself! I LOVED that! So... I sent out an e-mail Friday!

Also, being that I earned my Bachelors degree in May (FINALLY!) I decided to give myself a bonus and I told all my parents I'd be giving myself paid holidays now! (I have always just not charged for any day I was not opened.) I know the paid vacation can be a hot topic - I saw a post on the parent forum that got pretty nasty! So, I was worried! Parents seem to have conflicting views on this. But, I know all my parents get paid holidays and whether I opened or not, I would rarely have kids on those days anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised when one of my parents e-mailed me back and told me she was "happy to pay me for holidays."

This is going to make my life so much easier! Now my pay will be the same every month instead of different, depending on if I closed for any reason! It's hard to close 2 days at Christmas time and lose hundreds of dollars of pay when I'm trying to buy gifts! Or lose hundreds when I close a couple of days for family vacation! That's when you really don't need a dent in your cashflow! I hope it works out! Has anyone else done this? Did it work for you? Any specific pitfalls I need to look out for??

Last edited by Michael; 09-04-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2011, 08:18 PM
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Glad to hear your parents took the info so well!!! I'm one of the lucky ones too that always has parents who feel I "deserve" more than I give myself sometimes, LOL!

I am confused by the yearly rate thing - I haven't read that one here. Can you explain it in more detail? I charge my parents weekly, some choose to pay every 2 weeks and that is fine but I am always afraid if they pay too far out I'm going to end up with issues if they are leaving, etc. I like to always be where I wouldn't have to refund anyone.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:25 PM
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I do this too... I started it about a year after I started doing daycare... I've been doing it @ 5 years now. I've never had a parent question it or complain. If they did, then they are not the kind of parents I'd want here anyway Good for you doing that. It does make lie SO much easier!!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleDiamonds View Post
Glad to hear your parents took the info so well!!! I'm one of the lucky ones too that always has parents who feel I "deserve" more than I give myself sometimes, LOL!

I am confused by the yearly rate thing - I haven't read that one here. Can you explain it in more detail? I charge my parents weekly, some choose to pay every 2 weeks and that is fine but I am always afraid if they pay too far out I'm going to end up with issues if they are leaving, etc. I like to always be where I wouldn't have to refund anyone.
Sure! (I was confused at first, too!) It is still a weekly rate.Here's the math: Say your rate is $100/week. There are 52 weeks in a year. You want to go ahead and figure in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for yourself. Instead od multiplying $100/week by 52weeks to get a yearly rate, you would multiply it by 50. So, that's $5,000 a year and parents can pay it out weekly at a rate of: $96.15/week. (That's $5,000 divided by 52 weeks.) Basically it is just figuring in your unpaid time off so that you can close when needed and not take a hit in income all at once. I told my parents I would keep a log of days I closed and if for any reason I went over the 2 weeks, I would deduct it from that month.

Does that make sense??
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:31 PM
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I do this too... I started it about a year after I started doing daycare... I've been doing it @ 5 years now. I've never had a parent question it or complain. If they did, then they are not the kind of parents I'd want here anyway Good for you doing that. It does make lie SO much easier!!!
Whew!! Good to know! Everything is so "trial and error" with this biz!
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
Sure! (I was confused at first, too!) It is still a weekly rate.Here's the math: Say your rate is $100/week. There are 52 weeks in a year. You want to go ahead and figure in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for yourself. Instead od multiplying $100/week by 52weeks to get a yearly rate, you would multiply it by 50. So, that's $5,000 a year and parents can pay it out weekly at a rate of: $96.15/week. (That's $5,000 divided by 52 weeks.) Basically it is just figuring in your unpaid time off so that you can close when needed and not take a hit in income all at once. I told my parents I would keep a log of days I closed and if for any reason I went over the 2 weeks, I would deduct it from that month.

Does that make sense??
Sounds like a nice idea for parents because the rate is so low. But what happens if the parents do not keep their child in the daycare all year? Just wondering...
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:38 PM
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I meant earlier that I still charge for my holiday days off... But I charge a flat weekly rate - not divided up through the year. I have a lot of military families that come & go, so this would never work for me. But its a nice idea!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:45 PM
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Sounds like a nice idea for parents because the rate is so low. But what happens if the parents do not keep their child in the daycare all year? Just wondering...
This is one of the things I was wondering as well. Most of my families stick around for years but there are always some who don't and even the ones who've been around for a while will leave mid-year at some point (usually for school) so they are getting a lower rate whether I take the time off or not.

I also have never taken 2 weeks of unpaid time off so it definitely wouldn't be worth it for me to do things that way (doesn't mean it isn't good for others of course!!).
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:58 PM
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I don't take that much time off at once. I guess that might be an issue, but I'm not worried too much. I have a waiting list and I just figure whoever steps in to the spot will finish paying out the year! We will see if it works out!!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
Sure! (I was confused at first, too!) It is still a weekly rate.Here's the math: Say your rate is $100/week. There are 52 weeks in a year. You want to go ahead and figure in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for yourself. Instead od multiplying $100/week by 52weeks to get a yearly rate, you would multiply it by 50. So, that's $5,000 a year and parents can pay it out weekly at a rate of: $96.15/week. (That's $5,000 divided by 52 weeks.) Basically it is just figuring in your unpaid time off so that you can close when needed and not take a hit in income all at once. I told my parents I would keep a log of days I closed and if for any reason I went over the 2 weeks, I would deduct it from that month.

Does that make sense??
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
Whew!! Good to know! Everything is so "trial and error" with this biz!
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
I don't take that much time off at once. I guess that might be an issue, but I'm not worried too much. I have a waiting list and I just figure whoever steps in to the spot will finish paying out the year! We will see if it works out!!!
I wanted to show you here with the mutli-quote function that you can reply to several members at the same time. Just click the MUTLI-QUOTE button for every post that you want to reply to, then use the POST REPLY button at the bottom as you normally do.

http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24341

Last edited by Michael; 09-03-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2011, 01:13 PM
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To me everone, I repeat everyone- deserves a paid vacation!!! No matter what you do in life, you deserve it!!
I have been providing excellent care for over 9 yrs. now, and I have had paid vacation in all but 2 yrs. of it!!
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
Sure! (I was confused at first, too!) It is still a weekly rate.Here's the math: Say your rate is $100/week. There are 52 weeks in a year. You want to go ahead and figure in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for yourself. Instead od multiplying $100/week by 52weeks to get a yearly rate, you would multiply it by 50. So, that's $5,000 a year and parents can pay it out weekly at a rate of: $96.15/week. (That's $5,000 divided by 52 weeks.) Basically it is just figuring in your unpaid time off so that you can close when needed and not take a hit in income all at once. I told my parents I would keep a log of days I closed and if for any reason I went over the 2 weeks, I would deduct it from that month.

Does that make sense??
I wouldn't do that. It's upside down. In your scenario you are better to take the 100 dollars a week and put away $3.85 per week per kid and have that to use for the two weeks of vacation.

If you discount the parents THEY are keeping the 3.85 per week and you are relying on them to be willing to give that to you at the point where you take a vacation. I would rather keep it myself and put it away and not charge them for the two weeks off.

You never know when they are going to leave. If they leave before you take the time you will have given them a 3.85 per week vacation discount and you don't get the pay from them when you do take it.

I charge the same rate 52 weeks a year and take off 18 days. I also accrue paid time off at 1.5 days per month. If the kid leaves before I take my set vacation time the parent pays the unused portion of the PTO.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2011, 06:08 PM
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I'm going to try it! Worst case scenario: It doesn't work and I have to change it back! Nbd. I just won't charge for my personal time off. I can't make it seem ethical in my own mind! I know a lot of providers do it, but I feel like if you have to pay someone else to keep your kid or use your own PTO, you shouldn't have to pay me, too!
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by blessedmess8 View Post
Sure! (I was confused at first, too!) It is still a weekly rate.Here's the math: Say your rate is $100/week. There are 52 weeks in a year. You want to go ahead and figure in 2 weeks of unpaid time off for yourself. Instead od multiplying $100/week by 52weeks to get a yearly rate, you would multiply it by 50. So, that's $5,000 a year and parents can pay it out weekly at a rate of: $96.15/week. (That's $5,000 divided by 52 weeks.) Basically it is just figuring in your unpaid time off so that you can close when needed and not take a hit in income all at once. I told my parents I would keep a log of days I closed and if for any reason I went over the 2 weeks, I would deduct it from that month.

Does that make sense??
You're doing the math wrong. Your rate is $100/week * 52 weeks = $5200/year. If you want two weeks of "unpaid" time off, divide that $5200 by 50 to get two weeks "free": $104/week. Now you stock away that extra $4 each week into its own account, and voila! you get "paid" for two weeks of "free" vacation.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:50 PM
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Something didn't seem right with that when I looked at it too. How could $96.00 per week be better than $100.00?

Careful about too much calculations - you may end up ripping yourself off!

The $104.00 per week x 50 weeks makes sense.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
You're doing the math wrong. Your rate is $100/week * 52 weeks = $5200/year. If you want two weeks of "unpaid" time off, divide that $5200 by 50 to get two weeks "free": $104/week. Now you stock away that extra $4 each week into its own account, and voila! you get "paid" for two weeks of "free" vacation.
Actually she did the math right.

Calculation is:
52-2= 50
50 * 100 = 5000
5000/52 = 96.15

She charges this to the parents regardless if she provides care. So the two weeks she is off, she is still getting a paycheck. It is the same as teachers can do if you still want a paycheck in the summer. Instead of getting a larger check monthly for 9 months, you get a smaller check for 12 months.

I don't charge for time off either. But I am starting to rethink it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:15 PM
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Ahhh - OK I get it. So the parents continue to pay even though their children aren't going those weeks.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:26 PM
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Actually she did the math right.

Calculation is:
52-2= 50
50 * 100 = 5000
5000/52 = 96.15

She charges this to the parents regardless if she provides care. So the two weeks she is off, she is still getting a paycheck. It is the same as teachers can do if you still want a paycheck in the summer. Instead of getting a larger check monthly for 9 months, you get a smaller check for 12 months.

I don't charge for time off either. But I am starting to rethink it.
Exactly! It's just hard to lose all that $ to close 2 or 3 days to take a vacation, etc! And, I know myself - I won't end up putting it back! I definitely feel ok about charging for the holidays!! Maybe I'll change my mind someday about the personal time off. Its not that I don't think I deserve it. I just try to see things from the parents' POV, too!
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:31 AM
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I have paid HOlidays and paid vacation days-
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:13 AM
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Ahhh - OK I get it. So the parents continue to pay even though their children aren't going those weeks.
All right, I get it too...well, if that's what works for you. I think parents (many parents anyway) would rather have two weeks where they don't actually hand you a check. I think they look at the immediate picture ("I don't pay you this week!") rather than the long-term picture ("I pay less each week but still have to hand you a check when I'm not getting care"). Do you see the difference? That's why I suggest charging slightly more each week and saving the extra towards your two unpaid weeks. It will feel more to the parents like they are getting something free.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:52 AM
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All right, I get it too...well, if that's what works for you. I think parents (many parents anyway) would rather have two weeks where they don't actually hand you a check. I think they look at the immediate picture ("I don't pay you this week!") rather than the long-term picture ("I pay less each week but still have to hand you a check when I'm not getting care"). Do you see the difference? That's why I suggest charging slightly more each week and saving the extra towards your two unpaid weeks. It will feel more to the parents like they are getting something free.
There's little chance that every week the parent writes the discounted check they are going to believe the four bucks they aren't paying is to go to the tuition that is paid when the provider is taking vacation. They are looking at one thing: Daycare is 96 bucks a week.

If you do this plan in order to avoid conflict for when they have to pay when you aren't working it won't be any different than charging a 100 dollars a week and telling them they have to pay when you aren't working. It will not translate into the parent putting the four bucks a week to have the monies to pay the provider when they aren't working.

Discounts for any reason are tricky. Most people don't really care what the discount is for... what it means over a years period of time... what conflict it is to avoid in the future. They just look at whatever rate you say they must pay is THE rate.

So getting paid time off has to be in your policies without mathmatical understanding on how it is calculated.

I don't like money discussions so I keep them to the interview process only. My pay is X dollars a week for the schedule of X to X daily ... five days a week. I take 18 paid days off a year and this is when they will be. I accrue 1.5 days of paid time off per month so if you choose to leave before I take my time off you will be required to pay your slots portion of that vacation time in your final check. I get paid for what I have earned whether you are here when I take it or not.

This way each slot generates 18 paid days off per year regardless of who is in them and what part of the year they are in them.

The only time I have to talk to clients about money is if they have a schedule change where they pick up earlier or later than their contracted time. I have a simple form they have access to that tells them for every fifteen minutes later per day they must pay five dollars more per week. So when they come to me with schedule changes they already know the fee will lower or raise dependent upon the pick up time.

I don't offer any free days for their absences.

This translates into having eight slots with the same fee coming in every week on each slot with NO discussions of money. I only have to discuss money if the schedule changes. Other than that... pay the same 52 weeks a year. When they leave they ask me how many days of PTO they owe me and they add it to the final check.

I can go many many months and never discuss money. I've had many years where I never have to talk about it to the majority of my clients. I have clients who have been here nearly five years and we have never discussed money once.

The less talk about it.. the less wiggle room... the less calculations... the better.

My clients all know I do NOT like talking about money so when they come to me with schedule changes they already have it down on what it will be. The convo lasts a few seconds and we are done. They all pay on Friday for the upcoming week and most transfer the money so I don't even have to receive a check.

So I do the work upfront (discuss PTO, what days I have, they don't get any free days) having the money discussions and then we get the rest of the relationship to be money talk free. I likey that.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
All right, I get it too...well, if that's what works for you. I think parents (many parents anyway) would rather have two weeks where they don't actually hand you a check. I think they look at the immediate picture ("I don't pay you this week!") rather than the long-term picture ("I pay less each week but still have to hand you a check when I'm not getting care"). Do you see the difference? That's why I suggest charging slightly more each week and saving the extra towards your two unpaid weeks. It will feel more to the parents like they are getting something free.
I agree with this too. I think the parents would much rather pay for 50 weeks than pay 52 and be paying for a sitter/back up care for your 2 weeks off at the same time.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:50 PM
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I take paid vacations and anytime I have to close for emergencies are paid to. (That has RARELY happened in 4 years). I don't shortcut myself to make the parents feel better about daycare. I just write up my contract to include my preferences, they have all the info up front and then take it or leave it. That way, I am paid no matter what happens and there is no money discussions because its all up front, no discounts or refunds for any reason for anybody. I raised rates a few weeks ago and besides that, there have been no money discussions outside of interviews. The reason I feel that this scenario is "ethical" is that I have the perks of being self employed, nothing wrong with that. The parent gets ALL the info up front from day one, no secrets or deception with that. Once they enroll, they are doing it of their own free will and freely accepting my contract, no one is forcing them. So there is nothing unethical about me taking a paid vacations. The parents ALWAYS have the right to leave at any time, no one is being held hostage here. I am super reliable though so it is incredibly rare that I take any time off outside of my holidays and vacation and I think that the parents love that fact and it makes the paid holidays worthwhile. If you have an unreliable sitter, even if they take unpaid days off, its still a huge hassle for the parents and not worth it at all. You get what you pay for kind of thing.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:17 PM
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Well, I didn't just change my rates. I let the parents know up front that they are not paying for the 2 weeks. So, its not much different than those of you take paid vacations, except I am discounting them for mine throughout the year. I don't feel like I'll need to re-discuss it for any reason because it IS in my policies now and it has been explained to all my parents. If THEY need to put back the few bucks a week to cover alternate care, that's on them! I'd love to hear from someone who's actually used this method to hear how it actually does work. I don't fault or judge anyone who does take PTO! I agree, if it is I your policies up front, then people can take it or leave it!
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
All right, I get it too...well, if that's what works for you. I think parents (many parents anyway) would rather have two weeks where they don't actually hand you a check. I think they look at the immediate picture ("I don't pay you this week!") rather than the long-term picture ("I pay less each week but still have to hand you a check when I'm not getting care"). Do you see the difference? That's why I suggest charging slightly more each week and saving the extra towards your two unpaid weeks. It will feel more to the parents like they are getting something free.
I agree with SilverSabre. I would rather get the fully deserved average weekly tuition and paid holidays. I'm going to take a few paid days for myself as well and additional days are unpaid. This gives the parents a chance to pay a babysitter or save the money when they must stay home from work. 10 paid holidays seems about average. You can always increase your rates and advertise as "You don't pay when I'm closed!"
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:58 AM
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Well, I didn't just change my rates. I let the parents know up front that they are not paying for the 2 weeks. So, its not much different than those of you take paid vacations, except I am discounting them for mine throughout the year. I don't feel like I'll need to re-discuss it for any reason because it IS in my policies now and it has been explained to all my parents. If THEY need to put back the few bucks a week to cover alternate care, that's on them! I'd love to hear from someone who's actually used this method to hear how it actually does work. I don't fault or judge anyone who does take PTO! I agree, if it is I your policies up front, then people can take it or leave it!
How about this: if you're so opposed to raising your rates a slight amount to cover those days off, then why don't you keep your rates the same, but put away the $4/week anyway? Then you don't have to worry about the income hit, and can still advertise to the families that they don't pay you when you're closed? Parents like that; they really do.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:05 AM
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How about this: if you're so opposed to raising your rates a slight amount to cover those days off, then why don't you keep your rates the same, but put away the $4/week anyway? Then you don't have to worry about the income hit, and can still advertise to the families that they don't pay you when you're closed? Parents like that; they really do.
Because, like I said before, I know I won't! Clearly most people think this is a bad idea! Lol! I'll be sure and update later to let everyone know how it works and whether or not I have to change it back!
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:09 AM
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Because, like I said before, I know I won't! Clearly most people think this is a bad idea! Lol! I'll be sure and update later to let everyone know how it works and whether or not I have to change it back!
No, not a bad idea, per se...just not the best idea. Partly because not having to pay the provider is what sells a lot of people.

You could set up an automatic transfer from your main checking account into a savings account of $x/week, where $x= 4 times your number of families. Then, you don't have to worry about remembering.
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