Get Involved With Your Kid’s Activities = Mega Points

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Every parent knows how much kids cost. Heck, every non-parent at least has a clue that kids aren’t free. Typically the older they get the more involved they are with things like dance, Boy Scouts, t-ball, swimming, preschool, etc. All of these activities cost money. Money spent = more points. Of course, $50 a month dance lessons aren’t going to add up to a whole ton of points over the course of a year even if you do pay with a rewards earning credit card (which I do). That is, unless you are in charge of helping set-up the recital. Other than tuition, preschool is only going to get you so far in the points world…unless you are active in the parent association and rack up tons of reimbursable expenses. You see where this is going.  The more involved you get, the more points you can earn.

For example, my daughter is at an awesome preschool that has a very active parent association. I’ve gotten pretty active in this association over the last few months, and a light bulb went off for me while paying for the ponies and petting zoo at their “Western Day” event this week. A ton of money gets spent on the kid’s activities, the catering for the fundraisers, ordering things for the classrooms, etc. Much of the time a parent pays for these things directly and then gets reimbursed by the parent association’s account. This means you don’t have to be Mr. Corporate BigShot Expense Account to rack up reimbursable expenses that earn points. Being a parent involved in your kid’s activities can net the same result.


I don’t really participate in the world of true manufactured spending, so there is a real limit on the number of minimum spending requirements and annual spending bonuses I can hit. However, by being helpful with C’s dance class, preschool, etc. I can stretch those limits much further than my regular old budget would allow. This is a situation where everyone involved is a winner.


I am more involved with her activities. They have someone who can pull the trigger on big purchases and get reimbursed. I earn more points and can hit more spending thresholds. Win, win, win.

You can bet I will be even more “helpful” with her activities as she gets older.  Honestly I would do this in a heartbeat even without any points reward, but this added bonus doesn’t hurt.  I’m sure other parents have already figured this out, so I’d love to hear how you help out with your child’s activities while racking up lots of points for yourself.

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  1. I need to check our preschool’s ‘volunteer binder’ again! Pretty sure I saw something about purchasing classroom supplies. . .

  2. Ha ha! Grant’s comment was hilarious! I just visited a college with my youngest of 3 sons yesterday. Next fall I will have 2 in college at the same time (for at least the next 3 years). Thank goodness one graduated last year. Dang, kids are expensive. I love them, but they cost money! I have been lucky enough to be able to put tuition and expenses on credit cards for my middle son. His college does not charge an added fee for using a ccard. Ofcourse, I pay the card off as soon as the bill comes in. The college that my youngest has chosen does charge a fee so I won’t get the added perk of paying out all of this money each year. Just doesn’t seem right.

  3. @Kathy, my brother goes to UCLA and they charge 2.75% “convenience” fee for using credit cards. It’s worth it for meeting minimum spend, but after that, it’s way too expensive. For some reason, they take MC, Discover, and AMEX, but no Visa, doesn’t make any sense to me – makes it tougher for Chase cards cuz most are Visa.

  4. Yes, the University that my youngest has chosen has a 2.25% fee for credit cards and they also do not take Visa for some reason. Wish there was some way around the fee. I can pay by “echeck” online. Mommypoints, I know your post today was more about volunteering for your kids activities and manufacturing spend from those activities and I might have gotten off subject a little bit. The college subject just hit home for me because this is what is going on in my life right now. LOL! I volunteered for my kids classroom, was homeroom mom, etc but this was before I got into the miles and points game. Wish I would have discovered it when my kiddo’s were younger!

  5. Kathy, et al, I was thinking of this the other day when my mom was organizing a thank you gift for my aunt. Everyone chipped in $5 and then my mom was buying the gift ($5 each adds up pretty quick when there are 7 aunts/uncles and19 cousins, before even adding in spouses and another generation of kids). These are things that we hopefully would each volunteer for, but knowing you’ll get the points bonus too can help motivate you to raise your hand to coordinate. Another feel-good way to manufacture spending.
    MP – I can’t really do much manufactured spend either. Mostly because that is across the line of what my husband considers sane. 🙂 since we are just getting into this hobby, no point spooking him right away.

  6. Diana, ha ha! Any motivator to do good is a good one. 😉 Hope you find some good treasures in the binder!
    Grant, ha! Well, married with kids does have its upside. 😉
    Kathy, I hate that so many colleges now charge to use a credit card. I can understand why they do, but it is nice when you have a kid who goes to one that doesn’t!
    Grant, I agree it can still be helpful for minimum spending if that is the best way you have to meet it.
    Kathy, not off topic at all in my view, and even if it was I wouldn’t mind in the slightest. Probably is a good topic for me to do a whole separate post on in the future!
    Jamie, even better if the gift you are buying is available via a shopping portal. 😉 Gotta keep the spouses happy and have them keep from trying to put us in the psych-ward for our hobby. Ha ha.

  7. I have 3 girls all doing different club sports and love shopping, and my husband is a car guy and loves wine and martini! Can you say EXPENSIVE?! I charge everything I can onto my points/miles earning credit cards. I even volunteered to arrange travel for my oldest daughter’s waterpolo team to Michigan last November, put 13 people’s airfare and hotel on my cards! But no matter how much you charge onto the cards, it is difficult to get enough miles and points for a family of 5 to travel all free. Luckily I am pretty good at finding cheap airfare and hotel deals by planning far ahead. Even if I am able to save on airfare or lodging, I still have to pay my dogsitter $40 a day for my spoiled rotten frenchie 🙂 I think at some point, I would have to leave hubby and kids behind and only travel with girlfriends instead, it is cheapest that way 😉

  8. The paying of college tuition with a credit card really hit home. I am lucky as I am able to pay my wife’s graduate school tuition with a credit card. It was a very easy way to pay much of the minimum spend on an Ink Bold.

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