Paying For A Family Reunion When Money Is Tight

One of the most valuable things in life is your family. Those who are blessed with family they love and care about might be overjoyed at the thought of seeing their family as often as humanly possible. For others, they get dragged kicking and screaming to their family reunion every 3-5 years. No matter if you love your family, despise them, or somewhere in between, the majority of us have to attend family reunions at some point.

Family events can be a stressful topic in and of themselves, so one thing you will not want to worry about, in addition to whether or not your aunt Lucy will comment on your quarantine weight gain, is money. Oftentimes, family reunions can be a significant expense as families have to organize food, a place big enough to hold everyone (even a park can have a rental fee depending on the area), matching t-shirts if you’re that extra, etc. The good news is, most families only have a reunion annually which gives an entire year to plan and prepare. With every family member contributing something a large goal of say $1,000 can feel like less of a load.

This is where PennyProfit can help ease the burden of financial strain that a reunion can bring. One family reached out to let me know about their plans to create a family reunion Jar on the platform. I thought this was such a great idea because it gave every family member the opportunity to contribute in their own way. For those who were more well off financially, it was as simple as sending a lump sum into the Jar when it was first created and moving on. For others whose finances were a bit more tight, they contributed round-ups over time and were able to reach their contribution goal by the time the reunion rolled around. Sound neat, right? But what does it look like in practice? Here’s a hypothetical that closely mirrors this families’ real life experience.

Goal: $1000 contributed toward Family Reunion Jar for Reunion April 2020*

*These guys pre-planned and opened their jar in June of 2019.

How everyone made their contributions:

Aunt Sara has always been the organizer of the family. She created the Jar and set 30% of her round-ups to go into it. She chose not to have a cap on her contributions in case someone else was a little short of their goal by the time the reunion rolled around.

Uncle Paul contributed $50 upfront and then set 10% of his round-ups to go there. He did not want to contribute over $100 so he set a max contribution limit.

Cousin Jake is in college and always a little short on cash. He could not have stomached a big chunk going out of his bank account so instead he chose to contribute 30% of his round-ups over time. He did up his round-up contribution to $1 rather than the nearest whole dollar because he wanted to get the family reunion paid for more quickly so he could allocate that 30% towards the newest Last of Us video game Jar as soon as possible. Once he reached his max contribution of $45 he switched his split percentage that night.

Grandma didn’t want to deal with having a PennyProfit account long-term because she prefers to spend in cash. Totally valid. Jake set her up with a quick, free account in order for her to contribute $85 up front. She contributed her portion and only uses her account once a year to fund this trip. Oh, and she uses it every now and then to send Jake a little college fun money!

Aunt Rachel never opened her email about the family Jar (perhaps on purpose?) and only knew about the Jar a few weeks before the reunion. Luckily, she is financially able to contribute a larger amount so she just sent $100 into the Jar a few nights before the event.

Uncle Charlie never remembers about the family reunion until he receives 4 texts from Sara the night before confirming that he is coming. He decided he will just always have 5% of his round-ups going towards that Jar so his portion is never missed.

Other family members did more of the same as these guys. They either contributed lump sum amounts, took portions of their round-ups, or did a combination of lump sum and round-ups. Some members set max contributions because they only wanted to pay their “fair” share, while others left open goals in order to contribute as much as they possibly could within the allotted time frame. Whatever method was chosen, all of the family members were able to work towards a common goal in the way they felt comfortable that suited their personality and financial situation.

Now, while this was a hypothetical, however, from what I’m told it very closely aligns with the family who created a reunion Jar’s story. Each family member contributed in his or her own way and they had plenty of cash when it was needed. Unfortunately, their reunion ended up being a little wonky (and virtual!) since we are living in the crazy year of 2020. They made a new Jar and I’m wishing them the best, most fun, in person family reunion in the world in 2021!