Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday, busy weekend ahead!

     -$762.59 personal
     -$147.38 studio

     You will all be so proud of me.  Yesterday after I wrote my post, I went to my desk (still in my pjs) and I called every single parent that had not paid.  Many answered the phone and said they would bring it in.  I also left many messages, most of those called me back.  I was polite but impassioned.  Next week is Thanksgiving break if you do not pay this now it will be the last week of the month and you will have Decembers tuition and recital fee within a few days.  I also let them know it was not just them that many many parents had done this and I had to borrow money to pay my bills.  It wasn't fair to me and it was stressful.  Quilt trip!

     Funny I was able to get a hold of a father that I know to work out of town.  I asked him if he was in for the holidays and he said yes.  I then told him I had not rec'd his 135.00 tuition check.  He seemed shocked.  His wife called back about an hour later apologized and then said she would bring the check down.  SHE DID NOT!

     Then I had another mother that has given me the excuse she is out of checks.  The grandmother usually brings down the girls.  I told the grandmother.  Mother calls back and I told her she owed $95.00 for last month, $75.00 for November, she still had not paid her registration of $20.00 and she had 2x $20.00 late charges.  So to bring her up to date I would need $230.00.  If she wanted to pay for the rest of the semester (at her request) she would need to bring me $325.00.  She was coming down last night.  I taught until 8.  She did not show. Now we have emailed these things and talked about this for 2 months.  What do you think?

     I had parents dropping kids off and going to grandparents who pay the bills to get a check.  I had one mother claiming she was pulling her little girl.  Fine but you owe me for the month and we ordered a costume  and you took up a spot in a full class that I had a waiting list.  So someone would have paid through the semester.  She is going to pay through and her child showed up last night.  Amazing.

     A letter is going out Thanksgiving week that requires parents to pay for December by the first.  Next year all tuition is due before the month or on the first.  I will no longer give them the 10 day leeway. It does no good and I can't pay my bills.  It will be a very personal letter.  We will see what happens.  All the service that I have looked into that collect for a small business are too expensive on my small margin of profit.  Which really is nonexistent.

     You can see that my overdrawn totals went down at the studio, but I have made no headway in personal.  I have about $254.00 in the shop and another $180.00 to be picked up.  I have around $150.00 worth of work left to do.  I hope to get it done today!  If I could put this all toward the personal I would but I have nothing to get to Twin Falls for Thanksgiving.  So I am discouraged.  I did not plan on shopping the Christmas sales, not sure what I will do.  But I will need some gas and spending money.

     I have been doubling my medication for my arthritis at my doctors request.  I have to pick up another load dose of 4 shots but the insurance will make me pay about $450.00 for these as they are not covered at %100.  I am feeling better so it is worth it but it will wipe out the emergency fund.  The drug insurance company will reimburse me but who knows how long that will take.  I do have other savings accounts if things get really bad but I trust they won't.

     I have a big rehearsal today, tomorrow and a big performance tomorrow night .  So a busy weekend.

     I need to get to the bank and I also have a lunch date with the tv station.  So I had better get busy.

Have a great and productive day!



  1. I remember several years ago when the woman who provided child care for my girls (while I attended grad school) thanked me for always paying our tuition on time at the beginning of the month. She told me there were several parents who were *months* behind, and that she was at her wits end trying to collect from them.

    This childcare/preschool had a long waiting list of people wanting to get in (beautiful facility, trained and educated workers, etc.). Many of the families who sent their children there drove expensive cars, took fancy vacations, lived in big houses, and so forth, yet could not seem to come up with the few hundred dollars a month to pay the tuition. Our payment came out of my financial aid and was a struggle, but I couldn't understand why anyone thought it was OK not to pay the owner so that she could pay her bills, pay her employees, and so forth.

    She finally put her foot down and sent us all a letter stating that if tuition was not caught up by a certain date, and if payments were not made on time for just one month after that, that children would be dropped from the childcare immediately and people on the waiting list would be allowed to attend. She took a bit of a hit for one month because some people still did not pay (and took all those months of *excellent* care for free!), but after that things got better for her.

    I hope your families do right by you.

  2. I agree non one is forcing them to attend your school, and it's not fair you are going in debt just because they can't be bothered to pay their bills.


  3. You need to give them all an ultimatum and then STICK TO IT.
    They know you have a big heart and are a paper tiger.
    It's not your fault that some of the kids will not be dancing any longer, it's their parents childish and immoral behavior(playing games with you and taking services from you for free).
    I get the feeling you don't like being not liked. You're a placater type not an inflamer.

    If you don't relish being the "hatchet man", is there someone else who can be the bad guy enforcer? Heck, I'd come there and do it for you. I don't care who likes or hates me..... ;-)

  4. I think that for next year, you should make parents sign a payment agreement detailing the terms; also, detailing that if the child stays in the course for X number of weeks (kind of like in college, 1/2 of a semester), they will be responsible to pay the amount for the remaining of the semester, even if the child doesn't show up, unless it's due to medical/emergency reasons. Also that if the tuition isnt paid by X (2-3 day leeway?), the child will not be taken into the class and will not participate for that or future classes until the account is brought to date. Glad to see some of the parents are responding though. You shouldnt have to go through these lenghts.

  5. Good for you! I am literally cheering for your bravery in facing these parents. Many small business owners get squeamish when it comes to collecting the money they are due but if you worked for a big company you wouldn't think twice about collecting money owed. I hope this turns around the financial situation at your studio!

  6. You should make parents pay before their child can attend classes. If they don't pay in advance in full then their child will be sent home or made to sit out until they come pick him or her up.
    It's a shame that some people try to get something for free and don't even think twice about it.
    Another thing we tried at our club was to make a list of the worst offenders. It's always the same people who don't pay every month. Then you make them pay in advance or don't allow their child to attend classes. it will either force the parent to pay in a timely manner or quit. The rest of the people who pay on time can be kept to your original payment schedule. This got rid of our non-payers quickly and opened up spaces for kids with parents who could pay.
    Good luck.

  7. Kim, I'm so proud of you. You need to do this and insist that everybody pay by the first. Good for you!

  8. I am super proud of you!!! Oh and I don't know if this will help but my son offers a 5 percent discount for anyone who pays in full for the quarter. You would be surprised how many grandparents(hmm see a pattern there) take advantage of it.

    When he first started teaching music and voice as a side job people were constantly taking advantage of him. Not anymore though..once he finally(with our help) layed out the rules and consequences people either started to pay or dropped out.

    Keep on going!

  9. I work in a doctors office and over the years a lot of the bookkeeping has fallen into my job description. I am astounded by the amount of people who simply ignore their bills and when I call them about their overdue balances they act as though they've never received a bill. I've found a few things that seem to work on those chronic non-payers. (1) Personal phone calls like you said you just made. Those are harder to ignore than the bills that come in the mail. This is more successful with our male patients who usually tell me that their wives pay all the bills and keep up with that kind of stuff and they are unaware that their balances are overdue, they just assume their significant other has been paying them. (2) Sending out letters instead of bills...they come in different envelopes than the bills they've been ignoring. I actually had a patient call me back after sending him a letter instead of his bill and he said "I kept getting the bills, but I didn't open them. I noticed this one looked different so I opened it." (Idiots!) I also have the dr himself sign the bottom of the letter. He has more experience in this business and has told me that most patients will let their balances slide and assume he isn't aware of their delinquincy. We are a very small office, and most patients think that only those in the "finance office" know about the bills, not the doctor they are seeing. (3) Also you could try sending out letters stating that you are considering looking into a collection agency and that their account was in danger of being turned over to collections in the near future. Sometimes the "C" word will get their attention. (4) I can't do this for privacy reasons, but you could also spread the word that you would be posting a flyer stating those whose accounts were not up to date. You could say that you were doing it because you haven't been able to reach everyone by phone or something like that. I know it would be embarassing for them, but sometimes it takes something like that to get them moving.

    I know some have recommended making the child sit out of class if the parent sends them even without paying. While I think that it reasonable, I also think that would embarrass the child who has no fault in the situation. I agree with Judy who said to offer a small discount if they pay in full before a certain date...a little discount will go a long way with people.

    1. More often than not, the threat of being embarassed by others knowing about their delinquincy is what will get people to pay their past due balances. Let them know ahead of time that you're going to post a flyer with the past due accounts so that they have the chance to pay up so their names don't show up for everyone to see.