We’ve taken our children on a few trips now where they have been big enough to want things along the way. We normally bring spending money for souvenirs for the whole family and divide it up along the way with mommy and daddy making most of the decisions and just letting our children choose from options in a price range for souvenirs. This has, in the past, resulted in occasional whiny, spoiled, children who want everything they see. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had good vacations and of course they don’t really want everything. That is an exaggeration. This trip I decided to put the power in their hands.
Froyo – Frozen Yoghurt
They were already very excited to start saving their own money so the foundation was already there. I decided that they would be in charge of their own money on this trip. The would hold it all in their wallets and decide when and where to spend it. The only limitation was on candy. I would allow them to spend it all on candy. All other safe toys and souvenirs were completely up to them.
They saved money by doing chores for family, saving birthday and Christmas money and rolling change we helped them save. When we were ready to leave for our vacation in December they had saved about $140 each. I didn’t think this was too much for an 8 and 10-year-old to manage since they would be with us most of the time and we would of course remind them to take care of their wallets.
South of the Border Shops
They made me so very proud with the way they took care of their wallets and purses. They left them in the car when not needed and carried them everywhere when we went to a store. I only helped our when we went in to Disney World and Universal Studios by carrying them in our backpack.
My girls made some amazing choices. In fact they decided against most souvenirs since the money was theirs and the choice more important. They actually came home with spending money left over after our trip which is more than I can say for Mommy and Daddy!
Shopping at The Grand Floridian Resort – Walt Disney World
Even if you don’t decide to let your children be in charge of this much money I highly suggest giving them some personal responsibility on your next vacation and see how it goes. Maybe it won’t work the way my plan did. Perhaps my children just weren’t interested in the souvenirs available or perhaps they wanted to save for something better at home. I don’t know. All I know is this was the best vacation we have had yet and I definitely think this was part of the reason.
I would love to hear your tips for teaching children about money especially on a vacation.