Teaching Kids about Money – Vacation!

It's going to be hard to top our trip to Santa Fe...

It’s going to be hard to top our trip to Santa Fe…

I admit it… we are usually already discussing our next vacation on the way home from a vacation.  This fall when I returned to work we found a new way to involve our daughter, age 8, in our budget process.  We decided to have her be able to observe the saving process for our next vacation.

We use the money I earn from part-time work to fund various “wants” and my husband’s check does all the heavy lifting… insurance, retirement and college savings, taxes.   Grown-up stuff! When I get paid, we now convene the family around the glow of the MacBook and fire up our spreadsheet.  How much did mom earn?  How much of that can we deposit into the vacation fund?  It has been a great, simple way to see the process of making a plan for our money.

We stumbled into another teachable moment regarding money as a result.  My daughter was interested in an after school art class ($125.00 plus additional fees for only 5 one-hour sessions)!  Normally we budget way ahead for any special classes she might take in summer.  This one sprang up as a surprise.  We told her she could take the class, but that the next deposit to the vacation fund was going to be a lot LOT smaller.  She decided it wasn’t worth it.  Had the class been $40.00, I would have just written the check and carried on, but given the expense, it was the absolute truth that enrolling in the class would mean little to put towards our vacation fund in that pay period.

We don’t know where our next vacation will be just yet.  Usually we start planning in January after the holiday excitement fades and there is still a lot of winter to roll through.   The planning and imagining is all part of the fun!

12 thoughts on “Teaching Kids about Money – Vacation!

  1. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy

    We’ve had our kid’s help with the fun day trip planning before too – we save up all of our change throughout the year (the kid’s can help with chore money, if they want) and use it to plan something fun.

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      That’s great, Heidi. I am wondering whether being a part of the planning process will result in a greater appreciation of the vacation itself. It’s hard in the elementary years when trouble sleeping, noises in the hotel hall make for a crazy child! Time will tell!

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      We are still having fun with it! I got paid today so we will try to have a look at the budget tomorrow. I was a little surprised tonight that my daughter remembered exactly how much we have saved so far.

    1. healthfulsave Post author

      That’s encouraging that you have seen results with your grown children! It has to help when they see their parents planning and making choices about money. My great hope is that my daughter will not go in debt for her college education.

      1. Country Lady

        I can’t say that my son has no debt from college, but it has been greatly reduced by us, and him paying for an apartment off campus. He goes to college away from home so at least any grants and scholarship money has gone directly to the tuition. Any tuition that isn’t covered by grants, etc is under a student loan which is cheaper interest than if a we would have gotten a parent loan. When they come due, we will continue to help him until he gets that “high paying” job. LOL

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