How to Have Fun and Avoid Debt This March BreakMar 16, 2018
If you have kids between ages five and 12, the time is right to teach them about budgeting and saving to help avoid debt. In this month’s podcast, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) discuss March break spending and how to teach your kids about debt and money management.
Kids as young as five can start participating in budgeting and saving. Here are some fun ways to pique their interests.
Help them create a March break budget
Kids learn early on that money has value—they’re gifted money for all kinds of occasions! But they won’t understand how to make the most of their money unless they’re taught what to do with it.
Before vacation rolls around, talk to your kid about what they’d like to do over the break (here are just some of the London area activities).
Then talk to them about the cost of activities and the associated expenses, like fuel, food, and souvenirs. Have them count up their piggy bank savings and talk about how far that money would go.
Together, you can choose an activity that fits your family budget. Talk about how you will spend money during the break. Let them contribute a part of their savings or allowance if they’d like, and explain that by spending money you already have, you can avoid consumer debt (check out our March break vacation debt lessons from 2017).
You can also use some of the games and lessons for kids about money on Talk With Our Kids About Money.
Now that you have your March break budget established, you might need to cut back on a few things in order to meet your spending goals for the break.
When you’re at the grocery store, you might choose not to purchase a non-essential item, or choose a less expensive brand, so that you can meet your March break spending goal. Help your child see that achieving a financial goal might mean cutting back on other spending.
If your child asks for a new or unnecessary item, ask them if they’d rather have that than reach the activity goal. This can teach them to prioritize their own spending and savings activities to avoid going into debt.
When March break comes, celebrate your success. Budgeting successfully for activities and avoiding debt is a big achievement. The more rewards and positive emotions your child attaches to those processes, the better!