The nearing December holidays is an expensive time of the year for every household, irrespective if you’re staying home or going away. With days of summer magic to fill, entertainment (i.e. events, hosting/attending parties, take aways, eating out, kids’ entertainment) becomes the number one expense almost overnight. It is therefore essential to plan ahead and ensure that you have enough money saved to keep your family entertained within your budget. If your kids are old enough, why not get them involved in the budgeting process? It will be a great way to ensure you don’t go over budget when it comes to their expenses, while also teaching them valuable money lessons in the process.
Here are 3 tips to get started:
1. Let your kids earn their holiday spending money:
If you already have a-pocket-money-in-exchange-for-chores system in place – excellent. Perhaps you can offer additional chores over the next few weeks to allow your kids to earn a little extra for the holidays. If you don’t have any system in place yet, there are still a few weeks left to get it going. If you have budgeted to give them a little extra each, by all means give it to them, but make sure they know there is no more after that.
Remember, chores don’t suddenly disappear the day the holiday breaks, so you can continue the system, even if you aren’t home during the holidays.
2. Hold on to their money and give a daily allowance:
Assist your kids with the budget process by dividing their holiday spending money by the amount of days until school starts and working out a daily allowance. Just imagine what the temptation for any child would be if they had access to all their holiday spending. It could be gone after one trip to the mall with their friends. Rather give them a set fee every day. This method will teach them to wait a few days for something they really want. It will also teach them to decide what is more important to them, going to the movies with their friends one moment or owning the board game at the end of the week for example. If you think it would be a better lesson to see your child budget their full allowance themselves, go for it. You know your children so it is totally up to you.
Remember: The key lesson for your children to learn early in life is that when their money is finished it is finished. If your child makes a mess of their budget on a particular day, don’t give them extra, the lesson will be lost. At least with the daily system, they can start again the next day.
3. Give them the facts:
Before the holiday starts create a holiday calendar marking the amount of days the holiday stretches for, and on the same calendar list the exact cost of the activities, events, toys and snacks you expect your kids to fund themselves. List several free activities on there as well and get them involved in planning a few creative free activities of their own too. It is also essential to sit with each child and explain the process. Let them understand what their daily allowance will be able to buy them realistically on a given day. Also explain the difference between needing and wanting something.
If the nearing holiday is something you are dreading due to debt that has spiralled out of control, don’t wait until the New Year to do something about it. Contact Debt Rescue today and get the peace of mind you need.