Each family has unique interests and values. This makes for incredibly diverse forms of family vacations. Today’s blog is an idea that allows for your kids to feel a sense of ownership over your next family vacation in regards to the finances. Whether your next getaway is camping or an all inclusive, use the financial planning as an opportunity to guide your kids through a financial decision making process.
The Main Idea
Depending on the type of get away, provide your kids with an appropriate budget. Discuss all of their favorite parts of this type of vacation with them. Talk about their favorite location, meals, activities etc. and mention the general costs for these things. Assist your kids in comparing the costs to the amount of money in the proposed budget. Allow them to make real altering decisions.
To simplify, you could provide two location options with a significant price difference. Explain how the cheaper option location allows more room in the budget to spend on activities or treats. The other location may cost more because it already provides an aspect your family values highly. Example: Location A is camping in the mountains and the cost is higher. Location B is camping closer to home with more budget to spend on activities or food.
We recommend having access to Google for research. To research everything like the price of a location or the cost of transportation. Keeping note, either digitally or on paper of the costs of all the variables will assist your visual learners to keep track of the expenses as the research continues.
Opportunity to Learn
This exercise grows your child’s understanding and appreciation for the fun things you provide for them. They will be able to understand why you say yes to some things and why you say no other times. The conversation can progress and talk about day to day needs and those prices.
Creating a safe space to learn about finances allows for mistakes to be made with little to no damage. Your kids will be able to look back on the vacation planning exercise and be able apply their skills to their personal finances in the future. Knowledge is power and this exercise provides knowledge.
Honesty and Protection
Being honest with your kids about the financial reality of vacations and anything else, does not mean you are now sharing the burden of finances. I do believe in letting kids be kids and protecting them from genuine financial stresses. You know your kids best and you know what they can handle. But as a general rule, the younger they are, the less harsh details they need to know.
Would you try this activity with your kids as you plan your next family vacation? We’d love to hear how it goes! Reach us on social media or at email@example.com.