Teaching kids to save money by saving for a family vacation

by beagooddad on January 7, 2009

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I am not much of a person to set a bunch of goals at the beginning of a new year or any other arbitrary day. They never seem to work out for me. I would much rather decide there is something I want to do, spend whatever time I need to spend to get it all set up, and then start. Sometimes those goals work out.

Our family has a new goal. A mini-vacation.

We are all going to chip in our spare change, random dollars, and once in a while a $20 bill or two. We have an old oatmeal (or similar large tube shaped product) container with a lid. The lid has a slot where we put the money in. On the side there is a little thermometer looking thing to measure how close we are to reaching our goal of $200.

When we have $200, the 5 of us are going to spend the night at a nearby hotel with an indoor water park. We are targeting sometime in February because that will give the kids the chance to contribute some of their birthday money so that they can see how when you save money you can do really fun things.

Like most things like this, we are planning on getting Pookie to participate this time even though he might not really understand exactly what is going on. Each time we have him put money in we explain that when we get enough money in the container we are going to go to the water park hotel. He loves water parks. Hopefully when we actually take the container to the water park and use it to pay, the connection will start to be made between saving the money and having it available to spend at another time.

Giggles loves putting things into other things so she loves this plan so far without even knowing what a water park is.

Geetle on the other hand is insane. She’s picking pennies off of the ground so that she can bring them home to put in our vacation fund. She’s shaking me down at the door when I get home to see how many quarters I have. She’s VOLUNTEERING to do chores so that she can get some money.

I am hoping that we schedule the trip for the very first weekend after their birthday because I could use something to shake the winter blahs. So if I happen to buy a couple more candy bars than I should over the next month it is strictly to make sure I have change to put in the vacation jar.

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