Heading out of town with the family for summer vacation? This year, get the kids involved in budgeting for the trip. They’ll learn the work involved in saving, and take pride in participating. Check out these money saving tips the whole family can use to prepare for your next vacation.
Start out by getting everyone together to brainstorm ways to save for the trip. For instance, you can forego eating out, pack lunches, and take turns playing chef with the food you have on hand – make it fun! And nothing beats a good old-fashioned money jar. Label it with your dream destination and toss in all your change. Prefer virtual financing? Use an app like Acorns to transfer any change leftover from purchases into a separate account.
With a bit of ingenuity, here’s where older kids can really pitch in and help. Encourage them to earn toward a portion of the total trip cost, or they can just be responsible for their own souvenirs and snacks. Younger kids can participate, too, by playing Mommy’s helper and doing odds and ends jobs around the house. Here are some ideas to help your kids earn money:
-Take a CPR child care class and start babysitting.
-Mow the grass for the neighbors.
-Host a car wash. Depending on their ages, the kids can have fun making posters and participating in the car wash itself.
-Enlist the kids to help you take care of a pet overnight or walk dogs with an app like Rover or Care.com.
-Have the kids help you grocery shop for others using an app like Instacart.
-Open an Etsy store* and have them sell homemade arts and crafts.
-Host a yard sale, either locally or virtually. The kids can help choose toys and clothes they’ve outgrown, price items, and arrange items for sale. Or, have them take photos and post items on an app like Mercari or Poshmark.
-When all else fails, set up a traditional lemonade stand. Don’t forget to include baked goods! Advertise on FB so friends and family know when to come out and support their efforts.
*Be sure to check age restrictions on each company’s website.
Save money when you get to your destination by limiting restaurant stops. It’s a big expense that can get out of hand, quickly. Cooking in the room is easy, and can save you hundreds. For instance, freeze taco meat, soups, shredded barbecue pork, and chili. Bring a few potatoes to cook in the microwave. Incorporate microwavable steam veggie bags with your dinners.
Involve the kids in budgeting throughout the entire trip. Have a real conversation on what the spending allowance is for your vacation. Research cost-effective group activities online, and let the kids calculate the best options. Set their expectations, give them choices, and sit back and enjoy budget-friendly family fun together.