Having your kids at home for the summer often means an increase in unplanned expenses.
The heat isn’t the only thing that climbs each summer — expenses can too.
It is so easy to overspend on kids during the summer. With more spare time, and the hope of keeping everyone entertained, your money can dissolve like a Popsicle in a toddler’s fist.
Try these three tips to curb your summertime spending:
1. Know your child: Not every kid wants to go somewhere every day. Some kids are happy to stay home and play with friends. But some kids do crave more adventure and enjoy outings that cost money. Plan ahead and create a balance. Talk through the fun things you have planned for this summer scheduling a mix of free and not-so-free activities.
For some saving inspiration, check out Mr. Free Stuff’s list of 120 Free Things To Do with Kids This Summer.
2. Check in weekly: If you set expectations with your kids on Sunday night before the week starts with a quick “check in,” it will be easier to stick to your spending plan that week. The stay-at-home types will be able to gear up for the planned outings, and the adventurers of the bunch can anticipate how epic the next big thing will be.
3. Have a limit and a list: Have you ever headed to the mall to grab a birthday gift and it turned into a spending spree for every kid in tow? That is one surprise party your budget can do without! Stick to the list.
Remember to set limits with your kids (and yourself). Summertime is a great time to work with kids on basic money management. Involve your kiddos in some of the money decisions: should you spend the money to eat out tonight, or save it for the movies tomorrow because it’s supposed to rain? Which will they enjoy longer the mega box of candy or the toy? If your child has a summer job, walk through how many hours of labor that particular item or event will set them back.
Setting limits and involving them in making choices will help your kids better understand the true value of money.
Make it Happen!
The Money Couple®
Scott & Bethany Palmer
Authors of The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language