By Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.
It seems like forever since you started clipping coupons to help send your family to Disney. It’s no secret that Disneyland and Disney World vacations are very expensive, but they can also provide an excellent opportunity to teach your child life lessons before, during, and after the vacation. Today’s Disney life lesson?
Learn to Save Your Money.
Money. It makes the world go ’round, and you can’t go on vacation without it. If I’m paying for the actual vacation, (lodging, travel, food) then I can’t possibly buy my children every souvenir they want. Even worse, if I did, I would be providing a false sense of reality. As adults, we know we don’t get everything we want in life. No matter how many coupons we clip, we can’t have it all.
Please Remind Me Why I Save Money for a Disney World Vacation!
There is always a nicer hotel room right around the corner, a more expensive meal, a bigger gold bracelet Mickey waiting in Downtown Disney’s “World of Disney” store. Vacations are expensive, and it takes a lot of money to fund your Disney dreams. But do kids know this? Does your child really understand that your Disney vacation will cost a lot of money, and that without a money tree, that money has to come from somewhere?
My kids can’t have it all, but they can do “their part” on vacation by paying for most of their own souvenirs. I know a lot of families spring last-minute surprise vacations on their children. This makes for great Disney TV commercials, with happy little tykes opening pizza boxes with ‘We’re going to Disney!” messages drawn in thick Sharpie marker. But you can’t save money for a trip you don’t know about.
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I decided long ago that if I have to save money to go on vacation, then my kids can save money to buy the goodies they want. My children know the exact date we leave for our next trip. They know, to the penny, how much money they have, because it’s posted on our refrigerator door every day. If they buy an expensive video game two weeks before we make it to Orlando, they know I won’t swoop in to buy their souvenirs, no matter how much they beg. If you’ve stood in a Disney gift shop longer than say 15 minutes, then undoubtedly you’ve heard children begging for money.
But they weren’t my kids. My pre-teen children know they have a choice in what they spend their money on, hopefully keeping an eye on the future Disney trip dates, and I’m always subtly hinting for them to save, save, save their money. Everything, and I mean eve.ry.thing, looks good in those Disney gift shops. Save, save, save, because Sugar Daddy’s pockets are only so deep.
The Day You Arrive at Disney World, Don’t Waste Your Tickets on This…
How can you teach your kids to save money?
#1. Conversation. Encourage your child to start saving money for your vacation months before you leave. This opens up great dinner conversation opportunities, and they’ll be glad they had money to spend once they hit those gift shops.
#2. Eye Candy. Pull up the Disneystore.com and let your child see how much Disney merchandise costs online. This will give them a realistic sense of how much Disney items cost (a lot) and how much money they will need to take with them (a lot). Now is the time to tell your child if you plan to pay for any souvenirs for them.
#3. By Example. Every month, you could show your kids a chart with how much money you have saved for your Disney vacation, and take a look at how much they have saved. Post this on your fridge, so it’s never far from sight. Out of sight is out of mind, and that’s how even adults wind up in financial difficulties.
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I usually give each of my three kids $20, and past that point, it’s up to them. Christmas $$, birthday $$, chore $$- I hope they’ve saved it.
In our fast food world of overwhelming credit card debt, the ability to save money for items you really want is a valuable life skill.
Life lessons with a Disney spin.
If you ever said to your child as you walked through a Disney park, “You better go ride your favorite rides now, because we may not be coming back for a long time,” then you know exactly what I am talking about, and you just might be a Cheapskate Princess yourself.
Thanks for stopping by, and keep clipping those coupons for your next Disney trip!
Amanda from Cheapskate Princess.com
Come see us at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess on Facebook and Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest.