Since we vacation in a New Jersey beach town with a fabulous boardwalk, there are plenty of opportunities for souvenir shopping. With souvenir shopping comes plenty of discussions about how much things cost. The children save their money for souvenirs throughout the year, so it’s the perfect time to talk with them about budgeting and money.
We usually start the week by counting out how much they’ve saved – if they haven’t already counted it before. For the youngest, it’s a great chance to talk about coins and the value of bills. After we’ve determined how much they have, we talk about what’s on their wish lists and how much they think those things will cost.
Creating an estimate of how much they want to spend on each item on their list quickly gives them an idea of what’s realistic and what they can live without. Talking sales tax is an important part of the discussion, as well. It’s a great way to sneak in some multiplication and a great life skill to learn.
Throughout the week they make their purchases and, inevitably, some things come off the list as the reality of the cost of their treasures comes to light. Most importantly, they learn more about money, budgeting, and what’s really important to them.