I have already heard it… “Mom, dad, what are we doing for March Break?" It’s almost like there's an expectation or it's our job to entertain our children during March Break. While it might be a great time to get away from the winter weather and go to a nice beach in the Caribbean, many of us simply can't. Should we feel guilty as parents if we don’t plan for something or we don’t go away? Absolutely not! In fact, March Break can be a great opportunity to teach our kids a thing or two about money and managing a budget.
How to make it a budget-friendly March Break
There are a number of alternatives to expensive March Break outings, like a staycation and doing fun activities at home. And there are always activities in and around the city you can participate in that could be less damaging to your family's budget. But if you're already starting to feel the pressure of giving your kids an amazing March Break while finances are tight, there are some questions you need to ask yourself.
Teaching kids about money
Credit Canada’s Financial Coaching series suggests there are ten basic steps to teaching children how to be responsible with money:
- Examine your own attitudes about money and set a good example.
- Give your kids an allowance and let them be in charge of spending it.
- Expect your children to contribute to family chores.
- Provide extra income opportunities.
- Teach your kids to save regularly (you can use a piggy bank).
- Help your children discover the satisfaction of sharing and how they can help others.
- Show your child how to be a wise consumer before they buy something.
- Help your child develop a healthy attitude towards money by letting them borrow small amounts of money from you with the expectation of them paying you back.
- Teach your child the value of wise investments while playing games.
- Involve your child in your family's financial planning by teaching them about budgeting. Show them how you budget for groceries, vacations, your cellphone, etc.
Talking about money with your kids
Helping your kids develop a healthy relationship with money and finances