Some Cheap School Holiday Activity Ideas
Do your children appeal to you for expensive holiday activities that stretch your budget too far?
Of course, you don’t want your child to be bored during holiday periods. You want them to enjoy their school holiday, but at the same time, you don’t want their holiday activities to break the bank.
You probably already know the kinds of activities that they like, but just to be sure, sit down with them to discuss how to approach the coming holidays. Find out what they’d like to do, and see if you can work around that.
This process will likely take several meetings. In your first discussion, explain to your child how much you’re able to budget for holiday activities, and ask them to make a list before your next meeting. Make it clear that the list should include activities that they would like but that fall within the budget limitations.
Hopefully, you can end up with a list of activities that your child will enjoy and benefit from but that will fit within your budget. To motivate them to choose wisely, you could promise that any money from your proposed budget that is not used will be put into savings for them.
You can prepare a list in advance and give it to your child to serve as a jumping off point. Below are some possibilities for your list.
Ways to Make Money as a Kid at Home
Your teen’s first job might be bagging groceries at your local supermarket, or it might be life-guarding at the local swimming pool. It doesn’t matter what his first job turns out to be, there are certain things that he should know before working at his first job.
Your teen probably already has a bank account. If he doesn’t, help him to open a savings account and to develop a budget that will include regular deposits into that savings account.
If his budget doesn’t include regular savings deposits every single pay day, he might give into temptation to purchase all the goodies that he never had enough money for in the past. This point in his life could pave the way for continued good money managing or it could erode his previous good financial habits if he doesn’t proceed carefully.
Your teenager probably will already have a rudimentary knowledge about tax before he gets his first job. He will have overheard you talking, or perhaps complaining, about how your income is taxed.
He will probably not actually understand the tax system, and you will need to explain to him how he will be taxed. The first thing to do is to help him get a Tax File Number, which he’ll need when he fills out the tax form on his first day at work.
Explain to him that if he expects to earn less than $18,200 in a year, he will not have to pay tax and should claim the tax-free option on the tax declaration form at work. Otherwise, his employer will have to withhold up to 50% of his income in tax.
If he works for more than one employer, then he should claim the tax-free threshold at the job that earns him more.
Teach Him About Superannuation
Even though he’s a teen, he needs to learn about superannuation. If he is under 18, works 30 hours a week, and earns over $450 gross in a month, he is eligible to have his employer make superannuation contributions.
Go over the different kinds of superannuation accounts so that he picks the one that is right for him at this point in his life and, hopefully, in the future as well.
Daily Spending Habits
Without being overbearing, talk to your teen about his daily spending habits and encourage him to continue the good financial habits that you instilled in him as he was growing up. Remind him to track his budget continuously and keep on top of his daily spending so that it doesn’t invalidate the budget that he put together so carefully.
From our recent poll on the Money Moppets website and Facebook page, we found that the average pocket money amount paid weekly is $8.34. And 64% of our readers are paying their children pocket money for doing jobs.
Financial literacy in adults begins with the habits that children develop as their parents educate them about money management. One of the tools for this education can be pocket money.
If used correctly, pocket money can be a tool that helps a child learn how to handle her own money.
They can learn to plan their spending in such a way that they rarely come up short. They may make some mistakes along the way, but will learn how to make the kind of choices that fit into what they want. If the pocket money is at first a small amount to be used only for a few extra things the child wants, but then develops into a larger amount that covers their weekly expenses, they can learn not only money management, but also how to be responsible for their own well-being and independence. If a child’s pocket money is connected to household jobs, then they can learn the connection between work and pay.
Not everyone agrees that children should receive regular pocket money.
Some people believe that children who receive unconditional pocket money not tied to jobs end up viewing money as an entitlement.
Children that receive pocket money in exchange for doing household jobs may make such a strong emotional connection between money and jobs that they end up expecting to be paid for every small thing they do. As a result, they do not develop the feeling they are part of a team/family.
How Much Pocket Money is the Right Amount?
According to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, it seems that most parents give pocket money in the following amounts.
When it comes to giving pocket money, parents have some very difficult decisions to make so that the system of receiving pocket money results in positive outcomes, like developing independence and responsibility, learning how to manage money and delayed gratification, and understanding the value of money.
What System of Giving Pocket Money Is Best?
There is no set right or wrong about one system of dealing with pocket money over another. How parents handle the issue of pocket money and educate their child about money management will determine whether the system they’ve chosen is right.
Pocket money for kids can be tied to household jobs. According to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, most pocket money is connected to jobs that the child does around the house. This system can help a child appreciate the value of money, but the parent must take care not to foster the notion that the child should be paid for every small help they give. If this system is not handled well, the parent can end up losing control of the child.
Pocket money can be tied to grades at school. This is another system that could backfire. Some children might be motivated to study hard in order to get a financial reward, but others might end up being overly stressed.
Pocket money can be connected to behaviour. There probably isn’t a parent in the country who has not been guilty of bribing a child for good behaviour. If done sporadically, it probably will not result in lasting harm, but if done on a regular basis, children might develop an attitude that they only have to be good when being paid.
Proceed with Caution
What works for your friends and their children might not work in your family. And what works with one of your children might not work with another. Evaluate each child and your current family situation, and proceed with caution.
Doing some quick sums I discovered that if you saved roughly $480 a month from when your child is 5 until they are 20 with a 2% interest rate, they'll have $100,000. This changes slightly to around $440 a month at 3% interest. Given a low interest rate environment, getting kids to save this much money each month might be difficult. But if they do this it is a nice deposit for a property or a good start for tertiary education.