Putting the brakes on Spring Break spending

Toronto ON – During March or April, school-age children will have a one-week vacation. A 2011 TD First Class Travel Visa Survey discovered “79 per cent of credit card holders were planning on staying close to home” and relaxing during Spring Break.

It is also a time when parents ask themselves “how do we keep the children amused while we stay home and not break the bank?” The truth is not all children need parents to be their entertainment committee. It’s a role parents think they must fill to keep the kids happy.

“This year let your children be their own entertainment committee by giving them a budget for Spring Break, and put them in the driver’s seat to plan the family’s activities,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Putting your children in charge is a sneaky way of teaching them the value of money and developing their research skills – both important life lessons.”

Establishing criteria for Spring Break spending is a good place to start the discussion:

  • Will there be a maximum amount of money spent per day?
  • Can any unspent money be carried over to another day?
  • Consider ‘free day’ Friday – a day when the activity doesn’t cost anything.
  • One day must be spent volunteering as a family in your community.

“Children need to be rewarded for reaching a particular goal. In the case of Spring Break, it can be receiving a share of any unspent money to use for themselves, donate to charity, save for the future or a combination of all three,” continues Schwartz.

Check out these websites, or better yet, forward them to your children, for ideas on what to do during Spring Break:



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