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Old 01-02-2013, 03:45 AM   #31
traceee
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It seems like everyone agrees that setting some sort of limit, whether it be how many items, the size of the item, the type or the cost, is the key. It's the clear expectations that seem to work.

Putting their money on gift cards is temptingly convenient, I have to admit, but if your kids decide not to spend all of it, they've lost the ability to save whatever is leftover.

Thanks for posting this question.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:21 PM   #32
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Spending money for 4 year olds and 2 year olds in unnecessary. At 4 a child has very little concept of cost or value. At 2 a child has no concept of money at all. Neither understand that a card equals cash.

My 4 year old could tell you an American Girl doll costs $100 and that's a "lot" of money. She is also likely to tell you a car costs the same. American Girls are $100 and they are a "lot" and cars are a "lot" therefore they are both $100. She understands that you need money to get things in stores. She also knows you can use a card to get things, but she has no idea of the concept that a card is the same as cash. It's something you swipe and they give you stuff.

If my 4 year old knew she had money she would want to buy everything she saw.

You are better off being concrete with her. "You may have 1 balloon and 1 light up toy in the park." "When we go to the store on Tuesday, you may choose one toy."
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:39 PM   #33
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$10 will not get them much at all at Disney!
If my kids were on good behavior at the parks, then at the end of the day they were allowed to pick out 1 thing, and we kept it around or under $20 each. (One kid may want something that is $25, the other wants the $5 thing!) In the end they came home with hats, shirts, toys, cups, etc... they were happy and it worked well for us.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:55 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by badblackpug View Post
Spending money for 4 year olds and 2 year olds in unnecessary. At 4 a child has very little concept of cost or value. At 2 a child has no concept of money at all. Neither understand that a card equals cash.

My 4 year old could tell you an American Girl doll costs $100 and that's a "lot" of money. She is also likely to tell you a car costs the same. American Girls are $100 and they are a "lot" and cars are a "lot" therefore they are both $100. She understands that you need money to get things in stores. She also knows you can use a card to get things, but she has no idea of the concept that a card is the same as cash. It's something you swipe and they give you stuff.

If my 4 year old knew she had money she would want to buy everything she saw.

You are better off being concrete with her. "You may have 1 balloon and 1 light up toy in the park." "When we go to the store on Tuesday, you may choose one toy."
This.

My MIL used to give my kids Disney Dollars--usually $50 or $100 each, even when they were little, like the ages of your kids. The kids had no clue of the value of the dollars--well, at 4, my oldest had a vague idea, but more like the PP said. We told them they could pick out one item each. I used/converted the Disney dollars to regular cash, and put their remaining "balances" in their savings accounts when we got home. Honestly, they probably had no clue about any of it--I did it more for me, and to set the stage for further money discussions.

We typically tell our kids they have so much to spend, but then it's gone. We've had good and bad spends through the years. DS(now)15 once blew his Disney money on Magic cards in Epcot and was kicking himself the rest of the week. OTOH, my younger DD (now 9) fell in love with a stuffed toy we found in AK. She fell in love with it again at AKL, and then found the same thing in a different color at Epcot. It was clear that she really wanted this stuffed animal, so she bought it in Epcot. If necessary, we would have gone back to AKL for the specific item, since it was so clear that she wanted it. She still sleeps with it every night.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #35
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I'm going to sound like a terrible parent now!!!!

My boys (almost 5) will both have $200 to spend next month. This is their first time at "Mickey Mouse's House" and we have saved hard so we can go crazy. We have been telling them for over a year that 'one day' we'll go, but we aren't actually telling them until our departure day.
They have saved birthday & Christmas money for our 'one-day' trip so I'm going to let them spend it.
They are both very sensible spenders considering their age, they've never been 'I want, I want' kids so I'm going to let them have a week of craziness!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #36
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We are having a lot of disagreement in our house about how much spending money is appropriate for DD4 (will be almost 5 at time of trip) and DD2 (2.5 at trip time). My husband claims $10 each is fine since my mom and I will both be with them. My mom was upset that I put their Christmas money ($100 each) in the bank instead of letting them have it for spending money at DW. I was thinking $50 for DD4 and $30 for DD2 would be plenty. My mom will only be with us for 2 park days and I am on a very tight budget myself so we won't be ATMs for them. DD4 is in a huge Rapunzel stage but already has a ton of Rapunzel stuff so I don't know what else she will be interested in. I have a feeling she will spend money just to spend it but will probably be fine with only buying one thing all week. DD2 has no concept of money but does cute things like pick out a toy and kiss it and then look sad and tell the toy bye bye when I tell her we can't get it. She will probably be all about the food but I'm planning on bringing snacks along and I will be paying for any other snacks the girls want. What has been your experience with spending money for this age?
Opinions will vary widely on this. To me, I do not think a 4 year old and 2 year old are able to grasp the concept of money so they would have no spending money. When my children were that age, they each were able to get one souvenir. To us, anything more was just a waste. YMMV.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #37
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My kids were each given a $25 gift card to spend AS THEY WANTED (they were 8 & 5 on our last trip) and then we also bought them a few things here and there. The $25 I put on their gift cards was their money to spend however they wanted. In other words, if my child wanted to blow $15 on a stupid light up souvenier, they were allowed to do so. The only thing I nixed was those dumb balloons on Main Street...well I didn't nix it, I talked them out of it b/c those are the biggest waste of money EVER.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:11 PM   #38
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Urgh balloons are the worst!!! They drive me crazy. My friend always buys one for her daughter if we go out and it gets tangled in something or blows away or pops - every time there is some sort of drama - thankfully my boys aren't fussed on them so I've never had to buy them!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #39
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I'm going to sound like a terrible parent now!!!!

My boys (almost 5) will both have $200 to spend next month. This is their first time at "Mickey Mouse's House" and we have saved hard so we can go crazy. We have been telling them for over a year that 'one day' we'll go, but we aren't actually telling them until our departure day.
They have saved birthday & Christmas money for our 'one-day' trip so I'm going to let them spend it.
They are both very sensible spenders considering their age, they've never been 'I want, I want' kids so I'm going to let them have a week of craziness!!!
You don't sound like a terrible parent at all. If you have the money to spend and you are okay with spending it, go for it. It drives me a little crazy though to spend money on stuff that should be half that price and will only see 5 minutes of use.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #40
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Smile As a Grandms myself......

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Okay, now that you've added more details I'll change my answer a bit.

It sounds as if Grandma expected that the kids' Christmas money would be used for Disney fun. Why else would you have written: "My mom was upset that I put their Christmas money ($100 each) in the bank instead of letting them have it for spending money at DW." in your OP?

I would pull ALL OF IT out of the bank, put $75 per child on gift cards and have $25 in cash per child for anything that can't be paid for with a gift card. Hand the GCs over to Grandma and tell her to use them to treat the girls to what they want. Let her have the pleasure of buying an ice cream treat or tempting light up toy for the girls. That way she won't have to dig further into her pocketbook to pay for something that she had anticipated the girls would have been able to get when she gave them their Christmas money.
I absolutely 10000% agree with this poster their fingers were just quicker than mine
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #41
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We always had the "pick out one thing" rule, and it still applies to my DS15 when I'm paying for it. There is also an "affordability" limit, in the neighborhood of $30 each.

We just returned from a Xmas trip: DS15 chose a tee at IOA that was $24, and DD5 chose to use some of her xmas gift money from relatives to supplement my limit a bit to to buy a basic selection of toy monorail components (the full set was out of the question as being both too large and too expensive, but we allowed her to get one train and two boxes of track, which added up to $40. She will be allowed to add components one at a time on future trips.)

For young kids, what I do with cash gifts from family is to put it all in the bank and then give the kids scrip for a portion of it that they can use as mad money for the year. They are never allowed to blow a large wad of cash all at once. By high school they do get to use it as they choose, but the amounts are never excessive. My relatives don't give large cash gifts to children, thankfully; normally it tops out at $50 for the eldest. If they want to give more than that, I give them the paperwork to send the excess directly to the college funds.

I will add that now that my DS is a teen, when at theme parks he also gets a snack allowance that I put on a gift card. We did the dining plan for a while, but now we find that it no longer has much value for us, as DS is the only one with a large appetite. So, what we do is to give him what we would have spent on the dining plan for him alone as a gift card so that he can eat as he pleases. If he is with us at mealtime we still pay for his meal, but very often he is touring on his own, so he'll get what he wants when he is hungry. If he chooses to spend that money on "stuff" rather than food, that is his choice, but we won't be buying any snacks for him or giving him add'l cash for meals while we are there. So far he prefers to reserve the card for food purchases only.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #42
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You don't sound like a terrible parent at all. If you have the money to spend and you are okay with spending it, go for it. It drives me a little crazy though to spend money on stuff that should be half that price and will only see 5 minutes of use.
My sister thinks we're insane!!
My thinking is that it's their first 'proper' vacation, and their first time at Disney so I want it to be complete over-the-top and magical, we've been saving hard so I want to go crazy!
We are usually pretty strict with them (they are the only Grandkids for hubby's parents so being spoilt would be very easy with them!).
It's probably making it easier knowing that they will probably buy most things from the Lego store in DTD instead of on park stuff - at least I know they'll get years of play out of it!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #43
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I will add that now that my DS is a teen, when at theme parks he also gets a snack allowance that I put on a gift card. We did the dining plan for a while, but now we find that it no longer has much value for us, as DS is the only one with a large appetite. So, what we do is to give him what we would have spent on the dining plan for him alone as a gift card so that he can eat as he pleases. If he is with us at mealtime we still pay for his meal, but very often he is touring on his own, so he'll get what he wants when he is hungry. If he chooses to spend that money on "stuff" rather than food, that is his choice, but we won't be buying any snacks for him or giving him add'l cash for meals while we are there. So far he prefers to reserve the card for food purchases only.
This is such a great idea - I'm going to let my sister know as she is always frustrated with her boys - this would solve her problem!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #44
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We were just in Disneyland with my 2 year old and 10 month old and we decided they could each get 2 things- but this was more to restrain us than them! My DS2 picked a toy from 3 I showed him ($60 Mater Car hauler that DH liked , $25 remote control train, $10 smaller train). He picked the remote control train which I am still kicking myself because I am SURE he would have picked the smaller train if I hadn't shown him the bigger one- and the remote control part worked for like 3 days). He also got a train pin. We got my daughter a shirt and the plastic princess doll pack (which at the time I thought was a waste since we have the Fab 5 one that no-one plays with, but she freaking loves those dolls!). At 2, I really think we could have gotten him nothing and he never would have known or cared, but I could see where if the older one knows about souvenirs, the younger one would pick up on it. I think $50 for each one sounds about right and they should be able to get 2 decent things each for that.

We are taking them to WDW when they are 5 and 6. Pretty sure we will blow the budget on that one- but my thought for those ages is $100 Gift Card each (for a week trip) plus we will buy them one shirt and one hat. I also like the idea of one hat, one shirt, one pin, one toy.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #45
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When my kids were 3, 5 & 7, they each got $10 in disney dollars for spending money. It was enough. They were quite happy with the things they picked out. My oldest DD wanted a stuffed animal that was $11.99 so I gave her an extra $2 but she'd seen things she wanted that would've been under the $10. Also they knew they weren't going to get the disney dollars until several days in to a ten day trip, so they had time to window shop and get ideas of what they were going to get. Generally the kids wanted to be on the rides, not in the shops!
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