Grrr...spending money for kids

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by la79al, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. la79al

    la79al DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2005
    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?
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  3. tikistitch

    tikistitch Mouseketeer

    Feb 22, 2012
    To be really honest, $10 isn't going to get a child very far at Disney unless they want a single trading pin, magnet, or a postcard or something. You might be able to get her interested in doing a pressed penny collection, and you could bring lots of pennies and quarters to press and keep. Or she could buy an autograph book and pen and then you can build up getting the character to sign the book she bought with her own money. It's hard with preschoolers and toddlers to get them to understand the concept of money, so perhaps you could hit up your local Dollar Store or something and buy some Disney merchandise and bring it with you? That's what we do when we take my nephew along on trips, and when he gets caught up on a toy in a store we present him with one of the little things we brought along with us and he enjoys that just as much and has something to pass the time in line for the next ride with.

    But for spending cash, from the time he was about 3 on, we always made sure he had about $75-100. He'd get a tshirt and that'd be between $20-25 of the money, a stuffed animal would be another $20-25, and he'd always spend money on an ear hat and a light chaser to use at night. Just between those things, he had hardly any money left. This last trip he was 6 and he spend over half his money on a Duffy bear. It was $30 for the bear and $20 for a Buzz Lightyear outfit. Also, if your daughter is a huge Rapunzel fan there is merchandise at the parks with her on it, including the princess dress up gown. If you think at any point she might want one, it might be worth it to go to Target or a local Disney Store and grab one of the cheaper costumes to bring along. Our Target has a decent looking Rapunzel gown for $15. To buy it at the parks is about $90 a dress, I think.
  4. Bob NC

    Bob NC DIS Veteran<br><font color="red">I am a trained pr

    Mar 3, 2000
    I really can't imagine a 2 yo having any spending money.

    On Disney trips with our kids when they were around 4 or 5 they didn't have any spending money either.

    Them knowing this was a vacation, not a shopping trip, kinda helped them to enjoy the parks and attractions rather then the gift shops.
  5. CalSea12

    CalSea12 Desperately needs a dose of the magic!

    Jun 4, 2011
    I honestly think every family is different, and every child is different. What might be right for one might not be for the next. I would at least make sure each child gets to pick one special thing. Another suggestion is to bring extra toys for them from shops back at home.

    For my family it is just me, DH, and DD. We make a budget for what the adults can spend as well on souvenirs. What I am doing this time is 400 each adult, and 200 for the kiddo. I think its fair because its half of what we spend, and usually a lot my money would go towards her anyways.
  6. rizzo0904

    rizzo0904 Mouseketeer

    Nov 10, 2007
    We did Disneyland in May when my boys were 2 and 4. My mom gave them her change jar to bring with them. I think they both ended up with about $25 to take with them. Neither one really wanted to buy anything. YDS picked out a Mickey shirt and they both got a Mickey ice cream sandwich. They brought the rest home for their piggie banks. My kids LOVE to save money though.
  7. Spunky946

    Spunky946 DIS Veteran

    Aug 9, 2011
    We are going in a couple of weeks and our kids are 8 and 4. They each got a $25 gift card for Disney for Hanukkah this year for their spending money. We were there just a year ago, so they won't need to buy too much stuff. ds has his perry hat he is going to wear and might want a new t-shirt. Dd wants new ears and maybe a t-shirt. They don't need much more then that.

    It's up to you, but I would not go crazy.
  8. Mommyof3inVA

    Mommyof3inVA Mouseketeer

    Dec 22, 2012
    Last year we took our 3 children all under 5 to WDW. They were each allowed to pick 1 stuffed animal out that was under $20. They also got 1 shirt each. I think that you were right to their money in the bank. Just let them pick something out that they want, who knows your 2 year old might just want some candy that costs $5. You can definetly find souveniers for under $10 if you look hard enough. The best place to shop is at Downtown Disney's Disney Store--it is the biggest in the world I have heard.

    We also bought 1 Christmas ornament and that was for all of us. Try to buy some Disney goodies ahead of time at the $1 section of Target, Michael's crafts or Dollar Tree. This serves as a great way to surprise your kids and keep them happy without having to spend $$ at WDW.:thumbsup2
  9. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2006
    For kids that young, I would just tell them they can each pick out a toy or two at the end of the trip. If the amount is within reason, go ahead and buy them. Half the fun is looking at gift shops and deciding what they really want the most. We never actually set a limit for our kids. We just tell them to show us what they want. If it's too expensive, we don't buy it. They usually end up choosing things that are perfectly reasonable, and they understand they can't always have the really expensive stuff.
  10. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

    Sep 26, 2009
    Do 2- and 4-year olds need "spending money"? It's not as if they will be thinking about sticking to any kind of budget when they're at Disney. The 2-year old certainly has no concept of money at all and the 4-year old has only a limited understanding of what a dollar buys. It sounds more like you husband wants you to set a limit on what you spend on "stuff" for the girls. You know what kind of budget you have to work with. Just tell the kids they can each have one souvenir and direct their focus on the things that fit your budget. If it's $10 per child then so be it. There are lots of little things that you can get for that amount.
  11. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2002
    This is exactly what we have done. Last year, my father in law gave them each $40 to spend and it was so painful watching them try to spend that much money. They were spending just to spend and not because there was something that they wanted.
  12. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2008
    Ditto this for me, too... for our first few years, our girls really didn't even think to look at the items and WANT them, we just admired. They now can admire with a desire to "get something" a little more, so we let them pick one thing (for a reasonable price) and we'll get it for them - that could come from "spending money" I suppose, but at your kids' ages, mine didn't have a good concept of money and it would have been much more work. Besides that definitely putting the money in the bank seems like the best idea to me!
  13. *Seanaci*

    *Seanaci* DIS-obsessed and proud!

    Nov 3, 2008
    My 5 year old son did chores for 6 months before our trip (now that we are home, we've jumped right back into that daily chore routine and will.continue.the reward system as well). He earned ten cents per star earned for each chore (making his bed, brushing his teeth, picking up his toys in a timely manner, helping the adults in the house in some manner, and dusting the tv stand). He ended up with about $40 to spend while we were at Disneyland last week. I put in an extra 10 so he had $50...and we put it on a Disney gift card of his choosing from the Disney Store. He only spent half of it while we were shopping wasn't his favorite thing to do.

    That being said, I think your totals for your kids are fair and about right.
  14. LockShockBarrel

    LockShockBarrel Pudge controls the weather.

    Jul 13, 2009
    I would go one of 2 ways. Don't bring it up to the kids or start teaching the 4 yo a rewards for chores system.

    At these ages, they won't really have any concept of waiting to buy what they really want or how to save or why they can have toy a but not toy b. You could easily gauge their reactions to things and buy what you see they really want.

    Or for the 4 yo you can start a small chore system. Depending on what they already do consistently, use it as a way to teach them new skills or help them improve on ones they already have. Pick up your laundry/toys = 25 cents, help mommy dry the dishes= 50 cents. It doesn't have to be much but it adds up fast and helps them see a positive consequence to their actions.
  15. traceee

    traceee Earning My Ears

    Oct 31, 2012
    My kids are 3 and 4. They both save money in their piggy banks and have wallets for spending money that they bring with them if they want to buy something. (They usually only have a max of $5 in their wallet.).

    I think it's a good idea to give your kids some money to budget. I would think that $10 is enough for a treat or 2 that they could choose themselves. Then let them choose one bigger souvenir at the end of the trip that fits in your budget. That way they can have some control over the small things without being overwhelmed by a huge amount of money.

    MSSANDRA DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 2006
    We have never given the kids a set amount of money anytime. It just does not work for me. Kids as young as yours, truly do not understand the concept of cost of items and their value and worth. I am very conservative in buying for the sake of buying and it makes me a little crazy to give a child this amount and say spend it. What always has worked for us is to tell the boys to look all week and on the last day we will buy the one (or two) things you want the most. They know I do hold veto power if it cost too much. We avoid most gift shops and DTD most trips but they still have plenty of ideas by that last day. We do not carry anything in the parks we don't have too so they know we don't purchase anything. We save time that last day to do back where ever they want to get something. This year we told DS 6 he could choose one thing at our gift shop at the resort that we passed everyday, and one thing at the star Wars gift shop. We did end of with one other purchase there but that's a long story! My sister's family goes to WDW very frequently and they have always given their boys a set amount (WAY more than I ever would) and it works for them.
  17. scootch

    scootch DIS Veteran

    Jan 6, 2005
    When my kids were 2 and 4, they were so interested in the park, they didn't care about the gift shops... and thus, I skipped them. Before we left, I did let them each get something, dd 2 picked a little red car, cost $5 or less...we still have it(she is 10 :) ) I really wouldn't give kids that age a budget for them, I would decide what I was willing to spend and then just tell them no if it didnt' fit in what I planned on spending. Had I not taken my two into the gift shop the last day, i wouldn't have had to spend anything on them. They were mesmorized by the characters and the parks. Maybe it was a good set up too... as they still don't care to go hog wild in the shops. We usually have to plan to go in one before we leave.
  18. Mainemama

    Mainemama Mouseketeer

    Jan 1, 2013
    My experience is similar to other posters, but I do think some 4 year olds can have a concept of spending amounts. My 4 year old did, but he loves numbers. Limiting the item, rather than the amount is the way to go. We told our kids they could have 1 stuffy and 1 hat, and then buy themselves 1 more toy with their own money. They ended up turning down the hats:worried:, and purchasing $15 items on last day of trip. My son picked his stuffy the first day of the trip, so he could play with it the rest of the trip. My daughter looked at every animal in the parks before choosing one the 2nd to last night. If you are on the dining plan, shopping for snacks in candy store allows more fun shopping cheaply.
  19. WantToGoNow

    WantToGoNow DIS Veteran

    Sep 27, 2005
    But was the money given by grandma for Christmas specifically for Disney? If that's what she meant it for then it should be available for the trip and anything left over should go in the bank. If they were given a gift instead of cash, would you have returned that gift and put the money in the bank? Maybe I'm not understanding but if my kids grandparents gave them a specific amount for a specific thing, then that's what it should be used for.

    $10 at WDW will buy them some candy or a very small stuffed animal or maybe their autograph book/pen. My kids have never spent much at Disney but I'm not about to tell them no the entire trip either. A couple of years ago we gave dd9 $75 for her birthday at Disney and she had a really hard time spending it.
  20. littlezar

    littlezar DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2009
    Is that the only money they'll have to spend? If so, I'd say $25-50 each would get them a toy and maybe a shirt. Or is that money that they can say "I want this" and you won't say no? In that case, I'd say $10 each. The 4yr old might understand how much spending money she has but the 2 yr old probably doesn't so I'm assuming you're just putting that money aside in the budget for them either way.

    I've never done a set amount for my boys but they're also not big shoppers. They tend to get park or ride specific shirts and a pin to commemorate their favorite thing that trip.

    The older two each traded 2 vinylmation all week on our last trip - they started the trip by buying whichever series was buy 1 get 1 70% off and just kept trading til the end of the trip.

    The younger 2 did pin trading. You can get a starter set with 4 pins/lanyard on the Disney Store website for $25 and they can trade those all week. I don't know if your 2 yr old will understand the concept but your 4 yr old will probably enjoy it. My 6 year old would trade for something that he absolutely had to have at 9AM and by 11AM that one was being traded again for the next one he absolutely had to have. The 11yr old worked on collecting a specific set of pins and got all but 1 so he was happy.

    If your girls play with Mr. Potato Head you can go to the Once Upon a Toy store at Downtown Disney and fill a box with parts. You don't have to buy the potato head if you already have one at home. That runs around $20-25. That might be a good toy to get for them to share.

    Whatever you decide, have a magical trip!:wizard:
  21. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

    Jun 20, 2006
    I don't think children that small need spending money. They are at Disney World. DISNEY WORLD. All of those rides, the characters, the castle. Come on. It's DISNEY WORLD. How awesome is that? Is a 2 1/2 and 5 year old really going to need spending money to be happy, at DISNEY WORLD?!?

    Buy them a shirt, maybe a toy.

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