On the positive side, there is a nearly endless array of souvenir options for your shopping pleasure around Disney World. On the negative side, unless you have an unlimited budget and unlimited storage space at home, you will want to have a budget and a plan – especially when helping your children make good souvenir choices.
Considerations include the budget for souvenirs, how to earn the money, and how to store the money.
Perhaps the most important step in the process is setting a limit, or a budget, for child’s souvenir purchases. There are many tempting choices, and most of them cost more than you would think. Setting a budget not only ensures you don’t go broke, but also empowers your children to make the choices that will make them the happiest – and it even helps them start to learn important life lessons on making trade-offs and in planning.
How much should the budget be? We suggest that it depends on how much they earn, which is the next step.
Earning Souvenir Money
If your child is old enough to handle some level of financial choice, then they are probably old enough to earn some or all of their funds for the souvenirs. Some parents chose to combine both a lump sum ‘gift’ together with ‘earned’ money, while others want their kids to earn all the money. Keep in mind that things at Disney are expensive, so either you need to pay more than $1 for cutting the grass, or you need to help jump start the souvenir fund.
There are many creative ideas on how kids can earn money – everything from household chores to reading books, from getting good grades to following household rules. Be creative, but keep it simple. This is a great way to involve your children in the planning process.
This one can be tricky. Holding on to the cash provides instant feedback on the amount of money remaining, and somehow seems to make purchase seem more real. However, especially with all the fun, excitement, and yes confusion of a Disney vacation, it is sometimes all too easy to lose the money.
An alternative is to put the funds onto a Disney gift card. This provides some level of protection against loss as long as you keep the card number someplace safe. You can also get the card balance by calling a toll free number or checking purchase receipts. However, the downside is that it makes the concept of the funds available a little more conceptual.
Remember To Have Fun
Whatever decisions you make on the budget, earnings, and method for storing souvenir money, remember that this is a vacation and a time for fun. Enjoy the time together!