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SimplyMarvie

Money for Kids and Cruising

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More experienced cruising parents, how have you handled your kids sail cards and putting money on them (or not...?) for the kids to use on the ship. 

 

We'll be sailing this winter with our three boys, ages 14, 12 and 7. I expect the 14 and 12 year olds will be running around the ship a good bit and would like them to have the chance to buy a soda or an ice cream with friends without having to track us down (or drag me out of the Spa) in order to do it... but I also don't want them to bankrupt us in the Arcade or anything. The 7 year old, on the other hand, has a very lax idea of money and what it's worth and I'm pretty sure if I gave him the ability to charge we'd end up with nineteen Rolex watches and no money at all.

 

Thoughts? Options? Ideas?

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8 minutes ago, SimplyMarvie said:

More experienced cruising parents, how have you handled your kids sail cards and putting money on them (or not...?) for the kids to use on the ship. 

 

We'll be sailing this winter with our three boys, ages 14, 12 and 7. I expect the 14 and 12 year olds will be running around the ship a good bit and would like them to have the chance to buy a soda or an ice cream with friends without having to track us down (or drag me out of the Spa) in order to do it... but I also don't want them to bankrupt us in the Arcade or anything. The 7 year old, on the other hand, has a very lax idea of money and what it's worth and I'm pretty sure if I gave him the ability to charge we'd end up with nineteen Rolex watches and no money at all.

 

Thoughts? Options? Ideas?

Most cruise lines allow parents to set limits to the amount of money minors can charge to the account. Some cruise lines offer "Arcade Credit" which is like OBC for arcades!

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I don't give my 8 yo charging privileges. But then - he is always with us anyway, so if he does need something, we'll be right there to say yay or nay.

 

I am sure your older two may be mature enough to adhere to your rules or they will lose the privileges.

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The younger child won't be needing to keep their card on them,...whoever they are with can purchase whatever for him.  He's too young to be "out and about" on his own.

 

You can certainly put a set amount on each of the other kid's cards...tell them when it's gone, it's gone!  Let them practice budgeting!

 

Some cruise lines don't limit the arcade to a set amount, so ask about that!  Or, simply don't let them go without you, so you can keep an eye on the spending in there!

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For the older two , give them a daily budget and check the account daily on the tv. Tell them whatever they spend beyond the budget will be their responsibility. Works really well. The youngest will either be in the kids club or with you so will not need to carry a card. 

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We don't give our's spending privileges on their cruise card,  they don't drink soda, they would probably spend a fortune on  snacks from the gift shop :classic_rolleyes:   The cruise lines we use typically have milk, cookies and ice cream included so kids don't need extra money.   We do give them spending money for them to spend in ports,  we try to do a "when it's gone it's gone" approach.

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Thanks for posting this.  I didnt even think about it.  We'll probably give our 8 year old spending privileges.  He likes to spend his own money.  He's with us the whole time so I'm not worried about him taking advantage & if he does, it will be his pocket it comes from.  The only area of concern would be arcade but again, hed be with us so shouldn't be a problem.

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15 hours ago, cabin4three said:

We don't give our's spending privileges on their cruise card,  they don't drink soda, they would probably spend a fortune on  snacks from the gift shop :classic_rolleyes:   The cruise lines we use typically have milk, cookies and ice cream included so kids don't need extra money.   We do give them spending money for them to spend in ports,  we try to do a "when it's gone it's gone" approach.

This exactly for us.  We've never given our kids spending privilegs on their cards and it's never been an issue.

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We have always given our 5 kids charging privileges on vacations, with a budget, and not once has anyone gone over (penalty would be loss of charging privileges plus they would have to pay us back). So much better than “can I have this...can I have that... I think they each got a whopping $25 at WDW and didn’t spend it all.

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5 hours ago, mjkacmom said:

We have always given our 5 kids charging privileges on vacations, with a budget, and not once has anyone gone over (penalty would be loss of charging privileges plus they would have to pay us back). So much better than “can I have this...can I have that... I think they each got a whopping $25 at WDW and didn’t spend it all.

My son was allowed to take $100 of his own money to WDW.   Unfortunately he had it spent (in his head)  within 24 hours LOL.   We made him wait h price check everything & also to make sure he really wanted it.   BUT when it's our $$$ he knows we don't mess around & have zero problem saying no.   He was mad because I made him pay shipping on an order he made yesterday,  which reminds me,  I need to collect it from his wallet before we head to the fair.   

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Our kids are usually pretty good about money, and Id like for them to get more chances to manage their own spending a little bit. I have no problem with them getting an ice cream or cocoa or whatever when they're out and about... I just don't want to end up with half a gift-shop or an $800 arcade bill. 

 

So, maybe a spending limit and reviewing their charges together at the end of the night...?

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We've gone to guest services and had them put a limit on how much they can charge.  When they reach the limit, it was impossible for them to charge more,

 

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I would go with a daily spending limit that rolls over. 

 

Lets say you go with $20 per day.  First day they get $20 on their account, once it is spent they can't spend more.  But lets say one spends $15 dollars than day two that kid now has $25 to spend.  That way if they want to save up for something in the gift shop that costs $45 they can.  And what ever amount you choose be it $5 a day or $50 per day, don't stress or put limits on what specifically they spend it on.  (well maybe limit the amount that can be used towards candy)  should matter to you if they are spending money on arcade vs gift shop, but it will give them the chance to budget and make decisions on their own. 

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We generally don't give spending privileges to our kids, but I set the limit on their cards at between $25 and $50. I do this because there was at least one time where one of them needed something. The older child did it and was able to swipe her card without having to worry about it.

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We give our kids spending privileges and once had the arcade sneak up on us. Once we caught wind of his activity we were able to retain his spending but put a ban on the arcade. My middle was 11 at the time. Otherwise, it's always been really great. On the last cruise we gave him a limit of $100 and told him that whatever he didn't spend, we'd give him in cash at the end of the cruise. He didn't spend a dime and he didn't ask us for anything. Best $100 I've spent. 

 

What I like about providing a budget amount is that they stop coming to ask us for every little thing. They get to decide what they want and when it is gone, it is gone. We do enable purchasing on the youngest's card (she's 4), but only so we can just swipe and not worry about which card we have out. 

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