It’s Fall break.

My kids were bored

Mom and Dad were broke.

Our plans to go camping were curtailed because a.) our usual camping spot is at a “national” park that is closed and b.) all the state park “tent” sites were taken.

Scott and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to let our kids learn the VALUE of savings.

You see, they get “money” from grandparents for Christmas and birthdays. Our normal rule is they put it all in their “savings” account except for a little they can keep out to spend. This savings is for future things like a cheap CAR when they turn 16 or a very small part of their college cost, ha! But mostly, it’s to show the value in SAVINGS. That instead of wasting their money on junk or silly toys they will play with for about 2 hours and then be bored with them, they can save their money and use it on something FUN or WORTHWHILE.

So, we told them we would allow them to spend a bit of their savings this weekend if they wanted to pick out something “fun” to do.

They all unanimously picked something they’d been wanting to do for a while.

They wanted to go to Holiday World! About a 3 hour drive, it’s an amusement park in Santa Clause, IN. They were having their “Halloween” weekends this month at a reduced cost. So we packed up  literally within just a few hours, booked a hotel with an indoor swimming pool, and headed out.


Seriously, this is probably the FUNNEST time we’ve had as a family in a VERY LONG TIME.

The kids TOTALLY owned it. And I think the fact that they were using their OWN money actually made the trip even better for them. We had minimal “fighting.” They didn’t beg to spend money on every silly souvenir, and even checked prices when they were looking at things, and turned down some expensive items because they didn’t want to waste their money. They just enjoyed the park and the rides, and even Annabelle had a BLAST!! She SHOCKED me with how well she did, and she rode a ton of rides that I did NOT think she would, and didn’t cry over them even one time! (She did, however, throw more than one fit over the aspect of standing in line… that was NOT a pleasant part, ha!)

On the way home, Lacy settled in her sleep and sleepily told me, “Mommy, this has been the BEST day EVER.”

Yes, I was one very happy Momma!!

Discussion: What creative ways have you used to teach kiddos about savings? Or teach YOURSELF about the value of savings?

Rocket-Rider Annabelle!

SEAHORSE Riding Annabelle! She did this ALL BY HERSELF!!


Daddy and Lacy, Kara and Gabby, getting ready to ride the Raven!



  1. LOVE Holiday World 🙂 We are in SE Indiana and about 2-3 hrs away. It is the most family friendly amusement park I have ever been to. Glad to hear you had such a great time! We are working on the "money" part with our kids. My oldest is 8…6,4, and 1…so it's a work in progress!

    1. Julie, it was a blast! We'd love to go back in the summer sometime so we can do the water rides too!! It was SUPER nice that Annabelle could have such a fun time too!!

      Although, I'll admit, I can't wait till all the kiddos are old enough to enjoy one of the "big" amusement parks (Cedar Point..Great America, ect… I'm a roller coaster lover!!)

      And yes, it's still a work-in-progress here too, but loving celebrating a WIN! HA!

    2. The water park is great also and my littles really like the kids area. Especially the bouncing ride!! I adore roller coasters as well! 🙂 Unfortunately my hubby does not 🙁 He's a good sport though and is usually willing to go sometimes as a family and let me ride a few coasters! I grew up living in Cincinnati so KI was my spot. BUT our first date (odd I know) was at 6 Flags KY Kingdom and we've done Cedar Point a few times with our teen Youth Group as well.

      About the teaching kids finances…there's a book by David Ramsey geared towards teaching kids this very thing. I was amazed and inspired by this book. I'll have to see if I can figure out the name of it. Would definitely recommend the read.

  2. Annabelle looks so grown up! I'm glad you had a fun time. I've heard that it is generally better to spend money on experiences rather than material stuff…as far as making memories. Too bad interest rates are so low…I remember being in 5th/6th grade and looking at my monthly interest earned on my very meager savings.

    1. she is getting SO BIG!!! she was like 36.5 inches so she was able to ride a lot of rides because she was over 36 inches (the ones that "must" have an adult with them kind.) Everyone was giving me funny looks because she's so skinny she doesn't LOOK big enough, but she did FABULOUS!

      And here ya on the interest rates, I'm always like, WOOHOO, you made a PENNY!!!!

  3. what beautiful photos! so glad you had GREAT family time!

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