Trying to pass a message at 60€ per hour

Why would you ever spend 60€ per hour on entertainment? There is much better value for money that can be found in this space. And yet, that is what me and my family did this Sunday.

Are we going nuts? Did we dump the whole frugal part of our life? To a certain extend, yes we did. And while doing it, my wife and I gave each other some looks and comments in the line of: “we are insane”. Yet, there was a purpose.

So, what did we do? Over the course of the summer, we had talked our kids out of some throw-away-money activities in exchange for an afternoon at the fair in town. We did it a couple of times,  so, it was hard not to break this promise.

We did not make this promise blindly: conditions would apply: Each kid would be allowed to pick exactly 5 activities out of the 40-ish activities available, including eating greasy food like pancakes or an ice cream. In order to do so, we would show them the fair first so they could make an educated choice. Maybe we can even call this a first delayed gartification?

All in all, the afternoon one hour at the fair went well. At arrival, they pointed at attractions they wanted to do. After a reminder, they agreed to look a little further first. I do consider this a small step in the right direction. We also managed to explain that some activities were for really older or smaller children.

While walking around, we were kind in shock to find out that a lot of attractions charge no less than 5€ for one ride. That is a lot of money. And on some attractions, we needed to go along to assist them. Not that I mind, it allows to create some connections that they talk about months after.

wp-1473706679579.jpgWhen they were down to their last pick, the kids surprised us with creativity. There was one attraction that the oldest did alone: floating on water in a big ball. You could also do this with 2. So, they proposed that by going with 2 in a balloon, this would count as 1 for two of them, leaving them with one last choice for both of them. As we appreciated the creativity, we agreed. The final choice was ice-cream… A good one!

All-in-all, we are happy we took the kids there. We feel they behaved very well and were able to cope with the limitations they had. On top of that, they were creative to propose alternatives. I like that a lot.

We also talked to them about a theme park were we can go a whole day for almost the same amount. They start to understand a little bit the value of money better: one hour vs a whole day… we are not there yet, the seed is planted and growing.

The next step we have in mind is an allowance…

How do you teach your kids some patience and money lessons?





10 thoughts on “Trying to pass a message at 60€ per hour

  1. The secret in Belgium is the annual Walibi Gold Pass which in April is 79 euros and all the attractions are free Plus free access to Aqualibi and Bellwadaere also.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is definitely too early to start with an allowance, Miss CF is not even 3 at this point. But the allowance will definitely come as soon as she is ready. We do already talk about the fact that things cost money, but it does not seem to register at this time.


  3. Awesome stuff ATL – a cute story! If it cost you 60 euros for an hour, and there was 4 of you, then it only cost you each $15 an hour each – so not bad when you think of it like that 🙂

    I think your method is definitely the best way to go about it – subtle lessons. Otherwise they will just want to rebel and do the opposite of what you say.



  4. I am a lover of Plakendael ( and we are living close to this, in Zaventem). The annual package for family hase the best price.
    About the patience of the children, I recommend you to have patience: there will grow and understand, until then they are copying the parents.

    Signed: a mother of a child 8 years old.

    About child financial education: I involved the child in our discussions and planning. She participates in the weekly menu, in comparing and buying from local market, she calculates and compare the prices and quality, she helps to cook and she knows we spend less to save for the aprt. or to save for holidays etc. She has an allowance ( 5 euro per week) since si started the school ( 3th degree) and first time she spend on double icecream and then she started to calculate how many weeks needs to keep the money to buy some books BD. My girl 🙂

    Now we paid for Christmas holiday 2 weeks on the beach. The price is up up up ( as everything outside of the school) but the time there is priceless. We need recreation, sport, sun ( D vitamin), time to read, to drink a beer ( my husband) and to wash the sand from our hair (not anymore for my husband) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WE are often in Planckendael, kids love it, we can relax as it is generally a safe place.
      On teaching finance to kids: I know that my patience is key. I am not there yet. It improves each day. we give them an idea, see how they react and take it from there.


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