• 4 Pocket Allowance

Things vs. Experiences

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

If you asked your children what gifts they got last year for their birthday, you may be surprised to find that they may not be able to recall. They may remember what they did for their birthday but they probably don’t remember the toys they got and chances are they are some tucked deep down in their closet. For kids, it is much more fun to ask for things then experiences. It is because it is instant gratification, they can hold it and play with it right then and there.

But it is the experiences that we seem to be able more easily remember and they stick with us a lifetime. I know I can’t remember what I got on my 6th birthday but I do remember that I got to go roller skating and had fun crashing into the wall with my friends. So how do we teach this concept to our kids?


When they are making their birthday list or Christmas list, give them the challenge of putting experiences instead of things. Give them a number, such as 3 items, that can be things on their list. What is so great about giving experiences as gifts as that it gives families an opportunity to spend time with one another. This wouldn’t be so easy if your child got video games or a tablet as a gift.


When they get experiences, this encourages their parents to take schedule out quality time.

Remember to live by example. If we are constantly purchasing items for ourselves and acquiring things, this is showing our children that this is important. Talk about experiences that you would like to do. Instead of asking your significant other for nice jewelry or a gadget for your birthday, ask them to take you somewhere you haven’t been. Include your children in on the experience. Show them how much fun a great adventure can be!




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