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How Much of My Kids’ Summer Fun Should I Be Paying for?

Rachel Cruze

Money Management for Parents

Q: How much of my kids’ summer fun (like camps and sports teams) should I be paying for?


Rachel: Great question. Let me start by saying that if you can’t afford to pay for all this summer fun, make sure you’re not going into debt for it.

Now, if you can afford a camp or vacation, that’s fine. You’re doing great. But if you find that your kid is doing stuff all summer, and that stuff costs a lot of money, then it’s not a bad idea to let them help out.

One summer, I went to church camp, a missions trip, and a vacation with one of my friends and her family. My parents looked at my summer schedule and told me they would pay for two of those trips, but I would have to pay for the third one.

I was 16 or 17 at the time, so I used some money from my summer job to pay for the camp. That experience was a great way for me to learn responsibility and ownership of both my money and time.

Bottom line: Don’t go into debt for your kids’ summer fun. If you’re able, then go ahead and pay for a camp or a vacation or two. But if their fun starts to weigh on your bank account, then don’t feel bad asking them to pitch in and help.

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Rachel Cruze

Growing up as Dave Ramsey's kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. She travels across the country teaching those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to teens and young adults. To find out more about Rachel, visit or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.