"I don't know what to do with my son's birthday money."

For my son’s birthday he got the usual presents: bags, sporting balls, swimmers but I wasn’t expecting him to get this.

What a week we’ve just had in my house.

My youngest turned five on Sunday.

Cue minor mummy breakdown about no longer having any ‘babies’ and realising my kids will both be at school next year.

Other than that small issue, we actually had an amazing few days. We took him on a whale watching cruise (yes, before you ask, we did see whales), had a lovely afternoon at the beach with the family and then yesterday had an awesome little party with his preschool friends.

It was great but something happened I wasn’t expecting.

As most parents of little ones know birthdays are a time where your toy room explodes and your child’s collection of plastic fun is increased tenfold. But this year that didn’t happen.

Okay, yes, he did get presents. But he actually got given a whole lot of money.

Moolah. Dollars. Cash. You know, that stuff we used to use before credit cards were invented.

It seems my five-year-old is now in possession of some big bucks.

Between grandparents not knowing what to buy, preschool friends choosing money over a present and probably a few parents strapped for time unable to hit the shops that opted for money in the card, my son now has a grand total of $235.


He’s five!

My son doesn't want to save his money.

When I was five $2 was a big deal.

So here lies my dilemma:

Do we let our five-year-old spend $235 on whatever the hell he wants (super hero toys)? Or do we slowly give him some of the money to buy something every now and then (super hero toys)? OR do I put it away in an account and save it for a rainy day (whatever that means to a five-year-old…to him it’s probably the day super hero toy stock runs out)?


Another option is to let him put it towards a big ticket purchase – electronic console that may or may not start with an I.

My old son’s school fete is also approaching. Should I let him take some of the money to go on the rides and stalls there?

Should I give him half and put the other half away?

Should I give him $20 and put the rest away?

Do other people let their kids go crazy with birthday money or make them save it?

Do you have a say in how your child spends their birthday money?

I remember one year, I must have been about 10 or so,  I got a combined total of $80 for my birthday. I thought I was the queen. I can’t even remember what I spent it on. I think I just got it out and stared at it for a while before blowing it on lipsmackers and Backstreet Boys CDs.

And that is precisely my point. Is my five-year-old really going to spend $235 on anything worthwhile? There’s only so many super hero toys a child needs.

As his parent am I allowed to carefully direct his decisions about the money? Can I subtly redirect him to a better, wiser item to spend his money on?

Do you let your child spend birthday money on whatever they want? How much money have your children got from their birthdays in the past?

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