How Much Do You Spend on Family Surprises?

Seventy-five percent of people recently surveyed believe great family moments include surprises.

According to a new survey of 1,000 parents by Cracker Jack Brand, 66 percent of people surveyed do not think they must spend cash to wow their family. Still, there is a catch. A larger portion of those surveyed, 74 percent, say they buy stuff to keep their families amused.


Sounds a bit confusing – on one hand a majority of those surveyed said they don’t need to spend a lot of money to “wow” their families, and on the other hand a larger majority said they buy stuff for family surprises. The survey also revealed that 72 percent spend more than $20 for these surprising moments.

What gives? Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, thinks he has the answer:

“Too many people associate spending money with having fun. Think about it. Millions of people go shopping at the mall for a good time, or go out to lunch, or just randomly spend money on another person or family member to surprise them. It’s entrenched in our culture – just like credit card debt.”

Herman says there are a variety of things you can do to surprise your family without spending much money, or any money. They include:

  • Spending the day at a park with a picnic lunch
  • Going for a family bike ride
  • Getting a free movie from the library for movie night
  • Getting the family together to make a fun meal like nachos
  • Playing board games or a game of hide and go seek outside

“When it comes to making things fun for your family, bigger really isn’t always better,” said Liz Gumbinner, parenting expert and publisher of Cool Mom Picks website. “Sure, huge vacations are terrific. But I always hear from my readers that the little things we do with our families can be even more memorable.”

Make the little things count

If you need help with money management issues or want to build a budget that includes an entry for family surprises each month, don’t hesitate to contact a certified credit counselor at Consolidated Credit. We can assist you with all your financial needs.

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