Sunday, April 26, 2009

Money matters

Today's lesson with my kids was on the importance of saving money. Since I have a combined $236.33 in my savings and checking accounts until the end of the month, I may not be the best role model for my kids.

This definitely qualifies as one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" moments. There are a lot those in my household.

But, nevertheless, it was my duty to get my kids on the right track when money is involved. It is going to be a challenging task to say the least.

Over the weekend, my second-grader has been finding change all over the place. In two days of looking, she has amassed just over $5 in quarters, dimes, nickles and pennies. After spending over an hour counting and recounting her loot, she was ready to go shopping...

"Dad, can we please go to the dollar store? I can buy five things. Five, Daddy!!"

"Baby, why don't you save your money so you can buy something better a little later?"

"What's better than five things from the dollar store? I can get a pencil, crayons, a notebook and two bags of M&M's!"

She certainly had already mapped out a shopping list. However, I tried to use reasoning to get her back on my side.

"Listen... Why don't I let you look on the internet and you can see if there is anything on the Toys R Us page you would want. Ok?"

She agreed to take a look and I left her to do some window shopping, so to speak. Two hours later, she had an impressive list. Nothing on the list was close to costing $5. A sample of what she had found:

1) Carnival Games for Nintendo Wii
Price: $39.99

2)Baby Alive Potty Training
Price: $34.98

3)Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset Doll and Pet
Price: $92.99

4)18" Girl's Disney Fairies Bicycle - Huffy
Price: $99.99

5)Nintendo DS Lite Onyx
Price: $129.99

She was really excited about the list until I explained to her how much more money she would need to get each item. Disappointment was written all over her face.

"Do you know how much longer I am going to have save to get them? It's going to take me for ever! But, I'll do it... I guess."

As she walked away from me with her money and headed upstairs, I told her I was proud of her and the decision she made. She turned around to me and I thought she was going to say thank you. I was wrong.

"You are just glad you don't have to take me to the dollar store. Now, you can keep watching the football draft."

Wow... she is smarter than I thought.


ChocDrop said...

Man, those kids can read minds. You did teach her

I used to use kinda the same strategy. I used to say to my TEEN. Mom has $50 to spend, you can buy those one pair of jeans or you can buy three pairs of these jeans and two shirts. It wasn't long before they became thrifty shoppers and got the best value.

Your checking is better than Just teach them and they will thrive.

Senorita said...

I think the way you taught her the concept of saving to buy something better was a great idea.

I'm shocked when parents are surprised at how smart their small children are. That's how children get away with so much, because adults don't give them enough credit.

It should be a given that children are very intuitive and can instantly hone in on what their parents are really thinking.

Amber said...

Keep up the hard work dad :oD

Vanessa said...

I hate the dollar store as well. I do anything to avoid that place. I would even watch the draft to get out of going.

Sandi said...

haha what a smart little girl

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

She'll learn the value of her money by having to save up, though I can see that she's going to have to find a lot more change to make anything on her list.

But getting out of going to the dollar store, I would agree with you on that one!

Amorous Rocker said...

I love my Onyx DS Lite and Carnival Games is damn fun. She has good taste. ;)

That's cool that she is going to save. I always saved and saved to get the bigger things I wanted. I still save but I could do better at it.

The last part about the draft cracked me up though. Smart and funny, hehehe.

Another Suburban Mom said...

Well it is cool that you taught her something...and got tot watch the draft.

Now that the kids are around its impossible to watch it in peace.

Greta said...

Ha! They do just get smarter and smarter. But your lesson is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Boy does she have your number!!

tammy said...

How old is she again?

Scandalous Housewife said...

Awwww, busted.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

LOL... that is sooooo cute! Seriously you have a smart girl on your hands.

And no matter how early you start a training a women to SAVE her Money... if she finds a good deal... all that training goes to the wayside! :)

Susan said...

I have one that is so frugal and the other who spends like money is water. Of course, from the gift cards or tiny money they might earn around the house.

The funniest thing is to let them shop and fill a cart, and then let them know it's coming from their savings. Ten minutes later, all that's left is a pencil or notepad to play school with.


tiffany said...

Good girl, getting it all figured out already!

Anjeny said...

That is really cute...she's one smart girl. I love how mature she handles the situation. Good job teaching her the value of saving her money for something better.

Not a soccer mom said...

She had me at the beginning. Finding five dollars all over the house. She will have that baby Alive in no time! and then you will miss the game you REALLY want to see.

BTW- love the new juicy banner at the top of the Hot dads page

Kristen said...

You do realize you are creating a monster, right? And you will regret this when she is a teenager wanting a bigger allowance. Nip it in the bud and tell her the dollar store is the only store in the world.

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Anonymous said...

I feel like sending you a cheque so you can buy her what she wants on that list.

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