Monday, November 1, 2010

Boys spending money...


So Charley received some birthday money this year...or rather two gift cards.  The birthday money I think we are still going to stash in his savings account.  But before his birthday arrived Ed and I had decided that it was time to let him have a little chance shop with his own money.  We have never let him do this.  He has always put it in the bank - and announces this proudly when he receives money.  But we are really excited to see how he thinks about his money, how fast he spends it, what he spends it on, and whether he gets how much things are.

He has big plans...for the last week he has been telling me what he plans to do.  Each day it is different. 

Today when we ran into an office supply store for our board for the Halloween candy project there was a shelf of kids art stuff.  There was some crazy boxes of things...but there was also some Crayola Art Boxes.  The boxes were on sale for $5.49...normally they were 15.49!  So it was a good deal.  They came with full boxes of markers, crayons, colored pencils, water colors, scissors...oh, and glue.  So I think it is actually a really good deal. 

I remembered that Great Grandma had sent them each $5 of Halloween treat money so that solved the problem of having Charley walk out with some cool thing with sad little Henry following behind.  So they both picked a blue one and off we went.  When they got home they assembled their art boxes and have been puttering with them ALL afternoon.  I am impressed. 

The bank is still where my gut says to put all money they receive.  But I am also struggling with the concept of money with Charley.  He doesn't get that furniture, our house, or our bodies, cost a lot to care for.  His Leapster game lays around without thought...he cut a slit in the handle thingy in our car...so I think one step towards teaching him the value of the dollar is to give him some dollars to spend.  Then he can see that a candy bar costs this much and a Lego set costs this much. 

We'll see what he does with his gift cards in the next week or two.  But for today, I am one happy mama, because we had a busy weekend and I have been able to tidy up and breathe easy for a few hours this afternoon, thanks to these fine little briefcases that are so thrilling to my boys.

How do you teach the concept of the dollar...or respecting the things that your hard earned money pays for in your kids' lives? 
 

6 comments:

schmobes said...

And which office supply store might that have been? Cute board, too.

For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

Office Max!

Raina and Andy said...

super cute "busy boy" find!!!!!! so glad they gave you a breather. that really DOES Look like a good deal! RR

The Gardiner Family said...

Sophie has that art case, we paid $20 for it last Christmas!

I am not sure how to teach the value of a dollar. I do try to just talk to them about money when we are at the store or when they ask about eating out or something. :)

One Take On Life - Heather said...

We have always been up front and honest with our kids, meaning I verbalize when we can't afford something. Or why we aren't going to buy that thing today.
They don't know what they aren't told. We started young, because it is a hard concept to learn. Especially since I rarely use cash, it is hard for kids to understand that a credit card is money. It takes explaining that we pay at the end of the month for "X"
I find letting my oldest use some of his money to buy something he wants has really taught him about money as well. I know he gets it because he never wants to spend all of his money on a toy, he wants to always have some in his wallet where we let him keep his "money."

Anonymous said...

The money concept is such a hard one. Like Heather, I'll say that what they want to buy is just not something that we can afford right now (my favorite line is "that is not on our list today"). I also don't let them pick out anything on a shopping trip, so they are not conditioned to buying things when we go to the store (I'm a mean mom!). But I know what you mean about having them value the things that they already have. We keep saying that you have to take care of your things because otherwise, we won't buy a replacement. If it breaks, it's gone.
Recently, Ethan has started to understand the concept of money and how much each denomination is worth. He knows that $100 is a lot of money, but we've also told him that $5 is a lot of money too. If they get birthday money, we let them spend half and put half in their piggy bank, no matter if it is a $1 or $100 (which he got this year for his birthday and is a funny story.)
We try to teach the concepts that everything costs money, we don't buy something just because we want it, saving is important and that we have to take care of what we already have and be grateful for it. But boy is that a hard job! If you figure out any good stategies, pass them along. Every suggestion helps. Good luck!

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