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
2)Baby Alive Potty Training
3)Barbie & The Diamond Castle Playset Doll and Pet
4)18" Girl's Disney Fairies Bicycle - Huffy
5)Nintendo DS Lite Onyx
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 football."
Wow... she is smarter than I thought.