As opportunities arise along the way, we try to teach our girls general principles about money as well as demonstrate wise money management. With my eight-year-old, we are getting to the point where some of our theory is getting put into practice.
Last Friday she stayed after school for a game night activity for some of the elementary classes. We were told in advance that the concession stand would be open and given a general idea of what things would cost. Pizza and drinks for their supper were paid for upfront, but if the kids wanted extra snacks before or after, they needed to bring their own money.
We decided to give our daughter two dollars and told her that she could buy a drink and one snack if she wished. Any money that she didn’t spend that night was hers to keep and use however she wished. (I figured that she would put it with the money she is saving to buy an American Girl doll. When my husband heard how much the doll will cost, he was led to ask, “Is any doll worth that amount of money?” to which I was compelled to answer “No.” Since that is what she is saving her money for, I probably need to keep an eye out on Craigslist or eBay to see if we can get one in good condition for less money. Anyway, I digress.)
We talked about making sure that she got her change when she paid for her items, keeping track of her money so that she didn’t lose it and what to say if one of her friends asked her for money. (Glad I thought of that one, because it happened!) She did pretty well, spending $.75 on a drink and $.75 on a candy bar, ending up with $.50 to add to the money she’s saving.
I hope to gradually increase the amount of money she receives for the chores she does so that by the time she is ten or so, she will be responsible for spending her own money on these type of school functions or outings. I know that she will make some mistakes, but I hope that by giving her the responsibility of managing her own money on a small scale, she will learn from them and be saved from making big money mistakes when she’s older.
By the way, if you have any frugal tips for purchasing an American Girl doll at a great price, I’m sure she would appreciate hearing them! (Can you even in good conscience put the words frugal and American Girl doll in the same sentence???)
Visit Frugal Friday hosted by Life as Mom for a host of frugal tips.