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.
Awww arent' you proud that she didn't all of her money (or give it to her friends) and came home with some change?! I would have been the kid coming home with empty pockets because I would have given all of my money to the kids who didn't have any 😉
No tips on the American Girl. I hear that is an expensive little doll and then you have to add the accessories. We are not at that stage…yet! Madison is just showing an interest in Barbie dolls. So it's coming!
We purchased our American Girl doll off Ebay last year. It took awhile to find one that I was willing to pay even at Ebay prices though. Look for ones that need TLC because some think its tragic if their hair has been rebraided or if they are missing a shoe. My daughter wanted one to play with not one to display and sell for her college fund.
If you or any friends/relatives live in the area, there is an American Girl annual sale that is a fundraiser for the Madison, Wisconsin Children's Museum where American Girl items are sold at deeply discounted prices. (Like: dolls for $25; if you go in the "seconds" door, outfits for $2-$3, etc.) It apparently happens each year some time around June.
What did you tell your daughter to tell the friend who asked for money? That would be helpful advice. Enjoy your blog!
I told her that if she decided to share a little bit of her money that was fine, but to keep in mind that if she gave some to one friend, another might ask as well and she needed to decide ahead of time how she would handle it.
I also told her that, at this age at least, if a parent wanted their child to have extra money to spend at the concession stand, they most likely would have given them some.
I'm hoping that we are teaching her to be generous, but I also don't want her to be a pushover in the sense that she gives all of her money away to kids who might be aggressive in asking for it, thereby ending up unable to buy anything for herself.
It's a delicate balance, I guess! Would love to hear others' perspective on the issue!
Cracked up at the last sentence of your post… not sure that they do. Seriously, when I lived in Chicago, my Mom and I went to the American Girl Store on Michigan Ave., and the prices were beyond ridiculous.
Georgia Coupon Fan says
Hi, Tracey. Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog.
When I was little it was Cabbage Patch and yes, it was worth the money! My older sister gave it to me one year at Christmas and its a very special memory for me. I still have mine, I wanted to give it to our little girl but since we have boys I guess it will go to a Grandbaby one day. You're only a little girl once.