Sunday, September 2, 2007

Teaching the kids about money management

Fancy title "teaching the kids about money management" -- actually, we just went garage-sale-ing!

Saturday was a nice day, and Jack was out of town. The kids were super helpful doing their chores without too much complaining, so when I doled out the weekly allowance, I added an extra $3 to each of their open hands and announced we were going to check out some garage sales.

Well, you would have thought I told them we were going to Disney World! They were so excited they could barely contain themselves!

We soon set out looking for signs to guide us to untold treasures.

Here were the rules: Each child had $3.00 to spend. If you spent it all at the first stop, you'd have no more to spend if you found something you liked better later. So, you'd better love what you're buying, or pass. (That's where the "money management" comes in.....kind of like real life, isn't it?)

The first place we stopped was a treasure trove of free goodies (it was already 10:30 a.m., so many garage sell-ers were ready to start slashing prices, but I'd never seen one mark so many items FREE this early on a Saturday!) Analisa picked up an electric typewrite (*free*); Quinn grabbed a racquetball racket and a couple of tennis balls; I snagged some dishes (plates, bowls, cups....I keep thinking eventually 20-year old Brandon WILL move out!).

Quinn was the first to go broke, and was extremely disappointed when the shopping continued but she had no money. However, she had acquired some fun a dancing gorilla, and a tennis racket-shaped bug zapper (I thought it was a toy!), and a jewelry box.

Drake bought some great Jurassic Park Books, but then was disappointed and wished he'd held onto his money. But then he found a bubble umbrella (circa 1976) and an old wooden airplane, so he was happy.

Analisa, usually my spendthrift, was the big winner. At our last stop, she found a REAL telephone! The "old fashioned" kind with the rotary dial. I wasn't thinking clearly, since I'd spotted a gorgeous set of lamps for my newly painted bedroom marked down to just $3.50 for the pair, and I told her she could buy the phone. She's having a blast with it ("My very on phone!") but I think her friends' parents are tired of Analisa calling!

Luke came home with a toy amublance (which he calls a fire truck) and couldn't have been happier.

It was a fun morning, and I hope they learned a little bit about budgeting their money. Although they were all broke when it was over. Next time, I'll need to give them a lesson on saving some of their money....

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