October 24, 2007

Kids and the Value of Money

Eversince Gilly was 4 years old, I've been slowly teaching her the value of money. I guess money will always be a factor for anyone of us. Its just hard for us to say NO to our adorable kids whenever they plead for a new toy. Its amazing too how they try to figure out what to do with their need for toys and money.

I remember when she started going to her classmates house to play, she would come home telling me that her friend has a walk-in closet and she wants one too. Another time when we drive by the single family houses, she tells me she wants a house that has 3 car garage. I've always told her that only daddy works so we can't afford a bigger house.

Then came the time when she would ask for a baby sister, mind you Greg was already 5 months old. She would keep asking and coming up with suggestions too, she would say her baby sister can wear her old baby clothes. Another time she told me that we could have a baby sister because she is not wearing anymore diapers, the baby could have her share of diapers. Everytime I would have to tell her "No, because only Daddy works we can't afford it". I asked if she wanted to go to daycare while I go work but she would have to stop her Ballet classes and preschool. So she knew mum working is a bad idea. Finally she came up with the cutest 4 year's old toddler logical suggestion... "Mummy, why don't you have more husbands. That way you have more money and we can have more babies". I could stop laughing while driving her from preschool. Note.. alot of times this topic would come up while to or from preschool. What a good suggestion.... More husbands = more money.. hahaha

Last week, Gilly was invited to a birthday party. I only had $10 in my wallet that day and I jokingly told her, "Gilly, you have more money in your wallet than I do, why don't you buy the present since you are the one invited". She had this serious look meaning she is thinking about it and she said "OK". So off we went to Target, as usual I found a gift that cost $20 and told her to look for some cute lip gloss as gifts as well. I saw this 3 lipgloss pack for $4.29 and picked out one, next thing I hear is Gilly pointing to this single lipstick pack and said "mummy, this one". I told her no, just buy the 3 pack one.. and then I hear this protest "Mummy, NO... this one cost only $2 while that one cost $4.29. This one is cheaper". I smiled and said "oh.. when mummy pays you just grab anything but when you pay.. $4.29 is expensive???" At the cash register, I was tickled to see her expression when the cashier told us "your total is $31.80", Gilly gave that pitiful sigh cos she had to dig out all her $40. I grin cos now I know my daughter knows the value of money. By the way, I did pay with my money but took hers and kept it aside. She still doesn't know I do intend to give it back to her. She did notice she didn't get back any change from her $40. When we walked out, I asked her if she knew how I always feel having to buy presents for all her birthday parties, she grabbed my finger and said "Yes, Mummy".

I'm relieved now as I do notice she knows how to not just spend whatever money she has on silly Barbie dolls. It used to be a hard time when she has $5 and insist on buying a Barbie becos it cost $4.99. She knows now that is she keeps it and collect more money she can buy a better toy. She did frown when one day she was forced to take out more money to pay sales tax. Poor girl was given an early dose of Uncle Sam. Oh.. now I remember, we were at a nursery and this nursery sold this cute plant called Sensitivity plant. I recognized this plant and refused to pay $4 for it. I told her she could buy it with her own money and she did the next time we went to that nursery again. Reason why I didn't pay $4 for that plant was it was the Malaysian "Touch Me Not or Malu Malu". You know the one where you touch it and it will close its leaves... yes I wasn't going to pay $4 for a WEED. Gilly gladly brought out the $4 to only find out she had to pay a few more cents because of Uncle Sam. She sure wasn't happy with Uncle Sam.

I've also introduced her to donation, 2 weeks ago, she helped me fold all her brother's new clothes. I paid her $5 for that tasks. Before you start saying I'm crazy for paying her $5, let me explain that it was alot.. ALOT of new used clothes. It was 2 full loads of clothes to fold. Clothes that even me and her daddy didn't want to fold. She surprised me by folding all. Guess $5 does work wonders for now. Even when my hubby question my judgement.. I told him, "Look you didn't even want to fold it and she did, dont' you think she should get that $5?" He kept quiet. Back to donation, I gave her the money before we went to church and there was this envelope assigned for a Church in Africa, I asked her if she wanted to donate to this African church. She gave me the puzzled look and I told her how her $1 will help pay for alot of kids' food in Africa. She quickly said OK. then asked if $1 was enough. I told her we donate how much we think we can afford. Happily she put the $1 into the envelope and I could see she was proud when she put the envelope into the collection basket during Mass.

I guess every parent goes through the money factor with their kids. I hope I can bring up a child that will not abuse her credit card once she is in college. For now, I'm enjoying seeing my girl is trying to figure out how money works. Please free to let me know your experiences with your children about money.


MJ Tam on 24 October, 2007 16:55 said...

uhhhmmmm if I remember correctly - I folded a bunch of gilly's laundry once and I didn't get a single penny! Not fair! lol

I'm all for the "more husbands"...great idea, thanks gilly!

Cat Cat on 24 October, 2007 20:02 said...

Wow, that's very good of you to teach Gilly the value of money at this early age.

I do the same to Annabel, my 5-years old and everytime she does a chore for me, she gets paid.


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