Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Value of Money

Ever since I banned the phrase “I want that,” from our household, Morgan has been very interested in "how many dollars" things cost. Loophole: Instead she uses the phrase “I would maybe like that for my birthday/Christmas.” Semantics? Yes.

For the last year, we have let her take the change from our pockets to put in her bank and I recently cashed it in at a Coinstar for her, but she’s starting to get depressed in the knowledge that it takes a lot of money to buy things from The Disney Store.

On having five dollars left to spend…
Morgan: How many dollars is this?
Mommy: Nine.
Morgan: (dramatic sigh) Put it on my Christmas list, I guess.

This went on throughout the store and it was heartbreaking, but hopefully a lesson learned.

We are even letting her do “chores” to earn money, but we’re trying to keep it reasonable, because I will admit I was a bit concerned she’d bankrupt us with her initiative. So it’s fifty cents here, a quarter there type of pay.

She also has no patience, so “saving” isn’t her strong suit. On leaving the store that day, she was okay with saving for the Alice doll, but by the time she got home the futility sank in that the doll was twenty dollars and it was going to take her “forever” so “just add it to the Christmas list.”

Because money in her hand burns the proverbial hole in her pocket. She just has to spend it on something. Even if it isn’t what she really wants. Thus making it take longer to save. Yet another lesson.

So last Tuesday, a Talent Group check came in the mail. These usually come around a couple months after the photo shoots occur, so they are always a little bit of a surprise. And this one was substantial, because it was a longer shoot and included a travel stipend. (Read about that joy here.)

Normally, I put this money into her savings account without even saying anything. I figure if she keeps at it for a while, she’ll have some spending money in college. Maybe she’ll be the one offering to buy the kegs when she moves into her first off-campus apartment.

But Scott pointed out that she did earn the money, so maybe she should be allowed to decide what to do with a small part of it. He’s the good cop. I’m the bad cop.

So that Tuesday night I show her the check and explain where it came from. And that the next day we could take it to the bank and that they would give us dollar bills for it and put it in her account. But that she could have twenty-five dollars out of it to spend.

Pure joy!

1 comment:

  1. (Tina) The real question at this point is- does she have faith that Santa will bring her everything on her list because he's magical and not under any budget constraints???? You might be setting yourself up for a giant gift bottle-neck at the holidays, ha ha.