Show Me The Money




My wife and I both owned our own homes when we first met, so by selling the two we were capable of purchasing a pretty nice house that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. We both work part time, but make enough to be able to make ends meet with enough left over for an occasional night out or weekend away.

Our children, however, seem to have gotten the inaccurate idea that we have an endless supply of money and therefore should be able to buy them whatever they want without question and either order take out or visit a restaurant nightly. The fact that they never get what they want and are fed home made dinners almost every night doesn’t in any way seem to dissuade them.  I don’t believe them to be spoiled, just very persistent and quite possibly a little delusional.

It’s time to begin some real lessons about the value of money.

I expected it to be easy with the teenager. After an extended period away from home, with no means of supporting herself, I would have thought that an appreciation for the cumulative cost of basic necessities like deodorant and shampoo would have been acquired. She’s been encouraged to seek some sort of employment but so far her best prospect was rejected based on a dislike of somebody else that already worked there. We throw her a few dollars for babysitting once in a while and returning our bottles and cans is much more lucrative than it should be, but if she plans on driving anytime in the next decade, money is going to need to be saved.

With her little sister, the issues are different. When my parental alarms starting going off at the sudden quiet that had fallen over the house last week, she was found butt naked in the shower, using a sponge to clean the grout. Her explanation was that she knew that she wouldn’t get paid for doing any of the chores that are expected of her, such as cleaning her room.  She was correct. I certainly didn’t expect that.

I was also surprised to learn that she thought her earnings from this chore to be enough to buy herself a television for her room.

I thought about it for a while and was convinced that I had come up with the perfect plan for teaching her about buying power. Since she asks for a toy pretty much anywhere that we go, the idea was to show her what she could get for $3.00. There really isn’t much that can be bought for that amount other than maybe a pencil or a single matchbox car, so the option would be given to wait until the following week and have $6.00 to spend, just about enough for most action figures. Again the option would be presented to wait another week. Eventually I’d agree to buy one of the items that I seem to say “no” to just about every trip.

Unfortunately I’m about as in touch with the latest trends for five year olds as I am with the teenager.  Apparently the latest craze is something called a Mashem, a squishy, pocket-sized figure that’s a less bendable version of the old Stretch Armstrong that I had as a kid. Pretty much any licensed character you could want is available, from Avengers to My Little Ponies to Star Wars.

They seem to be available everywhere and have almost an entire aisle to themselves at Target. They cost $2.99 each.



48 thoughts on “Show Me The Money”

  1. I remember being a kid and the feeling of shock when I realized how little money my hard work would really yield. It seems that we are naturally programed to place a great value on our time and effort. #binkylinky

  2. I feel your pain! Laptops, mobiles, tablets, trainers – These are apparently necessities along with internet connection. To be fair maybe they have a point about internet connection! Either way, our 2 girls would choose any of the above over food and water. They’re both now in high school and still have pretty much no sense of the value of money. We try! I however find myself in a weird place because I didn’t have all that much as a kid and always promised myself I would give whatever I could to my kids, however don’t want them to become spoiled brats, this parenting gig is tough, good luck!! #BinkyLinky

  3. I’ve tried teaching our four year old twins about money, but it often falls on deaf ears and they always ask for a toy or book, maybe even a magazine, every time we go in a shop. It’s a tad annoying! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    1. I haven’t come across that too much yet. Even the teen, for all she wants, doesn’t seem to use other kids as a reason. She just wants stuff

  4. Oh that’s just too funny and so typical!! I’d really like to teach my 4 and 6yo to appreciate money – they do understand that if I ever do allow them to buy something on a trip out it must be ‘small’ and my 4yo is great at identifying small as cheaper (which at his age works but for my 6yo small seems to be more money!). Oh well, we’ve got to start somewhere! #twinklytuesday

  5. I have this problem too. At the moment I’m wondering at what age this actually stops? My daughter is 20 and still tries to get as much out of me as she thinks she can comfortably get away with. (Mind you, she is a student.)

  6. NOOOOOO! Typical that the latest craze would be in the price-range. Now you are going to have a house full of them – haha. I shouldn’t laugh! Sorry 😉 #FridayFrolics

  7. Damn it! I was just nodding along and silently respecting you for your very wise and practical approach until I read the last line. It’s like those pesky toy manufacturers are on a mission to keep us parents in a permanent state of “pestered”. Brilliant post. #Fridayfrolics

  8. I think most kids tend to be a bit delusional about money! Love the ingenuity of your little one! & at least the grout got cleaned!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time.

  9. Well isn’t that just typical!! I think it is so important to teach the value of money, doing chores is definitley a way of easing them gently into the working world eh! Thanks for linking up 🙂 #bestandworst

  10. I really feel your pain on this battle – it’s hard isn’t it. I try very hard with my children to make them understand without being harsh but I do struggle with this. Thanks for linking to #sharewithme

  11. It’s so difficult to teach children about the value of money especially now because everything seems instantly accessible and we are bombarded with marketing at every turn, I think you have the right idea explaining about saving the money each week until she has enough to purchase what she wants it’s the best way to learn. #TuesdayTreasures

  12. We told our 10 year old to bring some money from her piggy bank if she wants to get anything while shopping one day. It was interesting watching her calculate in her head and value things a ton different. Normally, she tries to chuck XYZ in the cart and say “Thanks Mom” (flashes her eyelashes and I’m so cute face).

    It really was a good idea! #happynowlinkup

    1. Mine has $2 that she earned helping her grammies do stuff. She likes to run and grab her purse to offer it up whenever I say I don’t have money to go anywhere

  13. Wow, I wish any of my kids would have a hankering to clean the grout! Dream come true, I tell ya. I have yet to actually see a Mashem, but I am sure someone will soon take care of that problem on an upcoming shopping trip 🙂 #happynowlinkup

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