Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Little Drummer Boy

We've been trying to teach the kids about saving. We've explained that it is generally unnecessary to spend money the moment it hits little hands, but at 5 and 7, saving is a difficult concept to embrace. To sort of tempt them into socking money away instead of immediately spending it, I told both children that saving would allow them to buy something really cool, maybe even something really big, and probably something Mommy would never buy for them, not in a million years.

In the midst of these lessons, Bub had a birthday and celebrated Christmas, and was given gifts of money for both. Additionally, he was financially rewarded for some random things, and did some jobs for me to earn some small sums. All of a sudden, he'd become RICH (according to his own calculations). He had a whole seventy-five dollars!

For Christmas, my brother bought my nephew a cool pretend electric guitar that plays real rock songs. Periodically through the day I would lose track of Bub, and would find him hidden in his closet, rocking out. In addition to his wealth, he'd also been given a Wal-Mart gift card, and since our Christmas was moved up to Christmas Eve, I promised him when everyone left we'd go pick up a guitar of his very own.

On Christmas Eve afternoon, we battled Wal-Mart crowds for his instrument. Since the card would leave him owing about seven dollars, Bub brought along his cash and it did nothing but burn a hole in his pocket. He wanted to buy this little thing or that, and was completely forgot the lessons on saving. I put my foot down, we bought his guitar and promptly left the den of temptation.

The day after Christmas, though, we hit the stores. I wanted to pick up some clearance Christmas decor, and the kids brought along their money in hopes of finding something really cool, maybe even something really big, and probably something Mommy would never buy for them, not in a million years.

Gracie purchased a Baby Alive doll -- something she'd been asking for for months that we fully expected her to receive for Christmas. When she didn't, she knew exactly what her saved-up money should be used on, and I actually couldn't have agreed with her purchase more. She'd really been wanting one, and I think she may have been more excited to buy the doll for herself.

Bub, though, struggled. He couldn't find that right thing. We'd been to several stores and had one last stop to make at Target. We searched both electronics and toys to no avail. We crossed through the linen department to take our leave and on the bottom of a clearance end cap, there it was. Something really cool, something really big, and most definitely something Mommy would never buy for him, not in a million years.

A shiny new blue drum set.

At 30% off, it fit right into his budget, and it was actually something he'd been wanting for some time, but had no chance of ever receiving. As we loaded it into the shopping cart (and subsequently, the car), plans were forged to start a rock band, à la Partridge Family. Evidently, I'm on keyboards. Rock on.

Bub, Incredulous at His Good Fortune

Gracie's Very Best Rock Face

A Picture for the Tour Tees


  • The Dukes Family

    Love that! Good for them for making such wise purchases. We have those same conversations often and try to help the kids avoid any impulse buying. Purchases have to be well thought out ... and as a result, like your kids, they've bought some great stuff - digital cameras, iPods, electric guitars. Great lessons!

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