Out of the mouths of babes… I’ve found when I open my ears and my heart, I can learn so much from these little ones who speak with such honesty and innocence. To help me remember these lessons (and be more aware to recognize them), I’m starting a periodic series: Lessons from the Littles. Hope these speak to you, too!
Today, Sophie made her first purchase from money she’s been saving in her piggy bank. We’ve been teaching the kids about saving and putting every penny they find and every bit of Christmas or birthday money into their piggy banks, but until now we haven’t taken any of the money out.
We were heading out to do some back-to-school shopping and she wanted to buy something with her own money. She didn’t have anything special in mind, just wanted to be a big girl with money of her own to spend. So, we carefully pulled out $6.
At Target, we walked through the dollar section and she chose $5 worth of goodies. Good selections – a bag of gummies she promised to share with her brother, a pen with a dozen different ink colors and a Hello Kitty pencil and note pad set. Just enough to fit within her budget, including the tax.
Then, we wandered past the toy section. One of the Target employees was walking by with an armful of Elsa dolls (you know, as in Elsa from Frozen). She was trying to find the shelf for them but suggested we get one now because “they’ll go fast”. We let her walk by and kept looking around. We found a really cute Olaf doll that comes apart and sings – really cute! The clerk came back around, this time with only one doll left – they were indeed “going fast”.
I asked the price of the Elsa doll and the Olaf doll. Both were around $12-15, well over Sophie’s $6 budget.
I was prepared for the question – can I borrow the rest, can I just have one of these? I mean, what six year old girl isn’t obsessed with Frozen this year? Yet, my girl said “No, I just want what I picked out.”
Wow! She knew she only had $6 and those dolls cost more than what was in her purse. She passed up the hottest doll of the day in order to stay within her means. She didn’t ask for more money, didn’t beg for a loan. What an awesome example of wise spending!
[callout]Never spend your money before you have it. ~Thomas Jefferson[/callout]
How many of us would have chosen the more expensive toy over what our budget could afford? How many times do we get caught up wanting the latest gadgets, trendiest clothes, cutest accessories and end up exceeding what we should have spent? Borrowing from some other budget or charging yet one more thing on our credit card?
I need to remember this lesson from my little one:
Spend only within my budget, even when it means saying “no” to something I really want.