November 23, 2009

Money Matters

I try not to talk too much about money in front of my daughters. They're only four, so I don't think they need to know if and when mommy and daddy are concerned about financial issues. Still, it's time for them to understand what money is.
When my daughters were younger, I could take them to the toy aisle of any store and they were content to simply look. Now, they're likely to ask for something. They don't seem too disappointed when I say "no," but they seem a little confused as to why we can't buy it. Here's a recent conversation we had:
Me: (driving to school and then work) "Oh no I forgot my lunch. I'll have to turn around to get it.
SueSue: "There's a McDonald's by your work. You can get food there."
Me: "McDonald's costs money and I don't have any money in my purse right now."
Roo: "Go to Target. You can get free samples there."
Clever little things, huh?
Recently I decided it was time to give my daughters their first lesson in money and saving. We went to the bank, each of them armed with four crisp $1 bills and a savings account deposit ticket. I explained to them that each of them has a savings account and that's how they save money for something special. When they receive money for birthdays, Christmas, etc. they can take their money to the bank and the people at the bank will keep it safe until the girls decide what they would like to buy. They each had fun turning over their money and their deposit slip. When it was all done, the teller gave them each a lollipop. Tortilla looked a little dismayed. I asked her what was wrong. "I didn't want to use my money to buy a lollipop," she said. Well, I guess we still have some learning to do.


Stephanie B said...

I don't know. I think Tortilla learned a valuable lesson - most of the time, you can't get something for nothing (unless you're a really cute kid or Wall Street).

Sadia said...

We keep planning to have the kids open accounts, but haven't done it yet. It actually sounds like Tortilla's got the hardest part of the lesson down!

maryanne said...

We're just starting to work on the money concept with Emma. She sort of gets it, but not really...

You get samples at your Target? We only get samples at Costco!

Quadmama said...

Stephanie and Sadia: I had to laugh at her look of despair. The girls asked for lollipops as soon as they found out they were going to the bank... but this was the first time they've ever made a deposit themselves so I guess she thought she was "buying" it.
MaryAnne: My MIL takes my daughters to our Super Target sometimes and there are always samples in the grocery area at lunch time. They eat lunch for free!!

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