I had promised each of my children I would take them to the new yoghurt store around the corner. DS1 and DS2 went two weeks ago, but DD was busy that day, so she didn’t come. So the other day after a game, I brought DD to the yoghurt store. DS2 wanted to come too, but I reminded him this trip was really just for DD to try the yoghurt because she didn’t come with us last time. He said he wanted to come for a walk with us anyway. [I love it when my children choose family time over alone time (with their electronics or TV)].
Smoothie on special
When we got to the yohurt store, DD asked for a strawberry yoghurt smoothie. As luck would have it, that flavour was the special for the day, because it is strawberry season. So what would normally cost $6.50 cost $4.90 instead. I let DD keep the change. When DD picked up her smoothie order, DS2 said he wanted one too (it did look very delicious). I reminded him that his sister got a smoothie because she didn’t come with us last time and he already had his smoothing last time. I told him that if he wanted a smoothie, he will have to buy it out of his spending money. He pondered the choice for a while, then decided that he wanted the smoothie. So we bought one for DS2 as well.
But it’s not on special when …
Before long, he was struggling to finish the cup of smoothie (it was large for a little boy like him).
“Would you like to share the smoothie with me?” I asked. It looked really delicious and I wouldn’t mind having some of the smoothie too!
“No.” he replied.
“Can you finish that large cup yourself?”
“No. But if I share it with you, then it’s wasting my $4.90.”
“But if you can’t finish it, you will either throw it away (which will be a waste of your money) or you will force yourself to finish it even if you’re full (and you’ll end up not enjoying it).”
He was silent for a while. Finally, he said, “Will you go halves with me in the cost if I go halves with you on the smoothie?”
“That sounds like a good bargain. Sure!”
As I reflect back on this seemingly ordinary conversation, I realise that DS2 learnt a lot of skills:
- Knowing the difference between normal price and discounted price
- Knowing when to buy something when it’s on special
- Knowing that if he bought a drink and it wasn’t finished, it would be a waste of money
- Learning that sometimes he doesn’t have to consume everything himself – sharing is more fun
- Learning to share the cost with someone so that it’s cheaper
- Learning to negotiate to find a win-win solution! He got his smoothie for a lower cost to himself and I got a taste of the smoothie too! (Yes, I know that if I had simply asked him if I can have a sip, he would have shared it with me anyway, but I chose to use this occasion as a money conversation).
What money conversation did you have with your child today?