I recall when my teenage daughter was about five-years old and it was the first time we went to the toy store with the intent of her using her money, from a birthday as I recall, to purchase a toy. We had been to the toy store several times before selecting a toy for either her or a friend’s birthday and I assumed the experience would be the same, but it was not. The amount of time it took to pick out the toy she wanted exponentially longer, why? The only differing variable was this time she was spending her money.
She had the cash in her hand and by then she was starting to understand numbers well enough to start to recognize the toy prices that she could not afford and those that she could. I then recall when the option of getting multiple lower prices toys versus one higher price toy came up and then that started another debate.
I recall the torment in her eyes as she processed what was likely the most difficult decision she had been faced with so far in her life, at least in her mind. She even tried to negotiate with me to pitch in my own funds so that she could get multiple higher priced items, but I held firm. What did she decide to do? Honestly, I don’t remember. I just remember the lesson she had to learn and how I really had not realized that at the young age of five she was ready to start making personal financial decision.
Birthdays have proven to be good times for financial lessons for my daughter. In the coming posts I’ll share two more money lessons taught to my daughter after receiving money from her birthday.