Because digital gadgets are so expensive, my purchase of them is limited to birthdays and Christmas. What that means is that my kids have become quite adept at saving up for things they want. Let me say that another way: my oldest has become adept at getting his siblings to join in saving for things he’s got his eye on but thinks they’ll enjoy too. With their $9 a week in combined allowance, lawn mowing, and odd-jobs Dad offers them (shine his shoes, wash the car) it takes them a while, but they are quite good at it when they are all focused.
About a month ago, Big Brother decided that it would be fantastic to have a Nintendo DSi rather than a DS Lite. The DSi has a camera, internet connection, music player, etc., along with the ability to play video games. If he traded in the DS Lite, he could get a $70 credit toward the DSi. That would get him almost half way there. The DS Lite had been saved for and purchased in the same way, so they all had some share in it, and that became a problem in his plan.
The DSi cannot play old GameBoy games, of which we have one. Little Brother’s heart was broken by the thought of not ever getting to play that game again. Although Big Brother owned the biggest share in the DS Lite, he had to relent. The DS Lite and the old game were saved. The money saving continued. They eventually reached their goal.
It’s all a good lesson, I think. Working together toward a goal, the give and take of negotiations, deciding what’s fair for everyone, saying “no” to someone who gets too pushy about wanting all your money, loving something that you have to share. Sometimes its a rough road, but it’s worth traveling.
Do your kids save for things? Do they enlist each other’s help? Does this cause problems?
Photo credit: shyb (flickr.com)