Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spenders and Savers

P broke her piggy bank this week.  This is a very big deal in our house.  Here's the pig:

And here's his impending destruction:

And here's the loot:

She had saved $198.87!  I was shocked and amazed.  To be honest, I don't remember how long she's been saving, but I do know this is her second piggy bank.  She knew immediately what she wanted to buy:

After putting aside $20 for church, she had plenty, and I am delighted to buy her a blue cover for it.

After she got done counting, her younger sister D sat and looked at that pile of cash.  "It's not fair!" she exclaimed. 

"No, it is fair.  It is just persistence and consistency that allowed P to do that," I said.  What an econ lesson right at the table!

"That's right, D.  You just have to put your money right in the bank, as soon as you get it, and then it saves up.  Otherwise it is too easy to spend." That was from P.  Such wisdom at nine!  I wish I could say I taught her that but I didn't.

Isn't it interesting that D's first response was "Not fair!"  It's to be expected from a child of seven.  Then I reminded her how she had saved up $15, and then SHE decided to buy herself a new pair of shoes.  (Shoes that she is very proud of, might I add.)  So she got a new pair of shoes from the Gap, and her sister did without while she saved for a Kindle.  (Unbeknownst to me.  Do I even live in this house?!)  And after a little reflection, D was okay with that.  She will NEVER save up for a Kindle, but I'm pretty sure she's got lots of great shoes in her future.

How often do we hear this in the news?  It's not fair, that he works hard and makes a lot of money.  It's not fair that she was careful with her choice of college, didn't take lots of loans, and now can enjoy no Sallie Mae payments!  It's not fair that they saved their money, put 20% down on a house, and got a conventional mortgage.  It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair.  The little exchange at my kitchen table put it all in perspective:  a bunch of children who have never been taught to defer pleasure grow up to be adults who look for "fairness," equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity.  Food for thought as we strive to raise good kids into better adults.

"The harder I work, the luckier I get."--Samuel Goldwyn

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