Favorites the kid experiment issue

by Sandy L on April 10, 2011

Yesterday was one of the first nice days of the season and I was excited about some outdoor time.  I decided to run a little finance experiment with my 5 year old.  After going through the list of potential fun outdoor things we could do yesterday, both the boys settled on blowing bubbles as the top pick.  My son had recently made some money picking up pine cones, so I told him we’d go to the store to get a bubble gun, I’d pick up the first $5 and he’d have to pay the rest.

When we got to the store, there were guns ranging from $2.99-$14.  He picked one that cost $4.99.   He seemed very concerned about not spending his own money but getting the best possible gun with his $5 budget.   When we were all done with our shopping, he became really enamored with a line of glow in the dark sports equipment.  I told him it was dumb and who the heck is going to be playing tennis in the dark.  Nevertheless, he still thought it was the coolest thing ever. I said if he really wanted something he could buy it with his own money and he picked out a set of 3 glow in the dark superballs for $5. It was the cheapest thing out of the options available but he was psyched.  We did end up spending some time in Babci’s closet that day bouncing the glowy balls in there. It was fun.

I’m not really sure what’s I’ve learned from this experiment, but my son definitely seems to understand money and dislikes parting with it if it’s his own hard earned cash.  He has no problem parting with my money though.  I guess that’s a good start.

Here are some of my favorite articles from the last couple of weeks. As always I’m sure I skipped some but I do enjoy reading everyone’s blogs. Very fun.

Alison from This Pint On asks Are you afraid of the dark? She is the brains and the beauty behind our monthly beer club meet-ups. It’s a great frugal way to be thoroughly entertained for an evening.  The stout session was hosted at my house, so go over and have a peek if you want to know the winning stouts of the evening.  My favorite of the evening was the Wolaver’s oatmeal stout.

Single Mom Rich mom wonders Have I become Larry Winget with Boobs? It’s because she had no pity about couple crying the blues about money when only one of them was working part time.  Um, yup right there with you on that one.

Len Penzo’s been doing these great 100 word or less posts where he just very succinctly takes a big topic and boils it down for you in just a few short lines. Here’s on of my recent favorites on Taking Personal Responsibility.

Little House on Functional Floor Plans. I love the layout of my home.  It wasn’t perfect when we got it, but it had good bones and with a wall down and a couple of back doors moved around, it’s just a rockin abode now.  Open floor plans make houses feel bigger.

Money Reasons talks about the Mercedes Driving Coupon Clipper he ran into at Steak and Shake.  It’s fun speculating about this guy’s story. Go over and give your own take about what this guy’s backstory is.

Invest it Wisely’s blog is turning 1 and he’s giving away almost $500 in prizes. I can’t believe the blog is only 1. Seems so much more mature of a site.  Deadline is April 17th, so you still have some time to enter if you haven’t already.  Congrats to a great year for a great blog.

Barb Friedberg guest posts over at Everyday Tips and Thoughts and tells us why she doesn’t want a smart phone and then wouldn’t you know it, Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff gets hers stolen. How sad.

Money Beagle always finds out useful information. He was one of the first to notice that Yoplait was now being sold in 4 packs for the same price as the old six packs and now he’s found a cool ad on that can help you track price history on sites like amazon.

Nicole and Maggie share why I am not a guilt stricken mother and then Science Blogs Retorts with How Fortunate believing that Nicole and Maggie’s opinion about not feeling guilt about being a working mom has something to do with their liberal upbringing.  This is the post I admitted to having a cleaning lady in the comments. It felt like confession and I do still feel some guilt about not being able to do it all.  I am the first educated one in my family as both my parents didn’t even finish grammar school (I think my mom dropped out to work in the fields in 6th grade. When she reads in Polish, she has to sound out the words).  So, although I do feel guilt, I also feel very lucky that I have it way better than my mom’s generation.  My dad didn’t pick up a finger at home, but thank god that’s not the case in my home.  Luckily I took Babci’s advice when she told me it is better to be alone than with someone who’s more work than help.  So I guess I do have a feminist role model, but her enlightened view has nothing to do with her socioeconomic standing.

Frugal Confessions calls out Suze Orman for Making fun of Dave Ramsey’s Debt reduction approach.  I think they’re both right. I think anyone who starts a conscious journey of debt reduction is doing the right thing. Whether you go Suze’s way and prioritize strictly by the numbers of Dave’s and tackle the smallest debts first, it’s still progress.

If you want to get into the nuts and bolts regarding Trusts, Bucksome Boomer has the lowdown on them this week.

Retire by 40 discusses why inflation will hurt more today. He brings up a really good point. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, CD’s were earning stratospheric returns.  Right now, we’re starting to feel some inflation, but if you’re saving some money for emergencies in a safe place, your savings are still earning squat.

The Amateur Financier has an interesting article about the future of entertainment. I had never even heard of fanfiction before. I’m so behind the times. I guess my latest form of entertainment is writing my own crazy stories.   I’ve never attempted fiction though. Reality seems to be interesting enough. Hey maybe that will be my next coffee talk a fiction pf story…what do you think?


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole April 10, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Guilt on hiring a cleaning person may be worth a post in itself if you want to write it. (As an economist, that guilt is definitely not something I understand! Heck, we’ve even hired a personal assistant to do totally random things in the past when we had no time.)

It may be worth pointing out that the year I was born, 50% of our married mothers with children were working mothers. The year my mother was born, that number was 20%. Lower-income families were more likely to have mothers working. Immigrant and black families as well. I guess I’ll have to dig up my Claudia Goldin book and write a post on that.

Thanks for the link! I’m a bit surprised at all the activity that post has gotten. Grumpy Rumblings is against maternal guilt (unless you like beat your kids or something… we’re against the run-of-the-mill kind).


Amanda L Grossman April 10, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Hello! Thank you for including my article. I am glad to see so many people understand that different strategies work for different people…in the end they will all be debt free which is the goal.


Jacq April 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Thanks – and sorry for including the b**bs reference in the title. I was going to change that, but it was written a few weeks ago and I kind of forgot. It makes it kind of NSFW or children. But people *shouldn’t* 🙂 be reading blogs at work and most children don’t read my blog. I think. Except for mine, and they’re used to NSFW language.

I hear you on the kids and spending OPM (other people’s money). Both of mine are / were like that. My oldest has become very very “I’ll do it myself / save it myself / thanks, but don’t want your help mom” this last year. I think it’s that step into full adulthood that most kids go through. Although it kind of annoys me because I was planning on putting some money into a downpayment on a house for him some day. Hopefully I can convince him it’s a loan and we can both just forget about the actual paying it back part.


Niki April 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Sometimes I find myself saying the same thing to my kids, about some new thing being dumb. Silly Bandz come to mind. Hard to remember being young and fascinated with idea of a glow in the dark item, even if it isn’t practical at all. Glad to hear you came around and had fun, we had fun with glow in the dark silly bandz.


Invest It Wisely April 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM

If you could find a flat unlit spot you could play real glow in the dark tennis, though could be a little dangerous if the ground isn’t perfectly flat.

Thanks for the great mention! 🙂


Money Reasons April 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM

That’s exactly when I did with my kid when the were younger! We would go to the store and each would have $5.00 of money from me to spend, but the amount over $5.00 they would have to spend themselves! For the most part, they didn’t like spending their own money either!

My daughter is bucking the trend lately, but I hope she gets back on the financially savvy path (she’s only 7).

We also just started to play monopoly. Surprisingly, my daughter can keep up! I hope they learn something from it!

Thanks for the mention and I hope your weekend was great (it’s almost 80% over here today) 🙂


Linda April 10, 2011 at 5:54 PM

I’ll never forget going to the store one day with my mother and asking her to help me buy a record I wanted. It was a single record (remember those?) and it cost 99 cents. I had one dollar of my own money with me and tried to buy the record, but once tax was added in I was short a penny. Mom refused to give me a penny or lend me a penny against the chore money I earned every week. She told me I would just have to wait until I had saved more money to buy the record. The only “lesson” I feel like I learned that day was that my mom could be a really cruel person. And I don’t think I ever did get that single.

Allowing your kid a set amount that you’re willing to pay sounds like a great approach to keeping the budget under control.


Everyday Tips April 11, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Thanks for linking First Gen. Gotta go read about Babci’s underwear now…


Crystal April 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

I completely understand your son’s fascination with the glow in the dark stuff. I still waste my money on glow sticks I rarely use and most glow-in-the-dark stickers I ever see for sale. It’s just cool. 🙂

May I ask Babci to curse my cell phone thief? I think hers will work better than mine…


Alison April 14, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Thank you so much Sandy! You were an awesome host!!


Roger, the Amateur Financier April 17, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Thanks very much for including my post on entertainment; I’m glad it got you to thinking. Although, just a bit of trivia, fanfiction actually dates back to the early twentieth century, and stories people wrote featuring Sherlock Holmes. (People just couldn’t get enough Holmes.) Who knows, perhaps Babci wrote a fanfiction story or two in her youth…

As for writing a fictional pf story, that sounds pretty good; I’d be quite eager to read that if you decide to go through with it.


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