Lessons In Money Management

On Saturdays we go garage sale shopping and the kids take their own allowance money so they get to buy what they want. They have to negotiate if there is not a price on the item and I let them pay for their own item so they become familiar with what a nickel is, a quarter, etc. My son who is 4, found a pair of Nike shoes for a quarter and they are his favorite shoes. 

When we go to the mall and see the items that we bought before, I point out the prices and how much more expensive it is at the mall. Sometimes they say, "Oh I want to get that at the mall" but I persuade them to try and find it at the garage sale first. And that stops them from saying "gimme, gimme, gimme". A lot of times they might be looking for an item and they find it at the garage sale. The kids are learning to negotiate a little bit based on how much money they have. If I see an item that I think is a little overpriced, I'll suggest to the kids that they offer a lesser price for it. Sometimes they are successful with their negotiations, and sometimes they're not.

But that's how it is in real life too, so they get that initial joy of negotiating successfully. Some of the items they want to buy are broken, but they buy them anyway. Sometimes we are able to fix them and that helps them see that there is a recycling side to it too. It is incredible what people sell nowadays at garage sales. They are learning about which things they really want to spend money on, and which things are not as important to them at quite a young age. I find that I'm a lot less stressed out about the items too. If they only spent a quarter for an item, and want to trade it with their friend across the street, I don't feel bad like I would have it I had spent $25 for it.