I went to the store yesterday… for my son. My oldest lost his Gameboy charger and has been begging me for the past few days to take him to Game Stop so he could buy a new one. He knew he would have to pay for it with his own money. He looked around the store at the games after looking for a used charger. There were no used ones, so we waited in line to ask for a new one.
Meanwhile, my youngest son was looking around the store. He has been saving his money for an iPad, and has saved over $200. This kid loves to spend money, but he does think a lot about purchases before he makes them. Both of the boys have wanted an Xbox 360 since they came out, however we still have our old one. His thought process? I have to save $300 more for an iPad or I could buy a used Xbox 360 now. He looked around at the systems and games a while longer.
We finally made it to the counter for my son to get his charger. $10 for a universal charger that will charge any portable Nintendo game system. He wanted nothing else in the store. He went there for a charger, purchased the charger and was ready to leave.
My youngest, still pondering his dilemma, was also ready to leave. He spent his time there looking around and thinking about his options.
Both boys left the store happy, never once begging me to buy them something. They also left with money still in their wallets. Let me just say here, this is not always the case, but maybe they’re learning something? By me giving them their allowance in cash, they manage their own money. They see it come and they decide how it goes, and they also see how quickly it goes. They are 9 and 10 years old, they can tell you why it’s bad to use credit cards (and have no problem saying it to people they know), they know the value of a dollar and they understand budgeting. I think they’re learning from my no retail shopping challenge too, even though I’m not making them do it with their own money. 🙂