How to Annoy Everyone in Line Behind You at Target

26 Jul
Personal Finance

Personal Finance (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

Or: How to Teach My Child the Value of Money.

My daughter is now 6 and gearing up to enter the first grade in just about a month. Ok, 31 days, but really……who’s counting?

After discussing the topic with friends, family, and hubby (in that order), we have decided that it is time for Miss Sassy Pants to start having regular weekly chores, and thus earn a modest allowance.

She and I sat down together and carefully constructed an agreement as to which chores she would be responsible for each week in order to earn some money for herself.

This came after a particular stressful shopping excursion where from a Mommy’s perspective she picked up EVERYTHING she could get her little hands on and asked if she could have it. Really, who knew that

Jo-Ann‘s Crafts had so much to entice her? After the umpteenth time of hearing me say “no’. Miss Sassy Pants, put her hands on her hips and said, “How would you like if it if someone told YOU no every time you wanted something, huh Mommy?” Duh, that’s what Daddy is for!

Fast forward two weeks and she has managed to scrape together enough for a little Cinderella doll that has been taunting her from the check out lanes at Target forever. She unashamedly explained that anytime she finds money lying around she puts it in her wallet… I might have to revisit that habit later.

I carefully count out her money. Almost all of it change of course, and tell her that she just might have enough for the Cinderella she has been desperate for. Then explain to her carefully, “no sweetie, they won’t give you your money back”. And “If you buy something, you give them the money, and they give you what you are buying”. And REPEAT a few times for the message to sink in.

We go up to the cashier, she empties her wallet on the counter…….

Why oh why oh WHY is it me who ends up counting out the $4.89 required for the purchase no less than 4 times as the once empty check out lane fills up behind me? Every time I counted out the change, the cashier would reach in, try to count some additional pennies, switching piles around, and we would have to start over. It was enough to make my head spin, then Mr. Crabby Pants decided he’d had enough and wanted to tell everyone about it,  as only an 8 month old can.

I could just feel the aggravation of the patrons behind me growing. I know it would it have been easier to pocket the change, and swipe my debit card to expedite the process. But, damn it, I was trying to teach a lesson here.

I’m begging you… If anyone has any tips on how to teach the value of money to a young child. Please, any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. My local Target will thank you!


2 Responses to “How to Annoy Everyone in Line Behind You at Target”

  1. penneyfox August 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    We started doing something like this last year. Each week my son earns points on a chart and for every 100 points, he gets a dollar. I would tell him that he can use his money for whatever he wants (within reason of course). Some weeks it took awhile to get the 100 points so he had all sorts of change in his bank. One time we were in Target and he bought some pokeman thing with like $10 in change. I told the cashier it was his allowance and he earned it so she helped him count it out.

    I’m not 100% sure how this whole thing will play out this school year as he’s getting older but I’ll probably figure out some version of the points chart again. (BTW – our school starts in less then 2 weeks – Aug 13!)

    • momuverse August 3, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      I like the point system. I bet seeing the progress is a great motivator. Thanks for the idea!

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