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Penny pincher reaps reward

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings

Photo by cccdebbie on

My 8-year-old daughter has saved every dollar for almost a year with one goal in mind: buying a TV for her room. This weekend she had her chance to reap that reward. Of course, nothing is ever THAT easy when kids are involved.

We were headed out for a classmate’s birthday party and some one-on-one time with just she and I when I asked if she would like to start pricing some TVs. She was elated. She has saved every dollar from grades, chores, and birthdays for a TV which she has decided is the only thing lacking in her life. Of course every new one was way out of her $68 budget, but my husband and I were ready to reward her hard work with a little boost.

After hitting Target, WalMart, and Best Buy though, I asked her if she minded a used one. She said she didn’t care as long as they were cheaper, “lots and bunches cheaper.”

I called a pawn shop that I have passed several times, and they had the size she was looking for. The price was $89.

When we arrived, the set was on a Spanish channel, so at first my 8-year-old was convinced it might not be for her. A couple of channel changes and she was happy.

The gentleman asked who the TV was for, and she said it was hers but it was more money than she had. He said, “how about $75?”

My wheeler and dealer didn’t know what she was doing, but her innocence worked to her advantage as the following conversation became the highlight of my day.

Her: That’s a lot of money, huh? You must be rich.

Him: (Smiling) So what did you do to get your very own TV?

Her: I saved all my money from my grandmothers and honor rolls and chores and the Tooth Fairy. (Smiling her toothless grin.) I worked really hard for a whole entire year and I didn’t buy nothing.

Him: Nothing at all?

Her: Not even a purse! (She put her hand on her hip.) And you know how much I like purses.

Him: That’s really good of you. I’m impressed.

Her: Me too. When my mom said we could go shopping today but those other places were too too much. So that’s why we are here.

Him: And how much did you save?

Her: A whole $68!

Him: Wow that’s a lot of money. And you like this TV?

Her: It is perfect for my room. I can put it right next to my bed. I may even share it with my brothers if they watch what I want them to and don’t put their stinky feet on my sheets.

Him: Well it’s your lucky day. That happens to be the exact sale price today.

She lit up and bounced up and down. With a wink my direction, the owner rang us up and we headed to the car. She laid down ground rules for her younger brothers and they sprawled across her bed for a movie.

Nothing teaches the power of savings like reaping a reward bigger than you thought you could accomplish. I am super proud of my girl for saving, and I’m thankful for a pawn shop owner who helped her reap the much-deserved reward.

John June 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

This is a great story. It reminds me of a story my financial advisor told me about trying to teach his kids to save. He would match dollar for dollar what his kid saved. This was a kid that liked to spend more than save. So this helped the child learn to save more and also taught lessons about 401k contributions that they would encounter later on in life.

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