The Kids' Garage Sale
by Nellie The Nag
11 Ways to Teach Kids about Money
Modeling Money Behaviors
My Story: A Frugal Money Lesson
My two darling daughters started moaning about returning to school right after they returned from summer camp. Moaning but even worse, preparing monstrous lists for things they wanted, needed, just had to have, before going back to school this fall.
Using my eagle eyesight, I reviewed their lists and was surprised to see so many items reappear from last year's lists. Binders, geometry sets, scientific calculators, pencils, pens, note books, paper clips, pencil sharpeners, back packs and new paper refills for all those new binders. Maybe you've guessed my next question? Where is everything you both had from last year? Did all the binders, paper, pens and pencils magically disappear at the end of June? Their reply ( I'm sure it was rehearsed): "Oh mom, don't be so old fashioned. We can't use the same stuff we used last year in the lower grades!"
I'm not totally unaware of how good it feels to enter a new grade with new stuff. But I'm also not an easy touch and these rascals know it.
My solution: For them to hold a kids' garage (yard) sale and dispose of everything they no longer wanted to raise cash for the stuff they do want. We're talking dolls, action figures, records, cassettes, CD's, books, clothing items, wall posters, miscellaneous junk, jewelry, sports gear, (discontinued sports interest) and Archie comics. We made up the street signs together and dad (Terry The Terrible) did the neighbourhood posting. They e-mailed all their friends and collected over $100 each for the full day sale. Their own money, to buy the new things they had to have versus the perfectly reusable things from last year.
Three lessons involved here:
1. Someone's discards are someone else's treasures.
2. Needs versus wants and knowing the difference.
3. Learning about bargaining as they had to decide to part with something at a lower offer or stick to the original price.
Sure, Mom's tough but the kids had fun, everyone went home happy and our family budget dodged a bullet. These are life lessons and in my opinion, a big part of what parenting is all about.
Nellie is a full time wife, mother and nag plus a part-time librarian and writer.
Trending on TDS
- How to get retired parents to spend money on themselves
- Video: Avoiding vacation debt & regret
- Let's play with edible clay!
- How to create an outside science wall for your kids
- Great ways to give gifts
- 4 tips for enjoying a 'staycation'
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- Grocery items you can find on sale in August
- 8 items to buy at yard sales this summer
- 5 colleges where your kid can go to school for free
- 6 secrets to saving more at discount stores
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator