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How Do Kids Spend $$?

Updated: May 13

I cringed 😬quite a few times when I saw what some students bought as souvenirs on field trips.

-There was the huge 🐀 gummy rat as big as my hand,

-the 🦕dinosaur bone, 

-and the penny that, for 25 cents, 🏪 gets flattened and stamped with the name of the attraction.

Should kids spend their own money any way they want, even if we think it’s a 💸 waste? 

Actually, kids’ buying errors contribute to their understanding of the value of money. 

At the time of the sale, kids cherish their new 💎treasures.  

You can explain about the value of 💰money all you want, but it doesn’t register until kids get their aha☝️ moments that 

 both the🐀 gummy rat and their money are gone💸

 the “dinosaur bone” looks suspiciously like a pebble🗻

 25 cents was spent on a penny 

 When that happens, a true lesson in 🏦 commerce takes place.

Boundaries are still necessary, like the time we wouldn’t allow a student to buy a plastic dagger.


Before going to the mall, sending your child on a field trip, or choosing a vacation souvenir, have a conversation about your 🤝 nonnegociables.

How do you feel about toy weapons?

How do you feel about candy? Soda?

Boundaries are needed for online purchases and 🕹️gaming credits, too.

Bonus Lesson: Learning to budget  

Give a money limit and watch how kids develop the ability to think about how their limited funds will be spent.

Warning⚠️: Unlimited or large amounts provide few such lessons.  

One of my now grown kids still has his

“Sutter’s Fort Bronze Medallion” from Sacramento, California. 

It still has value for him, all the more, because, when in 4th grade, he chose it himself and used his own money. 

What I thought was a waste turned out to be a lifelong 💎 treasure. 

👩‍🏫 I can learn a lesson, too.

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