Money lessons, worth a dollar

Money Lessons

Have you started teaching your little ones about money?

I couldn’t resist telling you a cute little story ;-)

This actually happened about 6 months ago. But while I was looking through my content I saw that this one hadn’t ever posted, so I decided to post it today!

Normally when running errands I try to get them done during the day before the kids get out of school, and cringe during the summer. I do this for a couple of reasons, one being that they always want me to buy them “something” so it cuts down on expenses & the constant “no you can’t get that” when I can go by myself.

But this particular day I needed to get something in the mail before the cutoff time, which was 5PM. So as soon as I picked up my 7 year old from school we headed straight to a pack & mail place. While the clerk was getting my packages ready my youngest brought me something that he wanted, yes of course he wanted me to buy him something! I wasn’t shocked, either. ;-)

This is the conversation:

D – Will you buy this for me?

Me – Did you bring your money?

D – No, but I have money at home. I’ll pay you back when we get home. Please?

Me – How much it is?

D – It’s just $5

I’m thinking to myself “Yes, it’s “just” $5 and every dollar adds up over time. I’m sure you’ve thought that to yourself before, right?

Me – You have a $5 bill at home?

D – Yes

Me – Ok, I will buy it for you, but you need to pay me $5 when we get home.

We are trying to teach them the concept of money and saving. It can certainly be challenging at times.

Well, then I remembered that he had swim lessons. So we rush home so that he can change clothes. Since we were in a hurry neither one of us was worried about the $5.

On the way home from swim lessons he asked if we could stop by the store so that he could buy a toy. I reminded him that he had just bought something and owed me $5.

Me – Don’t you remember that I bought something for you before swim lessons and you owe me $5 for it?

D – Yes, I remember! But it’s only worth $1 to me, so I’m just going to give you a $1 not $5, because that’s what it is worth to me.

Yep, our teaching him the concept of money and saving is going to take a little longer. But we sure got a chuckle out of his reasoning.

Kids are so funny! It was funny that since it was his money he didn’t think it was worth $5, but it sure was if it was mommy’s money.

I would love to hear a funny money story about your little one.


  1. We tried to start early teaching our kids about money and commercials. When my daughter was really little, about three I think, we taught her that there are many things at the store and that’s where they live. That while we are at the store we can look at them all we want but they need to stay at the store. On rare occasions when we can purchase something and bring it home. We never really had trouble with her asking for things. I think she didn’t want the toys to have to leave their home. :)

    • TamaraWillis says:

      That is a great idea Shelly. I haven’t ever thought about that concept. Although, it probably is something that would have to be started when they’re young.

  2. Always interesting teaching and learning about money!

  3. When our daughter was a young teen, she went with us to a consignment shop and wanted to buy something but she didn’t have her cash with her. She asked me to buy the item for her and she would pay me back later. I agreed. On the way home she asked me how much it came to and I told her the amount and told her to figure out the tax on her own in her head. (It was 64 cents tax) After a few minutes, she hollared out ” sixty-two dollars!!!”. We died laughing, then explained that she had her decimal in the wrong place. We’ve laughed about it for years, much to her chagrin!

  4. Sounds like you are teaching your son well! lol! He’s certainly learning what is worth HIS money. I’m still teaching my little one about money. He gets really excited about coins, so all of his tooth fairy money is in coins. :-)

    I’m visiting you from the SITS Comment Love event. Have a great week!

  5. Lol, kids are really smart. Especially when they need to play it to their advantage. My mother tried to explain to my sister’s4-year old daughter that they cannot be buying her stuff all the time since my father (her grandfather) is now retired and they have no money. However, she answered back, sure, you have money. You’ve got the biggest house of us all. Who would think that she even noticed that?! Glad to find your blog through SITS comment marathon.

  6. What a cute story! My kids are now teenagers. my daughter is definitely a saver and my son a spender. I hope it’s not too late for him to be more conscientious of his money! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Sits!

  7. We don’t have any funny money stories yet, but our son is 4 now so I’m sure they’re coming. I know we need to get started now teaching him a good understanding of money and how to handle it, so I’m feeling the pressure!

  8. Aw what a cute story! I don’t remember how my parents taught me how to use/save money. I only know we got like 2 euro’s a week so we could save, but they never lend us anything, because ‘lending money could get you into trouble’. So if we were somewhere and we wanted to buy something and we didn’t have our money with us, we couldn’t buy it

  9. Hi Tamara – stopping over from SITS. We are starting to teach our 8 and 5 year old about money use the Money Smart Family System by Steve Economides. It is a bit slow going but I know it will start to click. My 8 year old already likes having his own money but doesn’t always like to be told how he needs to save it :-) And his response to everything has become “well, I will just buy it with my own money.” I think you have quite the entrepreneur on your hands. Deciding what has what value and what he is willing to pay for it…shrewd negotiator!

  10. I was actually just thinking about this the other day. My husband and I aren’t big fans of buying lots of toys for our daughter, but I was just thinking about getting her a grocery set to help explain how money works. In order to purchase something, you have to have money. I want to reinforce it in her while she’s so young. Better to teach them while they’re young and impressionable, than to wait until they’re thousands of dollars in debt.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a sweet story. Gash its been so long ago about teaching my son about money. I know when he turned 16 and wanted to drive his car he was responsible for his own insurance and gas. If he got any tickets, he had to pay for them. Seemed to work. I think he paid for a couple of tickets and that never happened again! *LOL* Thanks for sharing

  12. LOL! Well he’s learned what the value of an item is at least! Trying to teach kids about money certainly has it’s moments. We’ve had a few of those in regards to credit cards. When I tell my daughter I don’t want to spend money on something she says to just put it on your card without understanding the concept that it’s not ‘free money’ from the credit card company.

  13. That totally sounds like a conversation with two of my boys. The oldest is always leaving his wallet at home and I try to tell him if he doesn’t bring it, he can’t buy it…but often I cave.

    Cute story, many moms can relate to! Visiting from SITS Commentathon though I think we’re in a mommy blogger group together too! :)
    Us T’s gotta stick together :)

  14. ha. i have a 5 and 7 year old, so know the questions and the slippery concept of money all too well… I think it’s great though to give kids a concept of things actually costing money, we certainly try to teach this as well, and they think twice before having to spend any of their own money!

  15. I can completely relate to this story. My son is 6 years old. We are trying to teach him about money and the importance of saving. My son shares the same philosophy as your son when it comes to value. If he asks me to buy something he will say “It’s only $10.00.”, but when it is his money he says “Wow, $10.00 is a lot of money!”

  16. Omg if I had a dime for every time I’ve had this conversation with my girls!! GAH!! lol. I do think they have really begun to get it lately though. Whew. lol. ;)

  17. Great idea!! I’m trying to teach the kids the value of money, as they are always trying to play with it! This is great!

    #CommentLove #SITSBLogging

  18. The funniest money story I have is when my son was about 20 months old. (He’s now 21.) He was sitting in a high chair at IHOP and all of a sudden we looked and he had money in his hands. We couldn’t figure out where he had gotten this cash for a moment, until we saw the waiter for table next to us walk by with a dollar hanging from his pocket as he served coffee. Our son reached for the dollar and neatly slipped it out of his pocket! We were mortified, but couldn’t help laughing after we got the waiter’s attention and explained what happened!

    Nice post you have there, too! Commenting from the SITS girls

  19. It’s very challenging to teach little ones about money. We have a piggy bank that is digital and counts money. Our oldest, 6, is just starting to get the concept. Very cute post! I’m spreading the comment live from the SITS girls. :)

    • TamaraWillis says:

      Everytime we get a digital bank it doesn’t work very long :-( But I think that would be great to help w/ learning about money. Thanks for stopping by

  20. Aww… so cute! And very funny! Kids truly say the funniest things some times! I don’t have a little one yet… but I can’t wait for all the fun stories I’ll have! :)

  21. Hello Tamara, my name is Tamara too! I pronounce it tuh-mare-uh though. lol. I love hearing stories like this one. He has developed his own bartering system. Hmm…I wish I could use it for certain things. #SITS

    • TamaraWillis says:

      Hey Tamara! Thanks for stopping by
      My name is mispronounced a lot – it is Tam a ra (LOL) Does that even make sense

  22. Your son cracked me up but its important to teach our kids the value of money as early as possible.

  23. I think teaching kids about spending and saving money is very important. I try to remind my girls the difference between want and need. I’ve also had to do what you’ve done where they want something at the store and I make them pay me back when we get home.

  24. Though when he was younger he never asked for anything, since he started school he’s been asking for EVERYTHING. Anything he sees on tv, in someone’s hand, in the store….At least he doesn’t try to cry about it. He just nags.
    My son is 7, and starting to understand the concept of money and its value. I give him $1 a week that he can use to buy something special or put into the bank. More often than not, surprisingly, he puts it in the bank, until he has enough to buy what he wants.
    Visiting from SITS.

  25. That’s hilarious! I wish I could do that with my mortgage. That vacant house I own is definitely not worth to me what I still owe on it ;-)

  26. That is going to be one tough businessman right there! We’ve always tried to teach our daughter the value of money. At three years old she said, ” McDonald’s is too expensive!” That’s our girl!

  27. Haha, that is too funny. I have a 19 month odl, so we haven’t started any major life lessons, but he is such a funny little man, that I can already see him do something like that. Great post! Gave me a good laugh!

    Tosin AK via SITS blogging

  28. Hahaha! What a cute little story! I have three boys, and this sounds just like what they would have said. Today my youngest, who just turned 4 years old, he brought me a few coins and said he had three “monies”. Well he had four coins, three pennies and a nickel. He counted out the pennies, and then I asked him, while holding up the nickel, “how much is this one”. He thought for a minute and said “5”. I couldn’t believe it! It’s amazing what having two school aged brothers can do! Haha Anyway, I feel like he might be well on his way to learning about money and to learning about cost and worth.

    Recently we started giving them a penny for each task they were required to do each day, including things like brushing their teeth… Spending those pennies now will hopefully save me several dollars later. They are definitely motivated by getting those pennies because the alternative is they don’t get anything, and there is very little protest with tasks now.

    • TamaraWillis says:

      That is a great idea to use pennies for things that they need to do daily. It is like a win-win! I may borrow that if you don’t mind ;-) Thanks for stopping by

  29. Ahhh this is so cute! I love that you are teaching him the value of money so young.

  30. Ha! too funny. I wish that rationale worked with our mortgage company.

  31. Hi Tamara,

    That is so funny. We try to teach our children the value of money also. My children think they can just put anything in the cart at the store and mommy will buy it. Not the case, I ask them Do they have money? They never want to spend their money, but they are real quick to spend mommy and daddy’s money. Real life lessons when they have to use their own hard earned money to buy things, it puts it all in perspective. Stopping by from SITS comment day!

  32. What?! Oh, that cracked me up. Very interesting that later on the toy was considered only worth $1! Money can be a hard concept to fully grasp, but it’s very wise to teach kids good money habits from their youth onwards! #SITSBlogging

  33. Hello from SITS comment love challenge! Great post!

  34. Wow, you have a smart little one on your hands! I remember my parents teaching me the value of a dollar when I was younger. They gave us allowances for doing chores and such, and when we went somewhere my Mom always reminded us to bring our money. I learned very early on to have my money, because odds were that I was going to always be able to get what I want, versus asking my parents and having to wait.

    Stopping by from #SITSBlogging!

  35. I’m still trying to teach my kids about money and they are adults. Heck I’m still trying to teach myself about money. One day when my daughter and I were shopping at the dollar store (she was probably 18) she said ‘I love shopping at the dollar store it makes me feel like we’re rich.’ :) That’s why we all like the dollar store.

  36. My kids drive me batty begging me for stuff everywhere we go. I finally had to say before we went in the store that they were not to ask me for a single thing and if they did they wouldn’t get to go to the store for a very long time.
    They enjoy going with me just enough that they stopped bugging as much. A quick “what did I say in the car about that?” is all it takes most times.

  37. I’m trying to teach my kids about money, too. It’s a challenge, and my 11-year-old has the impression that when it’s payday, we can buy him things like a new video game, because it’s payday and therefore we have money! He hasn’t yet grasped the necessity of paying bills and essentials first, and saving for emergencies, and THEN, if there’s some disposable income left, treating yourself once in a while. I remember my mother telling me once when I was very young that we couldn’t get whatever it was I wanted, because she didn’t have any money for it, and I told her, “That’s OK, just write a check!” LOL Clearly I didn’t get yet that you have to have money in the bank to *cover* the check! #SITSblogging

  38. What a great concept! =)


  39. We’re currently working on learning the value of money right now. Any tips you can share would be great! I’m sure other parents would love them too.

    Trish in North Carolina
    {Surfing in from SITS comment luv}

  40. oh little kiddos have no concept of money…they just know that it’s something to go into their automated piggy banks :) dropping by from #sits

  41. LOL! Your kid is funny. I’m only giving you $1 because its only worth $1 to me. Hilarious! Love that you’re teaching money lessons early. It will serve them well as they grow up. Kudos to you!

  42. lol! We have begun teaching my little ones about money and are doing it with a task system where they choose what they want to do and prices earned per task are set using fake money. The only time they are getting real money is for special occasions such as holidays or the tooth fairy…although my husband is no longer allowed to dish out that money. My daughter had lost one of her front teeth and was super excited about it. The hubs had been putting in 12+ hour days at work due to the company selling owners. I called him to let him know that she had lost a tooth and I had no cash on me. I wasn’t about to bundle all the kids up just to run to the atm. He said no worries he would get it when he got home. By the time he got home we were all passed out, and I go to bed super late. I woke up the next morning to my little girl bouncing around screaming that the tooth fairy pays big bucks for front teeth. My sleep deprived hubs thinking he had pulled out a $1 bill in the dark had mistakenly pulled out a $100 bill…#SITSBlogging.

    • TamaraWillis says:

      Oh my goodness! The tooth fairy has never paid that much around here! I bet your daughter was beyond thrilled & probably expected a $100 bill each time she lost a tooth! Thanks for stopping by & sharing your story!

  43. That is too funny! My kids are pretty good about paying me back, however, they always conveniently forget to give me the change if I give them money! I think sometimes they also tell me there was no change, even if there was.

    • TamaraWillis says:

      Aren’t kids so funny about money. That is something that they learn quick, to be able to keep it. LOL

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