Bennett recently broke Avery’s big piggy bank, a pre-Christmas catastrophe that provoked tears, wailing on her baby brother, and last-minute pleas for Santa to bring her a new one. Since Santa didn’t deliver, Blake went to Walmart looking for one today. No luck.
“They were sold out of piggy banks?” I asked, rather incredulous this simple money-saving device could cause a run at Christmas. “I don’t think they carry them,” Blake answered. “Well, maybe they should. It could solve the debt crisis,” I said, to which Blake countered: “You know, Walmart wants you to spend your money on plastic crap, not save it for a rainy day.” How true. It must be a conspiracy amongst retailers: remove piggy banks from circulation so another generation can grow up without any money sense.
We are trying to instill basic economic principles into our daughter, like how you need money to buy things like food and clothes and books and toys. After reading several stories about kids and money we started giving Avery an allowance. Problem is, she wants to spend it as soon as she gets it. She wants things like plastic animals, knock-off mermaid “Barbies” or jewelry from Dollarama — ugly cheap stuff that either breaks promptly or will give her lead poisoning if she puts it in her mouth. Now that her money rests in plain view, without a piggy home, it constantly tempts her to spend it. But, as another article counsels, parents are supposed to let their kids practice spending their money on whatever they want, so they can (hopefully) learn that cheap toys from Dollarama are not good value.
This explains how Avery came home with a set of kids’ makeup from the farmers’ market last week. It’s tacky and totally inappropriate for Grade 1. I won’t allow her to leave the house in it, lest she be mistaken for a child prostitute.
So I guess it’s not just Greece. Our six-year-old is having her own mini debt crisis. That’s the real reason she cried when Bennett broke her piggy bank — it revealed she was out of toonies, loonies, quarters, dimes and nickels. But not pennies. She’s donating those to charity.