Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Band Teacher Taught my 8th Grade Econ Class...I am Still Suffering for It...

We are trying to teach our kids the value of a dollar, and the importance of slaving away working hard to earn those dollars to get the things you want. I'll rip my eyeballs out if my kids ever want to become reality stars. Um...

So I mean, they're kids, yeah, and they get a cool 5 bucks from the grandparents every time a tooth falls out of their head, and they are allowed to spend their birthday money but, the little consumer in them wants more and more and MORE...too bad their parents are flat broke!

No no...even if we were the Trumps, with pink ties, comb-overs and all, our kids would still learn to work hard and earn their money. Have you seen Trump's kids? What? You DON'T watch Celebrity Apprentice? What is WRONG with you? Wait, what was I talking about???

So lately, they have been asking for quite a bit of stuff, and so I got totally annoyed a great idea to make a chore chart in order for them to earn stars that would represent money: 100 stars equals $10. So far Audrey has flown through her first chart and is now halfway through her second. Jacob, who is older, likes the idea, but is less motivated to work towards his goal, with the same fervor, for some reason. Hopefully this isn't total foreshadowing of their future work ethic but, either way, once those charts are filled, they get their hard-earned cash.

And recently, something amazing has caught their collective eye; the new Nintendo DSi XL came out, and this thing is basically a computer/camera/game boy/space shuttle/rice cooker/animatronic pet all in one. And it's a pretty penny. And yeah, they want it bad, and we're not buying it.

BUT, we told them that if they saved up half of the cost, we would match it for them. I made another chart, basically a fund-raising thermometer, with a line showing where they need to be to have us match the amount and therefore let them buy the DSi. The process has been going very slowly, mainly because birthdays are over, and they are not allowed to use pliers to pull out any more teeth. They are not sure they want to put their star chart earnings towards this item either. Again, hopefully not foreshadowing...

So with the process going so slowly, Audrey got bit with the entrepreneurial bug, and she became a rash of ideas.

This is where I am pretty sure I have failed her in the area of economics, even at the first grade level. Here's what happened.

Audrey decided to open a store, which was mainly a makeshift tent around her dollhouse. She then took things from around the house, like my good flashlight for example, to "sell". I thought this idea was cute and short lived, until I realized she was sitting upstairs all alone, in the dark, in her store, waiting for me and Jacob to come "buy" some stuff. She came down stairs, looking completely defeated, and declared, "NO ONE is buying anything from my shop! No one is coming in!"

I was thinking two things, first of which was, "whew, I really don't want strangers in my house anyway" and second, "this little girl's heart is gonna break unless I buy something fast".

So I assured her that someone was gonna come and buy things from her shop, scooting her back upstairs in order for Jacob and me to scour the house for loose change. Once we found some, we went upstairs and her face lit up like Trump Plaza (seriously have you seen that place?).

I'm sure you'll all be happy to know I bought back my own flashlight for myself, as well as a McDonald's toy, a rubber band, a bouncy ball, a yo-yo, a bracelet, a couple of gems and a paper airplane. She let me decide my own prices, and she made 75 cents, because that's all I had (<----not Trump). Interestingly enough, Jacob was ultra excited to buy many of his own toys. When he started to get low on money though, Audrey compensated by opening up a bank and a pawn shop, as well as drastically inflating the value of the currency. He sold items back for more than he purchased them for, and was told that his pennies were worth 10 cents, and nickles were worth 25 cents. Not really sure what happened with the quarter though...even so he was so excited to have purchased his own sling shot!

Audrey THEN opened up a fourth shop, a weapons shop. With all of Jacob's weapons for sale. He came downstairs grinning ear to ear, going on and on about how he was able to buy his bow for 10 cents and his soccer cones (which apparently are weapons) for 6 cents. Not ONCE did he think "wait a minute, this is MY stuff! Why am I buying it?"

Josh came home and sort of confused the process by offering a quarter for a paper airplane and a juggling ball, and asking for change back. Audrey just stared at him and offered his quarter back. I think he left with nothing.

And even now as I write this, I am hearing her gripe that she is too busy and tired to work all four shops on her own, and she wants to hire someone. Jacob said he would work for her and she hired him right on the spot. Then he told her he would only work weekends, which irritated her so she fired him, in true Trump fashion, with that quick finger-pointing gesture and her hair whisped to the side, "yuh'fyad!" (if you watched the show you would get that). I think she didn't lose any money on training him, thank goodness. So now she's back to running the stores on her own, and she just opened a pet shop, but not before she offered to sell Jacob the weapons shop. For 10 cents I think. Which she wants him to spend at the pet shop. And he probably will.

I have never seen $1.50 buy and sustain so much.

So of course she is ecstatic about "earning" money, and she even went as far as drawing in the equivalent of $30 onto her money thermometer for the Nintendo DSi XL. With a crayon. Foreign markets have no chance with our new exchange rates.

Man. Her shops are holding all sorts of crazy hours and sales, and Jacob is asking for money like a true toy junkie, rummaging through our junk drawer with trembling hands and demanding to know why I don't have a dollar in my purse. I am losing household items right and left and somehow in three hours she has earned 56 bucks and is half-way over her goal for the coveted DSi. I'm starting to get really confused, and I am thinking I might have to call in a financial adviser, or Ivanka Trump...or my band teacher...


w said...

dannyit! you know i just turned on my computer!

this is a #1 comment. i see you're gonna talk about donold trumanp.

w said...

oh man. this sounds like a garage sale in your own home. it's like the best thing ever. except. i'd negotiate.

that's right. i don't care how old the shop owner is. i'll get her to give me the flashlight for a penny.

The Mother said...

My son's physics teacher had a degree in Japanese.

So, given your current predicament, does that mean he's going to write electronics manuals for Sony?

Stephanie said...

LOL You have created the next big tycoon!

But seriously, great idea to hae them earn some of that money. We do the smae thing around here. How else do they fighure out money really doesn't grow on trees?

Unknown said...

That is too cute...but I think your little girl has figured out how to get that dsi xl without paying a penny..heehhheeee

Aries said...

Sounds like a business young lady is in the making. Cool learning about business at such a tender age. I should have my sons do something like that too.

Ivy Bliss said...

WOW! She's a genius! My parents used to pay me for grades. Interesting, as report cards are coming soon... (cough, hint)
I also used to write books and sell them to my parents. Mind you, they were composed of one piece of construction paper with a bunch of sentences about the color of the paper it was written on ("Trees are green in the spring and summer. Grass is green until it dies." "Blood is red and so are tomatoes." Shit like that.). I was sure to be a best-selling author someday. Alas, I made enough for a swimming pool membership every summer and am only the author of this blog, many text messages and an assortment of email masterpieces...
Love your writing! :)

Kearsie said...

My husband, in an effort to look like he was full of money, paid my daughter 50 pennies...for cleaning up her room.

Which she spilled.

And now we collect.

And pay her with the same pennies.

For new jobs.

I'm pretty sure we're the government.

Claire Gutschow, Fei'd skin care said...

Things were much easier when we were kids. We got paid in candy, end of story. But now there's tooth decay and obesity and diabetes to worry about (uugh). Hopefully our daughters won't learn to associate chocolate with achievement like we did. Their asses will thank us in 20 years!

Cakeblast said...

Great post, I like the way you are teaching about money, but the humorous way you write about it is even better - great blog. I'm a new follower from Friday Follow. I'm glad I discovered you.

Miss Fit said...

Oh man. My kids are eying that Dsi XL too! They are going to have to become young entrepreneurs as well to get that thing! Kids these days. What happened to dolls and G.I. Joe's??

Vanessa said...

I am SO CONFUSED!!! My #1 is just starting to get to the point where she's asking for things -- especially when she sees what her friends bring in for show and tell. That's how she found out about those little motorized hamster things. INNOCENCE, LOST!

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