Merry Christmas! OK, it's a few days late, but it is still the holiday season. In an effort to extend the holiday cheer a bit, I waited until today to give the kiddo one last gift, a $10 bill from my mom, to be spent on anything the kiddo's heart desired*. We had to go out to the mall to return some things, so we stopped at Barnes and Noble. She found a bunch of things that appealed to her, many over the $10 limit, before deciding on a stuffed Hello Kitty. She even had some money left over, which I told her she could use sometime to buy a treat.
Fast forward an hour or so, when we started to get hungry. We were waiting for friends at the "Fashions for Evergreens" display and decided to walk over to the coffee shop for a snack. The kiddo had left her money in the car, but I had a gift card so I treated her to a juice box and a banana. While walking back to the tree exhibit, the kiddo announced that she didn't want the rest of her banana, and that she needed to find a trash can so that she could throw it away.
Now, selecting a gift under $10 was going to be the money lesson of the day, but it turned out that I had another opportunity to explain economics to the kiddo. I told her that since I had used my gift card to buy her banana, she would owe me $1 of her leftover money if she didn't finish it since that would be wasting food. I got a defeated "fine" before she ate the rest of the banana.
*The item had to cost $10.00 or less. I would not give her extra money if she wanted something over $10.00, but I did agree to use my B&N discount. I had the right to veto anything that was not age appropriate or that was just plain crap. The kiddo had to carry her own money, pay for her own purchase, and keep the item in the bag while we finished our errands. SUCCESS!