Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Chocolates Become a Lesson on Money

We got an email from Audrey's school yesterday telling us that her form teacher would be leaving and another teacher would be taking over the class.

On the way out for dinner, we discussed with Audrey how it would be nice to give her teacher a small present to wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Audrey agreed and thought she should get chocolates.

And who doesn't like Lindt? 
After dinner, we went to the chocolate section in the supermarket and she zoomed in to something that she thought was nice and would make a great gift. (See the picture on the right)

We agreed that it was and told her that since it was her teacher, we would be loaning her the amount and she could repay us everyday from her pocket money. Audrey was stunned. She immediately went back to check the price of the chocolates and put it back on the shelf. 

She then went through the whole chocolate section only this time she looked not just at the packaging but at the price as well. D and I smiled at each other. He of course quipped that at least she didn't pick up the $1.20 ones… but truth be told she saw a kit-kat at $0.70 and wanted to get it for the teacher which I of course told her she could get it only if she appreciates her teacher that much.. Fortunately, she put that back as well.

So here's the second choice. 

It's not too bad, but we told her, the price should not be the only factor when deciding on a gift. We got her to imagine herself as a recipient and to choose something that she actually enjoys and she would like the other person to enjoy that too. (To be fair, Audrey hasn't really eaten Dairy Milk chocolates before… I'm not sure why…

She put the chocolates back and went on looking for something she was okay with the price and something she knows she would like. (All this happen of course with the two younger boys running around the supermarket going crazy and asking us if their sister could buy them chocolates… *rolls eyes*)

Finally, she decided on something she liked and even gave some thought as to why she thought her teacher might like it.
Not too bad right????
There were three flavors - Cookies and cream, Milk chocolate with almonds and Milk chocolate. We asked her which we should get for her teacher, and she chose the plain milk chocolate since there is "more chocolate and who doesn't like more chocolate". 

In case you thought that this decision process is completed, it hasn't. She said she needed a card to give as well. We gave her two choices. One was to buy a card from the bookshop which would be another $4 or so or she could go home and make a nice one for the teacher. Without thinking, she said she will go back and make it. (D and I laughed at her decision)

On the way home, we discussed with how much would she be paying D everyday for the loan. Her pocket money is $2/day, of which $0.20 is put in her savings and another $0.20 is set aside for church offerings on Sundays, so which means she is left with $1.60. We worked on $0.40, $0.80 and $1.00. But D was a little concern if we got her to return $1/day she would not have enough to spend in school.  So we told her not to push it and choose something she was okay to part with. (Of course the boys overheard and told her to pay mummy and not daddy… HAHAHA. I am also not sure why?!?)

After doing her card and packing her bag, she agreed that she would pay $0.40 a day and worked out a repayment schedule with me. 

So every morning, when daddy fetches her to school, she will give him $0.40 and it was her responsibility to give it and not to be asked, which she agreed.

That night, we knew she must have felt the pinch when she actually had to pay for something from her own pocket and we reminded her that before she so decides to ask her grandparents for something she fancies in future to think if it was really necessary. 

After the kids had gone to bed at night, I began to reflect if I had actually taught my kids on the concept of money. Both D and I have never really involved them in our financial decisions to be honest. Something simple like when we host a dinner or even plan a holiday, the kids do not sit with us to discuss why we had paid a certain amount on our choices. Yet, these decisions, as simple and natural as we think, are never common to kids, which just means those decisions that were 5 seconds long in the past may become 5 minutes in future… but if that would make them more aware about money, that's a good investment isn't it? :)


  1. I like how you bring the value of money in such a simple thing as getting a gift. Something for me to try out. Mind if I share your post on Facebook?

    1. Hi Mrs bear! Thanks for dropping by! Of course I won't mind! Thanks for the compliment!!