I have always had 2 pairs of sunglasses. They both live in my car, naturally, for driving.
The first pair I got before we had kids. It’s rather fancy in that it’s a wire framed one and therefore rather fragile. The second pair I got probably 2 years ago, from a golf shop. It’s the polarised type, for rough use like driving and walking about. It’s cheap-ish, under RM100. Personally I prefer the polarised ones because it’s actually a lot clearer and more “contrast” in AV speak, if I can even describe it this way.
Recently the second pair cracked at the frame above the lens (no it’s not in 2 pieces, bottom part of frame is still holding it together). It’s likely due to wear and tear- I do after all put it on the top of my head often. I super-glued it, and it was okay till a few days ago when I heard the same snap at the same place, and on top of my head too
So I found myself contemplating a new pair, while still “preserving” the first wire-frame pair. I can’t really say why other than the fact that it’s too fragile for my regular use. Okay, I do subscribe to retail therapy too!
Caitlin is at the age now where she is asking for stuff. Stuff that she sees on tv, while shopping, stuff that her peers in school has. Sometimes it’s new things, sometimes it’s new things of stuff she already has, justifying it by saying her younger brother can have the hand-me-down. Only last night she said she would like a new doll, the one that poops (!) I asked what about her current one. She says Caleb can have that one. She probably learned about hand me downs when, among other things, she’s seen and knows that Caleb wears her older pj’s, especially when we joke about her/his pink ones!
So, when I have the chance and when she brings it up, I explain to her that there are things we don’t always need, or need new ones of. Trying to teach her the concept of trade-offs, that if you save now you may be able to afford something else later, or that if you spend it now, you’d have less of “money” left for other possibly more important things.
99% of the time she accepts the explanation. We do get her new things when we feel like she needs a pamper or that something indeed does replacing. Lucky for us so far she is quite easy to please. So long as it’s a new something, she is happy- examples are new toothbrush or toothpaste! Or even a doorgift from some conference I attended, or a McD toy.
So while the rough-use pair of sunglasses is sitting at home waiting for me to retry and stick back together, I took out the wire-frame to wear while driving. 4year olds are actually quite observant creatures. While I quipped when the second pair cracked, she knew and suggested i glue it back together. She also knew I did so, and that I was waiting for it to dry.
So when she saw the wire-frame, she asked where it came from. I had to tell her that I owned 2 pairs.
If she was smarter or older, I would have left myself open to a trap of “How come you have 2 (of the same thing)?? Daddee???”
I can’t remember how I got out of that one, but I didn’t have to justify myself. I think she had just accepted it- lucky for me.
So now, I know I can’t go get myself another pair- spend money like I used to before marriage and kids. Before, because these are not big ticket things, I wouldn’t really hesitate much. but now, because as all parents know, we are constantly being watched as examples, I know I gotta practise what I preach.
How have you been teaching your kids about money?