Sunday, May 7, 2006

Money Lessons

Lessons learned about money issues this past week while shopping and having a neighborhood garage sale, including a kid's "lemonade stand" :

1. My junk is junk. No one wants to buy it. Used clothing, even if it is like new, is snubbed. Total take: $5 and change.

2. Marvin's (age 12) junk is not junk. Used toys sell well at garage sales. Even the ones the dog has gnawed on. His total take: $12 and change.

3. Emily (age 8) is Frugal. When I took her grocery shopping she left her money in the car at the regular store, planning instead on making her purchase(s) at the discount store we were visiting second. She also helped her younger, nonfrugal sister find a "buy one get one free deal" on chips.

4. Emily should also probably go into sales. She convinced her sister into buying her a necklace, a bracelet and a cat sculpture at the neighbor's garage sale. She also sold more ice cream and soda than any of her siblings on a cold spring morning. (Probably had to do with that dramatically sad face she made while sitting on the fence, all dejected and penniless like.)

5. Money related math: Calculating cost per item, calculating retail value of items, calculating gross and net sales, dividing profits, calculating tithing and savings on said profits.

6. If you let Maddy (age 6), buy as many things as her money can buy- she will. And then weep that she has no more money when she finds yet another thing she must have. Her purchases in the last few days: 2 large bags of potato chips, two necklaces, a bracelet, cat sculpture, a travel mug, large bag of cheese puffs, a tie, a robot dog, a talking stuffed puppy, a stroller toy, ice cream, a used camera, a stuffed whale with a baby, and a set of soda can insulators. Final money: 15 cents.

7. Maddy is, however, a very generous person, as she gave half of the things she purchased to other members of her family.

8. If your goal is to declutter, head out of town during the neighborhood garage sale. (see #6)

9. But,if your goal is to teach your children about money, stick around. (see # 5 and #6) Just next year, donate the old clothes and take the tax deduction.

I did ask Maddy yesterday if she had a dollar what she would do with it. She said she'd save it and wait till she had more money to buy something so she wouldn't be "broke". Lesson learned?

Stay tuned - tomorrow I will be posting a picture of my husband wearing a sheet in public.


  1. ha ha ha-- i am afraid of garage sales (running them) not shopping at them- such a great american tradition-- i am all about the itemized deductions--

  2. I love garage sales. I love finding that "treasure" that I have been searching for. Your kids have so much personality. I love hearing about them. I am sorry your clothes got snubbed, maybe no one fit them.

    I can't WAIT to see a picture of your hubby in a sheet. Post soon!!!

  3. I love garage sales. I need to do one of my own soon. What a great list and fun to read!

  4. That is too funny. The other day my mom and I stopped at a lemonade stand in a more upper class part of town. Those kids had already made $39 and it was just after noon!!!! So I guess the old saying is true, "Location, Location, Location!"

  5. Sounds like a fun garage sale!!! My DH will not do garage sales...we have gone to a few, but he prefers to donate all our junk. Maddy seems like quite the shopper. What did you do with the insulated cup holders? Can't wait to see your DH in a sheet!!

  6. We have the best location for a garage sale but we just donate our junk too. My kids all spend their money just like I use to when I was younger. lol

  7. $12 ain't that great, on our lemonade stand in utah I made 20 something dollars. And dad in a "toga" *cough* sheet *cough* isnt all that great, but o well. hey, now Jettara need to guess who i am! cuz I'm pretty sure itybtyfrog does now. oh btw....... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!(cha cha cha) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!(cha cha cha) HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MERV...!(cha cha cha) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!(and many more..) lol

  8. I know who you are merv. And I have been to your blog and posted. Happy B-day as well.

  9. I'm all for bringing our "junk" to our local goodwill. You had some good lessons learned, and learned more about your kids from this experience though. That might help convince me to have a yard sale with our family in the future.

  10. Maddy sounds a lot like my Isabel. If she has any money she spends it on candy, silly toys, etc... We went to a garage sale last weekend. All she had was $1. She didn't see anything she wanted, but spent it anyway on her baby brother. :)

  11. We just had a yard sale last weekend. We made bank only because my hubby sold all his toys from when he was single. We were able to buy our son a new car seat and pay off a bill. Woo hoo! The rest is on the porch waiting for the local charity to pick up in the morning... a little something to write off...

  12. I love garage sales.

    It is so interesting to see how different kids are with money! My #2 spends it all!