This year we splurged, we gave each child a $10 budget to work with for Halloween costumes. This amount doesn’t seem like a lot for some, but if you have checked out the costumes in the stores near where we live (to include goodwill) you know that it isn’t much to work with. Considering we haven’t purchased a costume in 5 years we’re ok with this amount, and my children are thrilled….well, all but one.
Our boys were easy, they swiftly took their ten dollar bill and added some change from their allowance to purchase a simple Avenger costume from Walmart…done! Our younger daughter took her ten dollar bill and put it in her piggy bank and took out one of her dress up gowns and said she didn’t need anything new. Nice! Our 9 year old daughter melted into a puddle of goo and started crying….you see, she wants to be Athena and the costume she wants is $40. Oh, and she doesn’t have enough money. (It burns holes in her pockets)
After the tears subsided I asked her if there was anything else she could think of that she’d like to dress up as. Sadly, there was nothing…but more tears, how could I not understand her young dilemma and the importance of a beautiful costume? Ahhhhh, I do understand and I feel for her, a little. The money lesson is way more important to me as a parent for her. What we do not discuss (because it was a really heated topic all summer long) is that she has been repaying her 4 year old sister back since August and won’t be done with that until February. Julianne tends to be a saver, Micaela tends to be a spend-it-before-you-have-it, and she asked her little sister if she could have her money….and Juli said “sure” and forked over her entire piggy bank….over $60 that she had been accumulating in little bits and pieces since birth. Julianne doesn’t quite grasp the entire money lesson associated with this from her end yet, but Micaela certainly does! It’s hard for me to think of the true lesson for Julianne, she gave away her money happily and never once asked for it back. But she’s only 4 and she was definitely taken advantage of by her sister who loves to spend it and had talked about how she couldn’t understand how Juli could just sit there and save it. Micaela’s lessons are simpler to get — you don’t take money, you earn it….don’t take advantage of people….save for things you need or want in the future…just to name a few.
I’ve been leaving subtle hints with Micaela about her Halloween costume and reminding her that we can make it. I’ve even showed her online tutorials for making greek goddess costumes. I suggested she sell something of hers to make the extra money….INCONCEIVABLE! I know that she’ll work it out and come up with a solution that fits within her $10 budget. I know that there are a couple more weeks of tears left before this solution comes to fruition. I also know that I am glad she has to work this out at the young age of 9 with parents to catch her if she falls instead of when she’s on her own and the bill is much greater than ten bucks!
I would love to hear about how you plan and budget for Halloween as well as money lessons you share with your kids. Please leave a comment and let me know.