I tried one experiment with my kids to help them understand the optimal usage of the given value of money. Here the story goes.
A week back, we had a pop-up stall of Havi’s Robotic toys at a book fair organised by Book Pratha. My kids, 10 yo and 7 yo, had visited the stall with me. They would go inside the book fair multiple times, check the books and come back to seek my permission for buying the books.
Eventually, I decided to allow them the much-awaited purchase albeit with a catch. I offered them a budget of 100 rs each. The kids were perplexed with the term budget first. I explained the same to them in layman’s language, that budget is the maximum amount they would get to purchase the books. They can use the same up to this limit. It piqued their excitement. They were now the decision-makers for their own purchase.
After 10-15 minutes, they came back and asked me if they could club their budget and make it 200 Rs shopping instead of 100 Rs each.
For me, that was the moment of epiphany just similar to the moment when a salesman hits the monthly target just on the 5th day of the month.
They have learnt lesson number 1, the power of unity on their own.
Another 10-15 minutes and they came back with another question. “Can we spend 10 Rs anywhere if we save out of this?” Now, this was another learning. They had a budget, out of which they wanted to spend some and save the rest to fulfill their other wishes.
Being a father, knowing them, I understood where they wanted to spend their quoted savings. However, I said no to this and informed them that they would have to return the change back to me. This resonated with the scenario when you get some budget from your HR and then you have the liberty to spend the amount for a project, but not for your personal gains.
They came with 4 books that they have finalised to purchase. I opened the book and asked them to check the index, to see if they have read these stories already. And they realised that yes, the majority of them. Another lesson here, double check your purchase, so you don’t feel sorry later on.
They went back and found a few more books. Next, I shared another piece of information with them. I informed them that they would get a 15% discount on their purchase as per the book fair offers. That was now the OMG moment for them. They were jumping with joy.
This time, when they went to the stall, they reshuffled the books. After enough discussion, they picked 2 books amounting to 235 Rs that cost 200 Rs post the given discount.
They took a glance at 4-5 pages before they purchased, ensuring the purchase was worth the expense. Finally, they purchased the books.
Shopping ended with a tremendous amount of life-long learning for the kids and the father.