Why would you ever spend 60€ per hour on entertainment? There is much better value for money that can be found in this space. And yet, that is what me and my family did this Sunday.
Are we going nuts? Did we dump the whole frugal part of our life? To a certain extend, yes we did. And while doing it, my wife and I gave each other some looks and comments in the line of: “we are insane”. Yet, there was a purpose.
So, what did we do? Over the course of the summer, we had talked our kids out of some throw-away-money activities in exchange for an afternoon at the fair in town. We did it a couple of times, so, it was hard not to break this promise.
We did not make this promise blindly: conditions would apply: Each kid would be allowed to pick exactly 5 activities out of the 40-ish activities available, including eating greasy food like pancakes or an ice cream. In order to do so, we would show them the fair first so they could make an educated choice. Maybe we can even call this a first delayed gartification?
All in all, the
afternoon one hour at the fair went well. At arrival, they pointed at attractions they wanted to do. After a reminder, they agreed to look a little further first. I do consider this a small step in the right direction. We also managed to explain that some activities were for really older or smaller children.
While walking around, we were kind in shock to find out that a lot of attractions charge no less than 5€ for one ride. That is a lot of money. And on some attractions, we needed to go along to assist them. Not that I mind, it allows to create some connections that they talk about months after.
When they were down to their last pick, the kids surprised us with creativity. There was one attraction that the oldest did alone: floating on water in a big ball. You could also do this with 2. So, they proposed that by going with 2 in a balloon, this would count as 1 for two of them, leaving them with one last choice for both of them. As we appreciated the creativity, we agreed. The final choice was ice-cream… A good one!
All-in-all, we are happy we took the kids there. We feel they behaved very well and were able to cope with the limitations they had. On top of that, they were creative to propose alternatives. I like that a lot.
We also talked to them about a theme park were we can go a whole day for almost the same amount. They start to understand a little bit the value of money better: one hour vs a whole day… we are not there yet, the seed is planted and growing.
The next step we have in mind is an allowance…
How do you teach your kids some patience and money lessons?