helping you save cash

Building Money Patience

I’ll take a few Dad points for this one.

My eldest is four years old and it seems a ‘thing’ that for fourth birthdays, you get Lego. He got loads. We built those kits together, then I got my old boxes of bricks out the loft and we had some fun putting those kits together. He then saw that there was a fire station for sale and quickly fell in love with the idea of having it.

For said birthday he also received a bit of money and so, after checking to see how much the fire station kit was (£50), we went through his birthday money and emptied his piggy bank too. He had £48 pounds.

Being the amazing Dad I am, I said I’d give him the difference, because, you know, secretly I wanted to play with the hoses which actually shoot blue pieces out like they are water and the pole which you can really attach the little figures to so they spin around. By the time we’d been through his piggy banks and counted everything up, it was the next day and when I clicked online to buy it, it had shot up by £10 due to Amazons fluctuating prices. What’s a Father to do now?

I explained what had happened and that the website changes the prices sometimes. After trying to answer the question of “Why?” a few times, I remembered the CamelCamelCamel website. It shows you the previous prices of items on Amazon. They say a picture tells a thousand words and the graph showing the highs and lows of the product certainly spoke to my child better than I could. I explained that there was the highest price it had sold for (£80) and the lowest (£43) but also we looked together and found some interesting patterns.

The price had jumped up the previous week for a couple of days before dropping again. With this in mind, we agreed that we thought it would soon drop down again in price and we set up an email alert for when it hit £49.99.

About five or six days later I checked my emails and there was an alert, saying it had dropped to £47.99. That’s £2 less than he was willing to pay and £5 more than it has been when it was at the lowest price about a year ago. We bought it, it arrived the next day, we’ve built and played with it and he’s chuffed to pieces.

Whilst he’s thrilled with the building bricks, I’m so happy with his patience. As adults we usually buy something when we need it or if we want it there and then, but as a child, not really in control of your own money, it’s harder to understand why we can’t have something now. As parents, we’re trying to teach our kids the responsibility of money and in this situation, I think we achieved it.

Now I’m left with all the 2ps from his money box to bag up and take to the bank.

Lucky me – although I will play with the Lego when he’s in bed!


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