The following story was submitted by a Fatherly reader. Opinions expressed in the story do not reflect the opinions of Fatherly as a publication. The fact that we’re printing the story does, however, reflect a belief that it is an interesting and worthwhile read.
Negotiating Halloween costume options with kids can feel like a doomed endeavor. Weeks beforehand, their developing brains begin to short-circuit in anticipation of the copious amounts of refined sugar and red dye they’ll receive from every adult they encounter. Finding a costume that meets their exacting stylistic preferences while staying within a budget is no small feat.
Three years ago, my wife decided the haggling needed to end. In an effort to defuse the annual debate, she made our three kids a blanket deal. They would each receive $20 to spend on a costume. If they preferred to go with an upgraded outfit, they were welcome to earn or save the extra money to do so. But if they demonstrated frugality in their selection, whatever money remained was theirs to keep.
While the proposition was designed simply as a way to make our lives easier as parents, it turned out to have some unintended benefits: namely, it provided our kids with three important lessons on managing money.
The Relative Value of Money
For young kids, dollar amounts can be a fairly nebulous unit of measurement. The costume exercise gives them the opportunity to figure out how they value various goods that are similarly priced. Instead of simply trying to get as close as they can to the budgeted number, a more…
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