"I LOVE MONEY MONEY MONEY!! I want to have ALL the money when I grow up so that I never have to work!"
Sashimi had been starting to think that money just appears whenever you swipe the stripe. It started with the purchase of Angry Birds. Then Angry Birds Rio. Once he had passed every level on those two games, he started asking for a new game. Every day, Sashimi would get bored and ask that I buy a new game. We told him no, since the games cost money and we did not want to waste our money on something he would get bored of in a matter of hours. "That's ok," he said. "Just give me your credit card number and I will buy it."
A few days later, he was pining over some Angry Birds stuffed toys (thanks to the plug on the game's home page). I told him that if he wanted a stuffy, he could help me sort the bottles and take them to the depot and I would let him keep the money. In the meantime, we went out for Mother's Day Brunch, where the lucky kid found a $20 bill on the floor under our table. I told him he could put it in his piggy bank, to which he replied "Now I don't have to sort bottles AND I can get my Angry Birds stuffy!" Money, in his eyes, was something that just HAD to be spent.
The tipping point came when he became obsessed with a toy he saw on TV. A toy that cost quite a bit of money. A toy that I was not willing to go out and buy just because. So he ran to his piggy bank and dumped it out. He wanted to use his money to go out and buy it himself. We counted his money: $4.67. Definitely not enough. He thought since it looked like a lot (there were a lot of pennies) that SURELY he could buy it and have money leftover for candy, too.
Sashimi does have a basic understanding of numbers, so we went to the store and looked at the prices on a few toys. All of them were more than $4.67. He was devastated.
Tony and I decided to start giving Sashimi an allowance in exchange for doing some chores. He gets $5 every time Tony gets paid. The first allowance, he was jonesing to spend. He spent it on crap. Then Tony got crafty. Being the vigilant investor, Tony told Sacha that every time it was allowance day, they would count his money in his piggy bank. If he had not spent his money, Tony would give him an extra dollar as a reward for saving his money (interest).
Today was allowance day. Tony gave Sacha his allowance (and he cried out "Yea! MONEY MONEY MONEY!") and we counted his money: $29 and change. We told him that he had enough money to buy something if he wanted. He looked at Tony and said in all sincerety: "No, I like money more than toys."
**Good thing, because that toy he wanted is not even available anymore (unless you want to shell out $300 on amazon.com. WTF?!