I need to back track a bit with this story....when we went down the in-laws at Obon, all the grand kids got given some money, Ebi-kun decided almost immediately that he wanted to get some more Lego. We don't have a good store near here that sells Lego so we got online and had a look at what there was. He really wanted a tower to go with his knights and castles set, I think it was the last one in the set and was also interested in the Ninjago Lego.
So, we wrote down the model and price for all the sets he was interested in then I had him work out what he could afford to buy with the money he had got. We also talked about saving some of the money. He settled on the Ice-dragon, the tower and a small ninja set which was in the sale and half price (who can resist a bargain?). He added up the prices then I showed him how to subtract that from his total amount to see what he had left over, which was about ¥2500.
The Lego arrived and he was a very happy bunny, buying three smaller set also meant that he had more Lego people than if he had bought just one big one, so now he can have big battles. Oh yes, and the ice dragon fires balls! Lego was never this fancy when I was a kid!
Fast forward to last week, we went to watch the BBC film Life (very good!) and after had a wander around the mall which oh course meant popping into the toy store. That is where Ebi-kun spotted the ninja Dragon and of course he wanted to buy it, we didn't. In the car on the way home I asked him how much money he had left over, he wasn't sure exactly so we counted it when he got back. He doesn't have enough so I said he came up with these ideas to get some money...
1. Go to the ATM machine! (discussion about the magic ATM machine followed)
2. Get some out of my Paypal account (he knows that Paypal is something to do with money and I get money paid in, nice try son!)
3. Go and knock on the neighbours door and ask them to give him some (good luck with that one!)
4. Go to the temple and pray to the gods for some (don't hold your breath, I have been trying ti for years)
5. Make some using things from the recycle bin (why didn't I think of that?)
6. When I pay for something in the shop and the cashier gives me some change, I give the change to him (ha!)
So, a long discussion followed about how people earn money, he asked if he could do some jobs and me and daddy pay him. We agreed to that but then I had to make it clear that he doesn't get paid for the jobs he already does, they are his 'family' jobs and everyone in the family has jobs to do. His jobs at the moment are to empty the dishwasher in the morning and put the dishes away, fold and put away all his clothes after they have been washed, help water the garden when it needs it and set the table.
It all seems to be going OK, he has helped me with some jobs like cleaning out the pantry and I also ask him how much he thinks the job was worth. I think it is much more difficult for kids these days to get a grasp on the concept of money with do much of it being digital, you don't actually see the money in your hand. As a teenager I earned money by baby sitting and my father wrote up a list of chores, I would get 10p for cleaning the garage, 10p a day for mucking out the horses etc. If I did all the jobs on the sheet I could earn a whopping £8.50, which considering I made £5 for one evening of baby sitting my fathers list did look like slave labour!
Now it is a matter of watching and waiting to see whether he sticks with it and saves the money he needs, what do you do with your kids, do they get pocket money? Money for chores or do you just buy them everything they want?