Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Big Boy Toy Fund

When Rahul was about two or so a friend of ours gifted him a ceramic piggy bank with a cute cork topper that said "Big Boy Toy Fund". It was too nice to be played with so Vicky and I used it until recently to build up reserves of loose change.

Last week Rahul finally got it back and here is why:

We were at Hindustan Market one evening and he was tired and hungry. He was cranky and I was refusing to buy him anything. He saw a set of plastic scissors with changeable blades and I was about to refuse him those as well when I had a sudden thought and changed tracks. I told him he could have the scissors if he bought them himself. He doesn't get a regular allowance but I told him I'd pay him to fill the drinking water.

His one daily chore is to fill the water bottles at home. Usually if there are very many of them I tend to fill some up so as to make his job easier. I told him that I'd pay him Re 1 per bottle for every bottle beyond the daily quote of two that he has to fill anyway, and he could save that money for the scissors.

He managed to get the Rs 75 he needed in much less than a fortnight since his Dadu had given him a couple of shiny 'gold' Rs 5 coins and it turned out that the piggy bank had some loose change in it already. Yesterday we went to Hindustan Market despite the rain and despite being late for Dr D's birthday party so that those scissors could be bought. We didn't stop and take photographs but I'll always remember his happy urchin face and how urgently he held up his little purse asking the shopkeeper to help himself to however much he needed.

What I didn't know was that Vicky has kept on making those payments for water so Rahul has money accumulating in his bank once more. I personally think 6 is a little young for pocket money but given my little hedonist's tendency to consistently demand the best things in life, it may do him no harm to work for them. Also, it will hurt me a lot less when he breaks things he bought with his own money!

I don't like the thought of paying for chores either but since he is in general good about doing whatever he is asked to do, I'm considering paying him Rs 10 to dust the flat. Or at least as much of it as he can reach. Let's see how this experiment goes.


Anonymous said... early for money to come into the picture.This way,he'll soon measure everything with money.Maybe once he grows a lil older,after ten? Till then,continue rewarding him for his good behaviour through hugs,cuddles and ice creams.

Anonymous said...

I do the same with my sons. I started earlier with my oldest. He was around 5. I also took him to the bank and opened an account for him where he can save money to contribute for his college fund. It is never to early to teach children that money does not come free. Especially in the days of credit card they think you swipe plastic and get whatever you want.

Sue said...

Anon 1 -- I think it's a little early too, but I think he was ready.

Anon 2 -- How did your oldest son feel about the bank account? I have been considering doing just this for Rahul. If you'd like to take this conversation to mail please feel free to contact me at .

Gayatri said...

Tara, Adu and Samaira also have their own piggy banks. Tara is now going into Year 1 and will get a small weekly allowance. All the other money they get throughout the year they save and then splurge on Christmas. Also Tara and Adu get 1 rupee per household chore and they're not making more than 2 rupees a day! :-D

Sue said...

Gayatri -- Good for you :) I think I saw Tara and Adi with some other adult man at South City recently. Since I didn't know him and the kids sure as hell wouldn't remember me, I didn't go check but I'm fairly sure it was Tara. She looked lovely.