Friday, June 30, 2006

Baked in Lessons: My son's cake

Do you ever wonder if lessons on saving and spending penetrate the Gameboy heads of your kids? I do. But last night, I spotted major progress.

My middle son (age 11) is the big spender in the family. He loves to spend cash. He babysits for families in our apt. building and then poof...the dollars disappear. But to celebrate the birthday of one of his little charges, my son baked a cake. A store cake would have cost about $15 in our neighborhood. But the box mix and the fancy icing cost only about 4 bucks.

And for the candles, my son wanted to a fancy number 7 candle ($4) and a set of sparkle candles ($4). He was a bit miffed at the high rates for candles. So he walked over to the ice cream aisle, where similar candles (a big, rainbox-colored 7 and a box of tall, sparklers)were on sale for only 79 cents each.

The cheaper set looked slightly different than the expensive set, but my son was sold. My husband has this to say about the cheaper candles relative to the expensive version:

"They looked different, but they didn't look worse," he said of the cheaper set.

What's more, after returning from the supermarket, my son proudly boasted about his savings. His smile was as bright as the candles.

Here's the math:

expensive option

store cake: $15
7 candle $ 4
sparkle candles $ 4

total $29

My son's cheaper option
baked cake $4
7 candle $0.79
sparkle candles $0.79

total $5.58

"Smart! Aren't I?!?" my son said, when I checked this entry with him.

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