Raph has a very keen interest in money. I don't know if its just his age when they start to really understand the concept of money or its just him. He understands Daddy works so that he can make money to buy the things we need etc but it goes further with him. He's very interested in making, saving and spending money.
We gave the boys an allowance for a while but it kind of tapered off. No real decision not to give it but just weeks go by and you forget. They ask but its a Tuesday and not a pay day and then they forget about it for a while. I have a problem with follow through. Anyway, I made Spend/Save/Give banks for them. They know about charity and help with donations we make. They understand we should save up for something instead of buying a bunch of random little things but for Raph its more than that. Colin, he just bounces around but has no concept of it really. He's just too little and working on counting.
Raph asked me where poor people lived yesterday. He understands have's and have not's. I explained that most people live in houses or apartments but they just might be smaller, not as nice and with more people in them. Then he said, "Oh. I thought maybe they were just wandering around looking for food." I explained that some people are homeless but there are shelters that they can use if they need a place to stay and food banks to for food.
He seems to really grasp that we are fortunate to have the things we have and that we should give to people who do not. We regularly donate food to our church's food pantry. If someone comes by collecting goods (Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts etc) we donate things. He sees me buy extra of certain types of things that are good for donations. We give extra clothes and furniture and household things to Goodwill. He sees this and participates. I think that is a valuable teaching moment. Maybe if you see generosity you will be more generous.
He is still 7 so he does have a healthy habit of asking for things but sometimes he takes a few steps back to see the bigger picture. At school they are having a lesson on money, jobs, production, consumers and budgeting. Did I mention how much I love his school? Anyway, he brought home papers yesterday that were columns of things they had to decide if they were "wants" or "needs". That is something that is hard to grasp when you are little. Their wants feel like needs most of the time. Then he had another paper that was a budget. Yes, a budget. Showed his income and expenses etc. They have a field trip today to a children's museum. They will all have jobs, earn income, cash their checks and buy things.
Being that its Raph he put a lot of thought into his job choice. They had to list their first, second and third job choices. He knew that he's number 14 on the list in his class so he probably wouldn't get his first choice. He wrote down his first choice in the second choice position. Smart boy got the job he wanted. Know what it was? A banker. He's so excited because today he brought his wallet to school for when he cashes his paycheck. He cannot wait to be a bank teller and give people their money. Field trips are always fun but I don't think he's been this excited for any other trip in the past 3 years.
I swear this boy will earn his first million before he's 25. When Borders was closing Mike took him to look for a book. It was in the final days of their liquidation so they didn't have the book they were looking for and went to Barnes and Noble down the road. Later that week Raph was talking to me in the car about Borders closing. He went on about how it was sad that the bookstore was closing and he thought it was because lots of people read books on their computers. True, I think this is a huge part of Borders closing, plus Amazon sells millions of books. But he took it a step further saying it was sad that Borders closed but ended up being really good for Barnes and Noble. Now everyone looking for a book will go down the street to Barnes and Noble and that would generate more income for that business. That's pretty heavy economics for a 7 year old right?
Not only that but I think he may be a marketing genius. He talks to me about my business and comes up with ideas on how to sell more "hair pretties". He told me his friend has a little sister who's cute. Maybe I could give them one and then people will see hers, like it and ask where she got it. Then maybe give the mom some of my cards as well to hand out. See! He gets advertising and marketing. He also told me I might want to consider throwing in a free flower clip with every order of a fascinator. Without the terminology he knows about how to generate rebound sales. Or a discount if they buy more than one etc.
Honestly, I might have to hire all of my kids to help. Colin is great with design. He made up a few flower clips before my first craft show. 2 out of 3 of them sold. Heidi wears the other one and gets lots of compliments. Then, Heidi is obviously good for advertising and now Raph can work on the marketing end of things. Mike bank rolls the whole operation so its truly a family business in every sense of the word!
This was another of his money making ideas. He and Colin were hosting and animal cage fight. They were selling tickets and taking bets. Yep, that's right. He was pretending to be a booky. I'm telling you this boy is genius! He was even talking about odds on each animal!
And, because its me and I can barely complete a thought I am finishing this post a few days later. Raph LOVED his field trip and said the only thing he didn't like about his job was when 25 kids came all at once with their pay checks and wanted them cashed at the same time. But, lucky for him, his supervisor said it was his turn for a break. Know what that little bugger did? He turned to the kids with their checks and said, "Sorry, I'm on break. I can't help you." BAAHAHHAaAahhahaa Spoken like a true union worker.