Sometimes you end up having fascinating insights into your children’s thinking. Lately, Master I has been pondering finance.
It all started when his Dad brought home a 2000 Indonesian Rupiah note. We were a bit mean. We lead him to believe (for a heartbeat) that he had received a $2,000 note. He now understands that it’s a different currency. He hasn’t quite grasped that it’s actually only worth 20 cents. Fantasies can be difficult things to quell. He has told me a few times “but it has 2,000 written on it. SOMEONE will think it’s worth a 2,000 and then I can buy quite a bit of lego.”
“I don’t think so darling, and if you managed to convince someone, that’s called fraud and it’s illegal”
Frustrated, Master I decided he definitely needed some paper money. The Australian type that could be traded for lego.
How can I get money, Mum, he asked?
Well, you have to work for it, I responded.
You don’t work for it, he said, you just go to the bank and get money out. Touche.
Daddy and mummy both have to work to save money. You have to HAVE money in the bank before you can take it out. I replied (calmly)
No, you don’t. You need a card. Maybe I should get a plastic card. If I had a plastic card then I could get money out. Six year old logic is hard to argue with.
No, money needs to exist first, BEFORE you can spend it. I didn’t think it was a good time to introduce the concept of credit.
But the bank has lots of money. Can’t we just take that money? he asks. At this juncture I should point out that the bank means the ATM.
No, that’s called stealing. It’s also illegal. The way it happens is this: you work, you earn money, you get to spend a bit of that money.
The penny (or dollar or rupiah) drops and an incredulous Master I, says, You have to work first for money? You have to actually do work for it?
Yes! And you can do certain jobs around the house and Daddy and I will pay you for them IF you do a good job. If you do all your jobs you can earn $5 a fortnight.
$5! No, I think $100 a fortnight would be much better. I like $100 notes much more than $5 notes.
Yes, so do I. But I can’t give you $100 a fortnight.
But I want it to buy lego. Being a kid is SO boring.
Being a kid is the best time of your life. It’s much more fun than being an adult.
Okay. I still want to be a kid. I just want to be a kid with lots of paper money.