Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The price of everything...

We're trying to teach the Boys the value of money. I've had enough of asking them to be careful with things and being told "You can buy a new one, Mama!" as they pick the dropped digital camera or similar up off the floor. Step One in our campaign involves the introduction of Pocket Money. We've tried this before and simply forgotten to hand over the cash each weekend, so in an effort to remind all of us about this, I've written out a list of tasks they have to complete - in the main - each day before they qualify for their 100R a week. It's not a long list that I've stuck on the fridge - it includes making their beds, and laying and clearing away the breakfast table - but it's a start and I can add to it as we go on (they'll be cooking dinner and washing the car before they know it, bwa ha ha...).

100R works out at around £2.20. It should probably be around 50R, but a 100R note is the only denomination we can be sure to have handy without lengthy negotiations over splitting notes between them, and subsequent wars over who gets to 'look after it' without charging their brother interest for holding onto his hard-earned cash.

This being Russia, of course, the opportunities to spend their pocket money on a weekly basis are quite low; 100R here will buy you a couple of litres of milk (not high on their list of priorities, funnily enough), or a big handful of sweeties (not high on mine), but not much else as the comics they might buy back home are all in Russian, and the toys etc all kick in somewhere around the 200R mark.

So my sons are beginning to understand the value of saving their earnings until they have enough to buy their hearts' desires. This morning, for example, at the supermarket they both decided what they wanted to buy - and were both around 9 weeks pocket money short. I explained this to them and they got the concept, lowering their expectations until they were only a couple of weeks shy of the toy they wanted. Great, I thought. They're learning. And I get two more weeks of table-laying and bed-making out of the deal too. Result!

Some children learn more quickly than others, of course. Which I realised after we got back here and I overheard Boy #2 telling a friend who had dropped by;

"Yes, you can play with that. It'll cost you 200 roubles..."


  1. I have a shop with a load of tat that boys love in and they get points during the week, on a Friday they get to spend them. It is so funny to see how they have started to pool their points for joint things that they would love. Lots of negotiating skills being learnt here

  2. Hahahahaha - a true banker's son!

    LCM x

  3. That's great that they're learning the value of money at such a young age. I remember I always had to clean the bathroom before I could get my pocket money and by the end I really felt I'd earned it.
    How I wish I got pocket money now for cleaning the bathroom! Not to mention cooking, gardening and mopping up sick.

  4. The list is a great idea, one I will be nicking x

  5. MH, I could be rude and say that tat is ALL that is available here, but it's not completely true...

    LCM, you said it!

    BMM, oh god yes! Wouldn't it be fabulous???

    KM, feel free - anything I can do to help!

  6. An award - much-deserved - for you at mine

    LCM x


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