Yes you read it right.
Today I let my 5yo pay for his lunch with his own money.
I mentioned the idea of having Dim Sum for brunch and he seconded the idea.
As I added our usuals to the grab cart, it was adding up to quite a bit and I told him “hm it’s expensive la sayang, I don’t think we should. I only have this much money to spend on Grab this month and this is adding up to quite a bit”. Ha, kata pun work on a finlit team kan, haruss lah insert financial education here and there in this household, even on a Sunday kann :p
Pro Tip: Based on my readings on the topic, it’s good to share your thought-process with your kids so they can see how you reach a certain financial decision.
I could tell my 5yo’s disappointment, but didn’t take him long to offer “It’s OK lah, I’ll help you pay for it.”
He proceeded to ask how much his would cost, i told him RM10 for the 3 pieces he usually has (well ok fine, he usually has double that, but wanted to give him an easy number to understand). He gave it a thought and said, “Ok I’ll give you 20 ringgit so I’ll pay for Dadddy’s too.”
He added: But for you, you pay for yourself la. I can’t pay for everything.
Me: *tarik balik awwh* haha. Okok.
He went to take his 20 ringgit from his sampul duit raya where he keeps his money.
“See, i have so much money!”, he shows me.
I asked him “Don’t you sayang your 20 ringgit?”
He replied, “It’s OK, I can work for it again”.
And that’s how I made my 5yo pay for his lunch. and his Dad’s!
I think while it’s important for us to teach our kids to SAVE, it’s also just as important that we allow them to SPEND and work again for that money.
Later that afternoon, when I told my mom the story, my mom said “Laa.. patut la he came to me and offered to massage me for 30 mins if I gave him 20 ringgit”. haha. See? He was already back in the game trying to recoup what he’d lost over lunch.
What are your thoughts? Would you allow your child to spend his money on food cravings? If yes, at what age would you allow your child to pay for his own lunch?