My daughter’s frugal ways are fascinating and admirable

Life Moments column
By Christine Bryant

My daughter likes to save money.

The other day in the middle of playing outside, she rushed back in the front door, passed me like a cheetah going after her prey, and ran straight into her room. A few seconds later, she was on her way back outside. Apparently, she found a penny and needed to add it to her piggy bank.

While she loves saving, she also loves spending. I’ve watched her at yard sales talk down the price of something she sees. There’s nothing more funny than watching the face of someone trying to figure out whether a 6-year-old is serious in offering $1 on a $5 item.

Other times, like most recently this past weekend, she used her birthday money and gift cards to buy a stuffed animal bird that pecked itself through a plastic egg shell and now repeats everything she says. You probably saw it as the must-have toy this past Christmas – the infamous Hatchimal.

I am proud of my daughter for saving her money for something she has wanted for months, but I can’t help but think about how she earned that last little bit of money that put her over the savings hump.

You’ve seen it – people who donate plasma or participate in every medical study they can think of to earn a little bit extra cash. For some extremists, it’s almost like a second job.

Obviously my daughter didn’t do this. She’s 6.

But she did see another opportunity to get that Hatchimal a little sooner. Her mind started formulating a plan, I believe, the minute she noticed her first loose tooth.

Now as a young child, money is money. She gets just as excited about finding a quarter as she does about getting a dollar or $5. When a loose tooth signaled that the Tooth Fairy was about to visit, it instantly triggered her thought process that she was about to come into some serious dough (granted, 6-year-old dough).

That’s when the plan was hatched to get her Hatchimal.

Each day for a week, I noticed she meticulously wiggled her loose tooth. I didn’t think much of it. Her dentist, after all, said at her last visit the permanent tooth was coming in behind, and if the baby tooth didn’t start to loosen, to help it along.

As the tooth continued to wiggle more with ease, she disappeared into her room one night just before bed. A few minutes later, she emerged with a tiny white tooth in her hand and a huge smile on her face.

She later admitted she gave it a little extra tug to push it – or pull it – along.

I can’t help but laugh and even admire her will to do what it takes to get what she wants. I suppose from this point on, however, I’ll have to make sure she doesn’t go prematurely toothless to get the next hot toy this holiday season!
Christine Bryant is a Messenger staff writer and columnist.

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