Wednesday 7 March 2012: £97, 4 Kuna and 25 cents
Eighteen months ago I wrote this blog post about Lil' Evo and her savings bank. Today she smashed it. The total was £97, 4 Croatian Kuna and 25 American cents
Read to see why the piggy bank Auntie Jane gave Evo was such a big deal:
Like many families, nay countries, we're having an economic crisis. At the heart of it is Lil' Misssy who is learning that the days of boom and bust are well and truly over.
Lil' Misssy gets pocket money. Not because we want her to buy Hannah Montana , i-Carly or Spongebob themed merchandise- although that's what she tends to spend it on-she gets it for one reason only; to teach her how to handle cash. You spend it too rashly- then it's tough. You get no more. You save it, then woo-hoo, you can buy bigger and better Hannah Montana, i-Carly or Spongebob themed shite.
Lil' Misssy never saves it- she spends it all within minutes of it hitting her little hot (usually dirty) little hand. Meanwhile, next door, her brother Indy is like Howard Hughes. He saves his money with the same fervour he saves his toenail clippings, and wee in glass jars in his bedroom.* That boy has bought a Wii and a Playstation 3 with his saved cash over the last 3 years. You drop a coin- it'll hit him on the back of the head before it hits the floor. I think he's currently saving for a Lear Jet. With Lil' Misssy that dropped coin'll hit the drawer of the village shop cash register before it hits the floor.
Last week, Lil' Misssy had two separate unexpected windfalls. The first came in the form of a tenner that Frazzlegranda gave her for her October holidays. Neither of us can quite remember what she spent the entire tenner on, but it was done within the hour and involved the local shop which currently has a Halloween display. Not to worry- another windfall was round the corner; Lil' Misssy found a stray fiver in Tesco. "Can I keep it?" Don't judge me; I let her keep it. These is uncertain times- we need all the windfalls we can get. And who's to say a thieving banker get didn't drop it, eh? Stick it to the Man!
Within seconds she had raced off to the newsagents section of Tesco to grab the crappy overpriced comic she had pestered me for earlier off the shelves. One "fiva": found, pilfered, spent; all in the space of five minutes. Where is this expensive £4.99 comic now, a mere few days after the purchase? Neither of us know. Whatever, Misssy does not care, the thrill has gone- the spend rush is a short lived but potent rush. Oh dear...we're got a little twenty-first century problem on our hands. A child of Tony Blair meets the economic downturn, with no Second World war type situation to ride into town and make her feel bloody grateful for a teaspoonful of sugar, never mind a £4.99 Hannah Montana comic.
Miraculously, she has two pounds of her pocket money left. Meanwhile Indy's cache is reaching five figures (probably). He's got his eye on the total mining rights in a small South American country where civil war is on the cards and he thinks he can make a killing if he plays it right.. Lil' Misssy find herself with next to nothing as she regards her mogul brother as he sticks little flags into a map in his bedroom and phones his man in Havana.
"Mum, if I hadn't spent my pocket money, that money I found under my bed, the money Frazzlegranda gave me and that fiva I found in Teshhco's, how much would I have?" the little wheels in her brain making audible whirring sounds.
"Erm, about twenty one pounds" I say.
On the way into meet her Auntie Jane in town she tells me that from now on I have to stop her from going to the little village shop to spend her money. "I'm going to save all my money until the end of the year and then buy myself something really good. Like Indy does."
I promise to stop her from spending any of her money. But almost before I've finished my sentence she stops me, "Ahhhh, except for that two pounds I've got left, I'm spending that today."
Later that day I tell Auntie Jane about her immediate U-turn. Auntie Jane laughs but it's a guilty laugh, "I feel genetically responsible. I'm like that" she says. It's true- she is. Auntie Jane loves the thrill of the cash till. The "Till Thrill" if you will...I decide to let her take the blame for my child's money handling shortcomings.
So Auntie Jane decides to take responsibility for her bad spendthrift genes and to sort her out. She offers Lil' Misssy the deal of a lifetime. "For every week you don't spend your pocket money, I'll give you two extra pounds a week". Good on ya, Auntie Jane.
For those of you worried that Auntie Jane will be paying out two quid for the next forty years (indeed as she would if she had made the same deal with Indy) don't worry. This next piece of information will put your mind at rest, and will not come as a surprise to Auntie Jane:
Lil' is making this proclamation on average six or seven times a day; "Muuum!! Phone Auntie Jane and tell her the deal's off. I just can't do it!!! Please!!!!" She's pretty much wailing and gnashing her teeth like a character in Trainspotting trying to go cold turkey.
To be doubly sure her investment is a secure one Auntie Jane buys Lil' a terracotta pot that can only be smashed open once it is full..