Lemonade Stand Money Lessons

June 7, 2009

Lemonade stands are a lot of work for little kids and aren’t that lucrative but they can be a great way to help them learn the value of a dollar.  This weekend we ran across some neighborhood kids just as they were closing down their lemonade stand for the day.

Excited to get one last customer they gave us their best sales pitch; which was basically a few cute kids with hopeful faces asking us if we wanted to buy some lemonade.  I was with my mom, who’s a sucker for kids selling anything, so there wasn’t even a question as to whether we’d buy anything.  As the cash and lemonade exchanged hands I asked what they were going to do with the money.

The oldest girl replied, “probably just spend it on something”.  Of course my money antennae shot up and I asked them how long they’d been out there.  The boy responded, “we’ve been selling it all day and I made $7 bucks”! 

Knowing it probably wouldn’t have any effect, I decided to try and plant some money seeds anyhow.  I asked, “Since you had to work hard all day for it, why don’t you keep the money until you find something cool you really want to buy”?

The boy answered, “yeah, that’s probably what I’ll do but she’ll just spend it all.  She likes to just buy stuff”. Rather than fight a losing battle with the girl, I just followed up with the boy.  “So what are you saving for”, I asked.  “I don’t know”, he said, “just something neat”.

By that time, my son had finished his lemonade and was ready for us to continue our walk so the attempted money lesson ended there.  Who knows if my suggestion will help them remember how they had to slave away all day in the sun when they’re tempted to spend their money.  Even if the lemonade kids didn’t learn from our little conversation, I certainly took something away from our meeting that night… I’ll encourage our son to run a lemonade stand or some similar endeavor when he gets old enough and hopefully it wil help him learn the value of a dollar.

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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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