If you like a great tale with a money-saving moral to it, you might want to listen to my little story of penniless love and triumph. If you have kids you’ll no doubt relate to the predicament I found myself in.
A few years ago I lost my wallet on a Friday afternoon just before the weekend started and after the banks had closed. My husband had gone away for work to paint a large farmhouse and I was faced with an entire kids-in-tow weekend and zero dollars in spare cash to rely on.
Note: I could have scratched around the house on my hands and knees for gold coin donations from under desks and beds but I’m a mum and I was tired and ‘over it’ by the time I declared my ‘zero budget weekend’ to the kids.
My children were dumbfounded. The look on their faces, when confronted with the reality of zero dollars for the weekend, was priceless. When I delivered the news of my lost wallet to their bleeding hearts, those previously cheeky smiles had sunk back into their faces and morphed into startled Meerkats.
I clearly remember, as we stood staring at each other in the garden, there was a weird sense of mystery, amusement and depression all at once. We mutually believed (although no one was brave or impolite enough to say it) that we were in for a very long weekend indeed. An instant sense of boredom floated in the air like an invisible cloud of penniless gloom. It was an otherwise beautiful and balmy spring night.
Here’s a small list of the mutual (and silent) realisations that flashed before my children and me in that money-deprived moment in the garden:
What I / we couldn’t do the weekend I lost my wallet
- Buy a real coffee or a paper on Saturday morning
- Go to the mall to do a grocery shop
- Buy random small gifts for the kids while at the mall
- Buy a donut as a treat
- Put petrol in the car
- Buy some DVDs at the video shop for Saturday night
What we did do the weekend I lost my wallet
- Had a lovely conversation in the garden over a cup of tea
- Went to the beach
- Went on a bike ride
- Made pancakes with cream and jam
- Walked to a park
- Read stories and played board games
Kids activities for the school holidays
Question to ponder
Which scenario do you think the kids enjoyed better anyway?
You are right – the second scenario.
Here’s the point and the moral to this little tale
You can have more fun without money than with it – and the quality family time is priceless.
And, just in case you were wondering
Yes I did find my wallet. It had fallen behind the washing machine!
Do you have any ways to have fun with kids without money? Please share your thoughts in comments below.
More things to do with the kids these school holidays