Green Money, Blue Money, Life Lessons Of a Three Year Old

For the longest time now Hazel has had a fascination with paying for things. She always sees us pulling out our wallets to pay for everyday items like groceries, gas and of course splurges like coffees and meals out, so I can without a doubt understand her fascination. Most times before I can even reach for my wallet she is reaching into her purse and pulling out her fake debit and credit cards and offering to pay for items. She will approach the cashier and wave the card at them and say ” debt, I am going to pay debt” as she tries to hand over a piece of paper. It really is quite cute and I only hope that we can teach her how to spend and save her money responsibly as she grows. She did have her very first lesson with money right after her birthday and it went a little something like this.

We were visiting the toy store in search of one last little gift for her birthday, something we have done for all three of her birthdays. We have taken her to the store and let her pick out a gift, something she truly wants. Well here we were, in the middle of the Disney Princess aisle faced with many decisions. We narrowed it down to the Barbie type princesses but we couldn’t quite pick which one we wanted,  we wanted to bring them all home. So I put on my bargaining hat and did my best to negotiate with a toddler that was past nap time and on the verge of a major meltdown. I presented her with the following option.

“Hazel, we will purchase one of the dolls for you and if you would like to get a second one, we will let you use some of the money you received for your birthday, and you can buy it yourself.”

To which I received the following reply:

“You mean, I can use MY money and buy one of the dolls?”

“Yes, you can use your own money and buy one of the dolls and we will buy you one as well.”

“Ok, I will buy Rapunzel and you get Belle. Can I have my money now?” 

So I reached into my purse, pulled out the $25 I had from her birthday and handed it over to her. Now you might think it would end there, us happily approaching the cashier, handing over the money and dancing out of the store with our newly purchased doll. I mean I certainly thought it was going to go that way, I had already avoided one meltdown, what could possibly go wrong right?


We approached the cashier and handed over the doll. He then told us our total was $21.26, so I told Hazel to give him her money. And so she did. She handed him her blue bill and then stood there. So I prompted her to go on and hand over the green one too. She did not want to give up the green bill.

“No mom, not my green money!”

Ha! Sorry kiddo but you have to give the man your green bill too. After what seemed like eons and the verge of another meltdown, I simply removed the bill from her hands and handed it over. Of course there was no avoiding it and a full meltdown ensued. As quick as he could hand over the change I scooped her up, our change, the bag and removed her from the setting in order to minimize the meltdown. Now safely out of the way we continued to sob about how mom took away our green money and that we wanted to keep the green money. I attempted to explain to her that the princess cost both the green and the blue money and that we could easily return her and get our money back but we wouldn’t have a princess anymore. Of course this sounded just as horrible as giving up our green money that is until we realized that we had change left over. As soon as we realized we still had enough money to ride the car at the doorway, all was well in the world. We had no green money, but we had a princess and a car ride and life couldn’t be better.

Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

Xo. Andria

One thought on “Green Money, Blue Money, Life Lessons Of a Three Year Old

  • July 25, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Adorable! Natalie enjoys spending her chore money (on herself and gifts for people) and she always wants to pay, but she’s quite shy. I always make sure to tell her exactly what’s going to happen so she knows what to expect and isn’t thrown off by anything! It’s so fun when they want to do what Mommy does. Super cute story 🙂


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