Life Lessons for Garbage Man Joe – Loans have to be Paid Back

Joe recently started his own little Garbage Can Curbside Service.  For details, go HERE.  In short, he asked our neighbors if he could roll out, and then back in, their garbage cans on trash day.  In return, they would pay him 25¢ each week.

Although this job creates a little extra work for his parents, it has been very useful in teaching some life lessons to our kids.  The responsibility and reward of the job has gotten us talking about money, being reliable and making your own decisions.

This week Joe learned about loans and paying them back.

We were at Mission Burrito and Joe thought he really needed a cookie.  I told him that he could have a cookie if he had money for it.  First he would need to find out how much cookies cost,then determine if it was a lot or a little money and finally check if he had enough money to pay for it.

Joe bravely asked the cashier how much cookies are and learned they are $1.35.  After discussing it, we decided it was almost 6 quarters or 6 trash can payments.

Joe really wanted the cookie and decided he was willing to spend 6 quarters on it, but when he looked, he did not have enough money with him.

This got us talking about loans.  If I loaned him 6 quarters, when we got home, I could take 6 quarters from his piggy bank.  He thought this would be stealing.

I explained a little more that if you take a loan, or use a credit card, to buy something, you still are responsible for using your own quarters to cover the cost of the item.  If he borrowed money, it would not mean the cookie was free.

I guess Joe couldn’t stomach the idea of having to pay me 6 quarters from his piggy bank because he decided against the treat.


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