Editor's Note: Today's post is shared from a favorite guest here at Ha Nui Loa; Travis Pizel. It's rare that a guest post or any post pulls off the subject of finances and making more deliberate choices in life while managing to incorporate Hawaii, Travis' post does just that and we think you'll really enjoy it!
Introduction: The following is written from theperspective of my nine year old daughter, Tori. It is her journey to save for a rather expensive toy that topped her wish list.
I always get the mail for my Mom and Dad on the way home from the bus stop. On a cold January day the mailbox contained that month's catalog for my favorite kind of doll. There was something new on the cover so I rushed home to take a closer look.
Inside the magazine I found pictures of a new doll named Kanani. She is from Hawaii, and she is available for this year only! I instantly rushed downstairs to show my parents. They just looked at each other and smiled. My mom and dad always act goofy whenever someone mentions Hawaii. When asked why, they tell me that they brought me home from there. I don't understand what they mean, though, as I don't remember ever being to Hawaii, and their visit to the islands was a full nine months before I was even born.
All I know is that Kanani was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen. She has long, golden hair to her waist, a colorful dress, sandals and really cool accessories. The only thing is, she costs $100. Using my $8 per week allowance ($1 for each year of my life), my dad says it would take me little over 3 months to save up for her. 3 months? It might as well be 3 years, there's no way I could ever wait that long!
I asked my dad if he could borrow me the money and I could just pay him back. He told me that my credit application was denied due to lack of credit history. I don't know exactly what that means, but I got the impression that I wasn't getting my doll.
I decided to give this “saving up for my doll” thing a chance. It didn't go very well at first as it always seemed like there was something else that I would decide to spend some of my money on. My savings was growing, but not nearly as fast as I had hoped.
I turned 9 on April 14th, and I got several gifts of money. Counting my birthday money in addition to what I already had in my purse I had $82. My goal finally seemed within reach! Only a few more weeks and Kanani would be mine.
Two weeks later I counted the bills in my purse again. Since I had turned 9, my allowance was now $9 a week. Finding that I had $101, I excitedly told my dad that I had enough money and would now like to order my doll. He shook his head and said that there was tax.
Tax? What is tax?
Apparently every time you buy something, you have to give the President some money for schools and stuff. I don't know why a nine year old girl that is just trying to buy a doll should have to pay for schools. I don't even like school.
When I got the next week's allowance, I declared to myfather that I was ready to order my doll. Again my dad said I didn't have enough money. He explained that there was another charge called “shipping and handling.” Kanani would be coming from Hawaii, so she would have to ride on a ship. Plus, she would get lonely so someone would have to play, or “handle” her. That at least made sense, but it meant I had to wait another week.
The next Friday when I received my allowance I counted $119. My dad now agreed that I had enough money to order my doll. I helped him order the doll online, and the e-mail confirmation told us that it would take about a week for her to arrive. I had to wait another whole week? My dad said I could have her sent on a faster ship, but it would cost more.
About a week later, as I got off the bus and started walking towards my house, my mom came out the front door and yelled, “She's here! She's here!” I sprinted home, burst through the door, and saw the box sitting on the kitchen table.
Kanani was finally here! My mom helped me open the box and take Kanani and her accessories out of the box. As I carefully picked up Kanani for the first time, I was beaming with pride. I had waited so long for this day to come. I thought of all the times I had to make my bed, water the plants, and put away my laundry to save enough to be able to purchase my new doll. I asked my mom questions about how to brush her hair, and what we would do if her clothes got dirty.
I had worked too hard, and waited too long to not take care of my new doll. I had lost sight of my goal at times along the way and spent some of my money instead of continuing to save. But I kept at it, now she's finally here. It was definitely worth the wait.
Author's Note: While the price of this particular doll may seem outrageous, I do believe that sometimes you pay for quality. That being said, I still think they're over priced. However, I took this opportunity to teach my daughter some very important lessons. First and foremost is that by making the necessary sacrifices and through hard work she can achieve anything! Second are the lessons of the “extra” charges that come with purchasing anything. Finally, I wanted her to learn that that not everything in life will happen instantly. Having her save and exercise patience makes achieving the goal of having her doll all the sweeter. I also believe it has resulted in a greater appreciation for her doll. I hope you enjoyed her journey!
Editor's Wrap-up: The lovely couple pictured above are the proud parents of Tori, whom they brought home from Hawaii; we're pretty certain there wasn't even an extra luggage charge for her! ;) Travis, besides imparting financial wisdom to his children as the occasion arises blogs on the Care One Community as Debt Chronicles
; which follows his journey out of debt.