Have you seen this kid riding his bike through the neighbourhood? Capestang has a new boy in town, one with a goal and a determination measured to none.
Daniel received a second-hand bike from us when we first landed in Capestang. With the fabulous weather ahead, we had a line on good used bikes from the rental company Mellow-Velo, and we purchased three for our family at a reasonable price.
Alfonz tuned them up, purchased Daniel a good bell and helmut and now our son makes the best of it by riding his bike as far as Poilhes along the Canal du Midi.
Shortly after we purchased his bike he wanted a new bike. Some older kids in Capestang ride their BMX bikes down the half-pipe over in the skate rink, and once he saw them that was it-it was love at first sight. He wanted one. He would scoot or ride his bike over and watch from the sidelines, as the cool Capestangese kids show off their moves. Wow!
We had a choice.
Either we go out and buy the boy the bike of his dreams, or we take this opportunity to teach Daniel the valuable lesson of money. How hard work pays off and putting your money together to save for something will give him a sense that things are not free, or received simply from desire. A lesson in value. A lesson in money. A lesson in determination.
Setting Daniel a goal he can work towards was the idea, and during the process he would understand the fundamentals of business. Granted it was a stretch. Although I remember my first lemonade stand at his age and how long it took me to make enough to get to the store to buy myself a candy bar.
We asked him what he could do to work for the money. He said; clean his room, take out the garbage and the sweep the floors after dinner. I said no because those were his everyday chores to help out our family and were mandatory, not optional and I definitely wasn’t going to start to pay him for it. We put money away for their education, so in some ways they do get paid for their chores.
What could he offer the community to make some money to save for his bike. Huh?
We came up with a plan. He would go to the bakery on the mornings of no school, weekends, Wednesdays and during the holidays and we would pay him a premium for the bread. He pays 80 cents for it, we give him 1 Euro.
From that idea, he started asking our close friends if they needed deliveries, would they too want to wake up to a fresh croissant or baguette in the mornings?
Once that took flight he extended his list to include noix bread, pain du chocolate and noisettes. Everything is rounded up to the nearest Euro to keep it super simple for his calculations. He keeps a running tally and list to keep track of standing orders.
The deal goes like this, he saves his profits, and when he reaches 100 Euros we will match it and take him to Decathlon to buy him his first BMX bike.
We figure it will take him until summer’s end. Often I ask him in the evenings to run up to Lidl to grab me an item for dinner, or to Intermarche for some fresh milk. He eagerly jumps on that bike without complaint. I give him the change, or an extra Euro here and there to make the lesson stick. He likes the little extras, and I can see him in the evenings taking out the wallet we bought him as an investment into his business and he counts his change over and again.
A few set backs were, he accidentally forgot to charge us for a few weeks, and he used his profits to buy our bread. Once he figured that out, he asked us kindly for the missing money. Of course I gave him extra, apologizing for our error- no harm no foul.
He was also taking change from our change jar to buy other people’s bread, and then they would pay him too. So until we caught on to that, he was making a very good profit off his parents. It was innocent enough, grabbing the extra when he bought our items; the idea didn’t quite click and of course after we discussed it with him. Alfonz and I privately laughed our heads off, thinking no wonder he was making so much money.
His desire to save began to grow. His desire to expand the business was too. We have included Daniel into the rental apartment business of ours too and offer a list of items to our tenants that Daniel can deliver to them in the mornings or evenings. The tenants have been very generous, and often after a week of deliveries they tip him for his services. Nicely done my boy!
If anyone is interested in helping our lovely Daniel reach his goal faster, please feel free to contact us through our website or call us if you live in Capestang.
I hope he reaches his goal in the nick of time too, as his bike keeps losing its chain.
His current savings is over 24 Euros! That’s a lot of deliveries since January! Good job Daniel, Mommy and Daddy are over the moon proud of you!