How do you teach a child the value of money?
Every parent has moments of sheer pride and beaming admiration for their children when they accomplish something that wasn’t easy for them.
Daniel has been delivering bread from Au Palais des Saveurs Boulangerie the bakery in the square, each morning before 9:00am on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays since January; a plan we devised in order for him to obtain the BMX bike of his dreams.
The master baker Lionel Mandirac has the finest products of France; delicate flakey pastries and award winning cakes that would make your mouth water. It was an easy decision after getting to know their lovely staff and sampling virtually all their products over the last six months for Daniel to pick their products for his business.
Down the road from us is a skate bowl park and each time we pass, Daniel watches the cool kids doing tricks on their BMXs and it has been his desire since moving here to buy one to eventually join them. At the time we didn’t have our Le Petit Platane ‘Gite’ business up and running or extra money coming in to buy him a second bike.
The deal was he would sell the bread for 1 Euro but buy it for 80 Centimes, making 20 Centimes/loaf. He could do extra runs for me to the grocery store and receive a 1 Euro tip and most of Daniel’s dedicated customers give him an extra Euro here and there.
Our guests staying in our rental apartment also ask for daily delivers before 9:00am and we have allowed Daniel to expand his operating hours for the summer. He occasionally has requests for evening deliveries too and he eagerly fills them.
The original plan was once he reaches 100Euros we would match his savings and buy him a BMX.
His money quickly added up and when he got to 60€ this past week we decided to see if we could buy our little entrepreneur a second hand BMX off Le Bon Coin, the French version of Craig’s List, sooner as he has been working without complaint for six months.
We found some pretty amazing bike deals for under 100€ and sent out some enquiries. The next step would have been to trek around to see if any were worth buying. Most were a fair distance away and would cost at least 50€ between gas and highway tolls to visit without a sealed deal in play. Alfonz made the decision to simply look at that as a savings to the cost and buy Daniel a newer bike locally.
Daniel’s first bike was purchased second hand from Maria and Phil from ‘Mellow Velos’ for a song. They fixed it up for him and Daniel has put hundreds of miles on it since. He loves his six-speed bike and has no intention to sell or give it away, making trades out of the question. Mellow Velos specialize in bike rentals offering delivery in southern France http://www.mellowvelos.com/
What Daniel really wanted was a trick BMX bike with orange and metallic colours, an order that turned out to be harder to fill than initially imagined.
Yesterday we made our way to Decathlon, a sporting goods store in France, to price out new BMXs during the SOLDE sales in France. Daniel wasn’t interested in the brand names they carry, not to mention the cheapest BMX started at 299€ on sale, making them too pricey for our modest budget nor that quality he was after.
We saw Veloland in Narbonne and turned in. They carry high-end products as well as tune-up bikes. Thanks to Julien the owner operator for helping us make our decision and selling us a practically new bike for a very good price.
That morning they had received the BMX bike from auction second hand and priced it at 200€. It turned out to be a well-known brand called ‘Specialised’. Most Specialised BMX bikes start around the 300€ mark and go up to 3000€ from there. They are a popular, sturdy bike made with good quality parts.
The BMX bike is metallic coloured with back wheel trick bars and a skull-design seat. Very cool for our eight-year-old boy.
Sporting him the 40€ needed to purchase and after Daniel completely fell in love with the gnarly bike, we bought it.
He has been spending every second on his new ride ever since.
Over the summer his deliveries in Capestang are daily and if anyone wants my cute, blonde haired, blue eyed boy with glasses to deliver to you, please email me.
Daniel- we are very proud of you! Good Job!
UPDATE: In the end Daniel made his goal by the year’s end and continued saving and the next year to buy himself a very cool trick scooter. When he reached Junior High School we decided the workload was too much for him to continue with his business. The experience gained far outweighed any negatives and if you want your child to learn the value of a dollar, I suggest going down a similar route. Learning the value of money by using the hands on approach gives A lesson in value while they work towards a set goal.