Unlike their older sister, Fiona and Sophie kind of like clothes. They think the clothes in the Lands End kids catalogues are cute and really cool. But they recognize that we are more of a thrift store family; we don't spend that kind of money on clothes very often. However, both of them are very good at saving their allowance money, and it suddenly dawned on them that they had a lot of savings that could be spent on whatever swanky new Lands End clothes they wanted. They spent at least a couple of hours going through the catalogue, circling things, adding up prices, putting in question marks, revising their lists, recalculating. They needed to also estimate US dollar conversion, duty and shipping.
We agreed that "need to have" clothes would be purchased out of family resources from the usual thrifty sources, while they could buy the pricier, more frivolous things for themselves.
Eventually they decided on their order and went on-line. That's when we discovered on-line pricing and the fall sale. Most things were on sale. Sometimes it was "Buy 2 or more and save $2.50 on each." In this case she and Sophie negotiated with each other to buy different versions of similar items and get the savings.
"Okay, so if I buy jeans instead of yoga pants, will you get some of the leggings so that I can get the cheaper price on those?"
Some things were 60-80% off if you bought them in particular colours. They were persuaded to purchase the cheaper colours. And some items just had standard sale prices.
Fiona had planned to spend just over $100. Her order came in at just less than $70. So she bought a couple more sale items. Sophie's savings were similar. Then I remembered a coupon that meant if they bought one more regular-priced item, they'd get $25 off. So they basically got one expensive item for free.
We had to discuss how to share that coupon fairly. They both recognized that although it seemed like it was the last item of Sophie's that we got "for free" that really the coupon should be shared more equitably. It turned out that the $25 pretty much equalled the shipping cost. So that was easy. Each girl was billed for the cost of her items and neither paid shipping.
The order shipped yesterday. They're really excited. I'm happy that a big chunk of their allowance savings has been spent on something other than gum, iPods or computer games.