Money Lessons from a 7-Year Old: In App Purchases

Yes, this digital creation cost my son $23

Yes, this digital creation cost my son $23

“I really want a Legendary for Monster Legends Daddy.”

“Yeh? How do you get one of those?”

“With crystals. I want to buy crystals to get one”

“How much does that cost?”

“Twenty-three dollars. I have enough in my wallet”

“That’s your money, you can do it if you want to”

Translation: My seven year old son, Fionn (pronounced “Fin”, the silent “0” is just there to cause problems) wanted to buy a virtual monster for an iPad game with real money to the amount of $23, every single penny he had in his wallet. After school, I offered my son fifty cents to write a report on his In App Purchase experience and here is the result:

Whay not to do in app percheses

Fionn's original copy

Fionn’s original copy

  1. Thar a wayst of mony
  2. Inles you relly whant it.
  3. Think if you whant it or get something els
  4. Save up

I got a Lengendary pack for $23. I got the Lengendry. But you need a Legendary habitat. I didn’t have one. But after scoohl I forgot it came with one.
Why it was worth it

It was worth it. I anialated the fight I was in.

Next time I whoud save my money. Because one is anof.


I think Fionn’s reflections show some important budgeting and money saving lessons:

  1. It is important to have “fun money” that you can spend on things you want, that don’t necessarily make sense. When Fionn gets his allowance he has to put some into savings, some into his investments, and he gets to keep some to do whatever he wants with. This makes it easier for him to save money because he knows he always gets some to make his own choices with.

    Having choices with (at least some) of your money is important to sticking to a budget.

  2. Pause and think about what you want to do with your money. Fionn’s third point shows that he took time (not a lot, but some) to think about his in app purchase versus other things he would like to buy. After pausing, he decided he still wanted the virtual monster.
    Pausing, and taking time to think about your purchases allows you to make better decisions with your money.
  3. Be clear on your “enough”. In the end Fionn is enjoying his purchase, but he also realizes that it cost him a lot of money to buy a digital monster, and he feels that one is enough. He decided not to spend more money on this game (at least for now)
    Knowing your level of “enough” is important to limit overspending while still spending your money on the things that will bring you enjoyment.

These three learnings from a 7-year old can help you make better decisions with your money, while avoiding a budget that is so strict you feel like you can’t breath (and end up breaking the budget constantly).

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