The kid paid cash -- $1,500
Told by her mother that they can't afford a new laptop, 13-year-old buys it herself.
This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.
The family had always known that their seventh-grader was a bit of a tightwad. "Mia's never been a kid who wants to go and spend money at the mall," explained her mother, my daughter. "If we do go to a store, she immediately goes to the back because she knows that's where the sales racks are.
"She's always been a collector of things, so I think it just follows through with money. She likes to collect money."
"I went to Mom and told her I wanted a MacBook Air; it's really light and you can carry it anywhere," recalled Mia. "She said no.
"I told her I wanted a laptop really bad -- for writing up papers, socializing, or when Mom or my sister or Dad are hogging the family computers; we have a big family computer, and one that's close to death. Post continues after video."She still said no, so I asked her to check my CD account at the bank, and she said it was almost up for renewal. I said, 'OK, I'll take that money.' It was a little over $1,000."
Then came the stunner: Mia added the $500 she was keeping in her room. "It was baby-sitting money; I get $5 an hour," she explained. "Usually, I don't keep more than $100 there before I take it to the bank. I also have over a thousand, probably $1,100, in my savings account."
So, how does a 13-year-old accumulate that sort of money?
"I been saving it since I think I was 8," Mia said. "Lemonade sales. I baby-sit a lot. I used to get an allowance when I was little for making my bed and that kind of stuff, but they don't give that to me anymore."
Does she think she is depriving herself with such a stringent savings program?
"No, not really," Mia said. "I don't think I need the money right now. The only thing I buy are books and video games. Mostly, everything I buy is something I know I'm going to use for at least five years. I don't need more than $100 a year; the rest just goes into the bank for high school and college.
"I really want to be a chemical engineer, and an author," said Mia, who is taking high school-level math and literature classes. "I'll try to get into a good engineering school -- MIT, Yale, Princeton, the University of California -- and write in my free time."
Given her proclivity for savings, did she have any reservations about spending $1,500 on a computer?
"No, I really wanted it," she replied. "I don't mind spending my own money because it gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I can buy something for me without my parents' money.
"I think I'm old enough to make money decisions for myself," she said, adding with a giggle: "I think I have a decent credit score."
And what advice would she give to her peers?
"Save up; you're going to need it."
More on MSN Money:
Wow! What an impressive girl.
Good money habits last a life time. What a good start.
The pleasure of owning something you saved for and bought for yourself.
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