Wednesday, November 08, 2006


This past summer, we decided to teach Critter how to budget and balance a checkbook. We agreed upon an amount to allot her every other month, gave her a check register, taught her some basic rules of conduct (write everything down...) and sat back to watch the experiment.

Now, really, we kept the money in our regular accounts and just allotted an amount to Critter. So we still had to be with her for any purchases. Or she could take out cash at the Bank of Mom. (And write it in her checkbook, of course.)

When Critter realized she would be receiving an ok-amount-of-money every 60 days, rather than the paltry allowance every week, she decided she wanted to save up for an iPod. Save up is relative. If there was the opportunity to go to a movie, she withdrew funds. But she did manage to save quite a bit from installment 1 to installment 2.

This past weekend, we made her read about iPods before we'd let her look at them in the store.

Critter: What's an MP3?

JewelGeek: It's a file type. Like .doc or .xls or .wav.

Critter: iPods play MP3s.

JewelGeek: Yes. And there are other brands that are also MP3 players.

Critter: Uh-huh. And iPods.

JewelGeek: [pause] You know there are a couple of different types of iPods, too.

Critter: [reading] Shhhh. Don't bother me with details.

And later, when she actually talked to a store clerk about them, and reported back to us...

JewelGeek: So what did you learn?

Critter: iPod Nanos are best.

CrafterKat: Why?

Critter: Uh... They're cool looking. And they're small. And they play music. And they come with headphones.

CrafterKat: And what about the battery-life?

Critter: Uh...

CrafterKat: And memory? How many songs do you get for how much memory?

Critter: Uh...

JewelGeek: Do you remember what he said about the protection plan?

Critter: Uh...

All: [pause]

Critter: The one with 4MB memory is only $200. I have $233, so I'm going to get one of those.

JewelGeek: But with the $60 protection plan, you don't have enough money.

Critter: Oh. You mean I read all this stuff and talked to the store guy and learned all the stuff and I'm not going to get an iPod?!!!!

To be continued...


Jewel Geek said...

The brand-loyal iPod Geek (he didn't even want to show us other MP3 players) did mention a couple of interesting things...

1) Apple controls the price of all iPods. So a $200 Nano is the same anywhere.

2) Apple was being sued by people because the batteries kept dying. They wouldn't replace them. It's $100 to replace the battery. With the $60 2-year protection plan, the battery will be replaced by them, no questions asked.

"What about Microsoft's new MP3 player that is coming out?" I asked iPod Geek.

"Huh?" He scratched his head. "iPod's are the coolest and everyone has them..."