Learning Personal Finance

We went to the farmer’s market in Hinesburg yesterday. I emptied my wallet. I didn’t even get all I could have gotten, but our bag was full and the kids were antsy. Next time I’ll bring two bags. And make the kids carry one.

This market was great. I arrived with my two children right when it opened, at 9:00. It was held in the Hinesburg Town Hall. There is a summer farmers market weekly but once the fall hits it whittles down to once per month. We missed the one in October so I was eager to be there for this one.

I purchased leeks, onions, potatoes, garlic, spinach and other stuff. I was happy enough. I was looking for food. My daughter, however, was looking to spend some money.

I had told her I would give her some money so she could buy some things herself. The space is small and I figured it wouldn’t be crowded first thing. So I gave her five bucks and told her she buy whatever she wanted. We did a lap to start us off, to see who was there selling what. We tasted a purple carrot and looped back around. At the first vendor she bought a delicata squash, a tiny one, but cute and just right for her. A couple of tables down she bought some popcorn. It was purple, still on the cob but dried, four ears for a dollar. She bought four. Then she bought some of those purple carrots. She considered a stone charm, but it was five dollars and she didn’t want to blow it all in one shot.

This was great for both of us. She felt a sense of responsibility and I felt safe with her learning some lessons in how to spend money. I really don’t think I could have said no to anything there she may have said she wanted to buy. It was a farmers market.  She wants to buy carrots and mini squash? I’m good with that. She wants to but some jewelry made by someone here in town?  I’m good with that.  She wants to buy honey, jam, hand spun yarn, fresh bread, eggs? How can I say no? It was ideal.

She is now the eager one, asking when the next market will be. There is one every Saturday somewhere around here. The next one is in Burlington, then Winooski, Shelburne, and back in Hinesburg again. And there are  others well into the winter. My daughter would gets the shakes if she saw all the vendors in Burlington compared to little old Hinesburg. I’m thinking we may have to take advantage of that. I can give up five bucks for this endeavor for several weekends if she is still into it. I have been wanting to go to these this fall and winter anyway. Fresh local food this late in the year? I can go out of my way for that.

The eggs we bought yesterday and way good, and I turned cauliflower, spinach, garlic and leeks into a fine dinner tonight. And the popcorn? Pops white, tastes great. And that was just one ear. That popcorn may have been the best deal of the lot.

Singalong and Wrapped Stuff

Last night we went to the town library for a singalong.  It was sporadically advertised and not on their web site, our usual source of programming information.  We did find out late yesterday afternoon that it was on, so we rallied the kids after dinner and headed over.

My daughter’s music teacher was the piano player.  She was friendly and good with the children and had, perhaps to the detriment of the event, a fine singing voice.  We used a songbook from 1960, still in use after four decades.  This particular songbook contained lots of songs for people who sing well.  Think The First Noel and We Three Kings.  We did sing Frosty the Snowman (not in the book) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (also not in the book) and had a generally good time.

The children colored the pages left on the back table with crayons and markers.  They also offered snacks–cookies and punch.  Of course, the last thing our children needed was sweets.  Candy canes, chocolate, cookies at home.  They have been getting it all these days.  Bad parents, mostly, I suppose.  But they had some cookies, and so did I.  All the other kids did as well.

There were many children there.  They seemed to have fun.  We even checked out some new books while we were there.  Our previous books were overdue, as usual.  We had to use my wife’s libary card.  I couldn’t find my wallet before we left.  I looked and looked and I just figured I must have left it in jacket pocket or some such.  I didn’t find it last night.

This morning it showed up.  Our kids have been into pretending to wrap presents lately.  They have been wrapping everything they can get their hands on.  We recently had to impose a rule that they only wrap art that they make themselves.  Things kept going missing.  My wallet, despite the prohibition on wrapping objects that might have some value if hidden and unable to be found, was the latest object to disappear into the wrapping hole.

I was with-wallet today and used it when I took my son to the Hinesburg winter farmer’s market.  I only purchased two donuts, along with some squash.  I ate most of the donuts, maybe subconsciously to get back at him for hiding my wallet, but really more because, again, he has lots of sweets these days.  But then, maybe I do, too.