First published in November 2016


Neha had just turned 13 and that also meant the start of receiving weekly pocket money from her parents. She had been thrilled about it of course but also felt responsible and all grown up suddenly. While she was tempted to spend it all in one go, she decided she would spend a little at a time so that she could tide it over the week.

She sat down and decided to make a list first of all that she needed and wanted and then decided to prioritise it. By the end of it she had a long list and it looked like it would take her all month to even buy half the things she wanted.

Her brother had been watching her making the list. “How dumb are you?” He laughed out loudly. Just go and buy yourself something nice to eat and something for me. The rest of the stuff Mummy will buy you as and when you need it. “Girls are so idiotic,” he said and ran off.

“Mummy, can we go shopping soon? I’ve got my pocket money to spend and I want to spend it on me and not Shaurya – the brat,” said Neha.

“Oh yes. We can definitely go any time you like. There are so many wonderful things you can spend your pocket money on. How about a book to read?” her Mummy replied.

“I have enough books Mummy but I feel like eating something tasty and delicious from the bakery. Let’s eat some croissants or doughnuts or let’s share a hot-chocolate fudge sundae. It’s been ages Mummy,” Neha suggested.

“Of course I will take you, Neha. I need to do some grocery shopping myself. Let me get ready and then let’s take a short walk to the market,” Mummy said. Soon they were on the street that had all their favourite shops. Neha walked towards the bakery and her mother towards the grocery store. They fixed up to meet in 15 minutes.

the value of money

When her mother returned, she found Neha standing at the food counter all confused. She had seen all the delicious pastries and cakes and got thoroughly confused. “Order what you like sweetheart. I’ll share a bite from you,” her mother whispered. Neha finally made a choice and ordered a double chocolate ice-cream float. She went up to the counter and felt very grown up paying for her treat. She took time to count the change and make sure she had paid the right amount.

While Neha and her mother shared the ice-cream, Neha looked at her mummy very perceptively and said, “I have decided that I won’t spend all my money in one go. I’ll save some, like you do – you know for something important. Can we get a piggy-bank or can I open my own account at the bank?” Neha asked.

“Let’s discuss this with your father at dinner time. But I must say you have made a very wise choice. It is very easy to spend money or rather waste money on things that are not needed,” said her mother.

Neha was quite pleased with herself and had a smile on her face every time she heard the clinking of the coins in her pocket while walking back home.

Word meanings:

  • Prioritise: place in order
  • Treat: luxury
  • Perceptively: wisely
The value of money
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