A saving-and-spending balancing act

Anna and Marc Pitman.

Tess Vigeland: Our little blue plastic friend is headed to Waterville, Maine and the bedroom shelf of 10-year-old Anna Pitman Anna's dad, Marc, has been trying to help her find that sweet spot between the pride of saving and the joy of spending.

Marc Pitman: My daughter Anna is 10. Probably ever since we started doing money things with her, she's been a saver.

Anna Pitman: Hi. My name is Anna, and I have been saving up since I was seven pretty much. Well, I have some trouble saving it up sometimes, 'cause sometimes I see something and I'm like, "Oh! I want to buy that!" Then I think a while, then I'm like, "Will I actually be happy with this? Will I actually need this stuff?"

Marc: So we went into the store to get her iPod that she had saved for over a year and a half for. We got it, we high-fived each other. She told people she'd been saving up for it. It was an awesome celebratory experience. On the way out, as she has the iPod in her Apple bag, she looked at me and said, "Dad, you know, it's kinda dangerous being a saver like me. In the sense that, sometimes I save the money and then I don't want to ever spend it, because I just like having the money there. But I would've missed out on the joy of getting something I'd worked for too. So there's gotta be some sort of middle road between just saving and just spending. And I'm really glad I'm trying to hit that.

And I think you are. Nice work Dad! And Anna, piggy is on his way. Don't forget to keep feeding him. I have no idea if he likes lobsters.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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