Ultimate Dream Castle

Each year at Christmas and birthdays, Sir Monkeypants’ mom gives our kids a little money to buy themselves something nice. Usually I take them to the toy store and give them (mostly) free reign, because I think people who give money like to hear that their loved one treated themselves, don’t you?

In the past year or so, though, I’ve been talking to the kids about trying to save up for bigger items. I’m sure we already own every single $20 dollar Lego set in existance, and it would be such a great exercise in money management to convince the Captain to save up for something bigger and better, you know?

The kids haven’t been exactly receptive to this idea. Gal Smiley in particular is the worst impulse shopper ever, I really worry about the day that child gets herself a credit card. The Captain can see the logical nature of saving, but when confronted with an exciting new Lego set in the store he can rarely help himself.

But Little Miss Sunshine, now that’s a kid with discipline. A few months back she was watching TV and saw an ad for this:

That is the Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle. When she saw this castle, she just about passed out. “Ultimate” is an understatement. It is the BEST. TOY. EVER.

But I looked it up online and it turns out it costs $200. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. My mother-in-law is generous, but not THAT generous.

I had to explain to the Little Miss that it was outside Mommy and Daddy’s budget, even for special occasions. If she saved up her money, she was allowed to buy it herself – but it would take a LOT of saving.

She was undaunted. Every penny she got for a present went into her castle fund. Every time she asked if she could use her pocket money to buy gum at the Superstore, I’d remind her about the castle and she’d immediately decide in favour of saving. It’s been several months now and she has almost $100 saved up. I was impressed but I still thought there was no way she was going to make it.

And then! Today! We were at (ahem) WalMart, browsing the toy section for the Captain’s upcoming birthday.

And LO! There were Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castles ON SALE FOR FIFTY DOLLARS.

I still cannot believe it.

We grabbed one. We ran to the cash. The cashier said we were the third person to come through with one in the last 15 minutes – so if you want one, GO NOW (the Kanata Centrum WalMart).

Seriously, the Little Miss is SO lucky. And proud – she now has her castle and she even bought it with her own money.

I spent all afternoon putting this together:

Disney Castle
Disney Castle


17 thoughts on “Ultimate Dream Castle

  1. that looks awesome! i sent a text message to my husband to go get one on the way home from work (since i don’t drive)… in this snow storm though i might not be able to twist his arm. its amazing how your little girl was able to save her money to get it. The nice thing is that she still has some money left over to get a few more barbies to go with it. great post!

  2. CapnPlanet

    I don’t know where to start with this post – so many thoughts came up while I was reading.

    – It’s pretty awesome to see a kid with the discipline to save for something. Definitely a good personality trait.
    – It only took her “several months” to save $100? WTF? Where is all this money coming from?
    – That is unquestionably an awesome dream castle, definitely deserving of the label “ultimate”
    – Still – $200? Am I missing something? That seems an outrageous price, even for something so… ultimate.
    – Finding something priced at $200 your kid has been saving her heart out for months on sale for $50 and available… priceless. What a great day indeed.

    1. I know! I never had cash like that as a kid. I remember when I was 16, I went to summer camp and it cost $400 and that was all the money I had saved up since I was a child (I was very frugal as a kid). CRAZY. My kids get money gifts from my mother-in-law every birthday and Christmas, and my mom sends them a little cash on off-holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s day. Plus she got a gift card for Christmas and picked out something very small when “spending” it, so she had leftover from that, too. Altogether, almost $100. WOW.

  3. smokingtoaster

    I have to say that I’m somewhat relieved to hear you say that you struggle with teaching money management to your kids. Mostly we take all the money given to our kids by grandparents and secretly stash it in a bank account.

    Recently we’ve been telling the kids there is money there, and now that they understand Money = Lego, they’ve just been going wild coming up with ways to spend all the money. I’m at a loss to figure out how to explain to them the value of saving. I guess part of the solution is to find something worth saving for.

  4. Sara

    That is awesome!! Now that the firefighter is almost 6 we are starting the save/spend/share idea/practice in earnest. His understanding of math and all the coins ( and interest in them has been a great starting point) and thr fact that his allowance from thr last six months is stored in a ziploc bag forced me to realize we need a plan!

  5. What a great story! Our kids often get money too and my husband’s parents especially are VERY generous. This was the first year at Christmas that Angus didn’t have something he immediately wanted, and he was at a total loss: “What am I going to do with this money?” Me: “um… save it.” Him: “Okay….. But for WHAT?” Money management lesson FAIL.

  6. That’s AWESOME! On so many levels. Kudos to Little Miss Sunshine for saving up – what a great reward! What is she going to do with the other $50?

  7. Amelia Witherspoon

    That. Is. Awesome. I remember the first toy I bought with my very own, hard earned savings. It was Rolly from 101 Dalmatians, and no joke, I still sleep with that stuffed dog every night…and I’m almost 30. Could be one of a million examples of my innate hoarding instinct…but I think it’s more likely a testament to how special that first feeling of accomplishment is. Congrats to Little Miss!

  8. Fantastic! And what a great lesson you’re teaching your kids. It’s so important to teach our kids to save. I’m also puzzling over the fact that the castle was listed for $200. That seems incredibly expensive for something like this!

    1. Well, it does have “50+ pieces.” Funny story – my son thought the “50+” on the box meant it was only for people aged 50 and older. Guess we’ll have to have the grandparents over if we want to play with it!

  9. Awesome! She will likely remember this forever since she worked so hard to save for it!

    I’m with the others – $200?! $50 seems much more realistic.

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