Why I Bought Myself a $12 Kid’s Toy

A Dime Saved
5 min readJun 6, 2021

So our vacation was pretty awesome!

We got to our Airbnb, and after we set down our stuff, we headed straight to the beach. We had brought some sand toys for our kids to play with, but as soon as we got to the crowded beach we noticed that most of the kids in the water had various inner tubes to play with in the water. We hadn’t brought anything for them to play with IN the water- just for outside the water.

My son, pointing to a bright purple inner tube, asked, “What is that kid playing with?” We responded that it’s a fun thing to float with in the water. My other son, “We don’t have anything to play with in the water.” I looked at my husband, and my heart sank. I saw on his face that he was thinking the same thing.

We felt so bad that our kids were in the water with all these other kids who had so much fun with their floating toys. We put a bright face on and played in the water and on the beach- we don’t need stuff to have fun!!

The next day we hung out in the pool and then decided to head to the beach again. After a hurried consultation with DH, we decided to find a store to buy the kid’s inner tubes so there wouldn’t be a repeat of the previous day.

If the tubes were affordable, say under $20, we would buy one, so our kids wouldn’t have to stare longingly at other kid’s toys the whole day. We both grew up in large families, and there wasn’t money for “extras.” So many times in my childhood, I had gone without those small extras, and I was determined that for this vacation, at least, my kids would have even this small thing.

We live frugally because we have to and because we consider saving for our future and staying away from any debt to be a priority, and there are many times I feel so bad for my kids. We don’t do so many things that other people do, and even though they are still young, I wonder if they ever feel the pinch and feel bad or even resent us for not having a lot of money.

We didn’t want to spend any more money on this vacation than we had to, but we decided to buy these tubes or some floaty toy. We stopped at a small store on the way to the beach, and I jumped out without telling my kids what I was getting.

I ran inside and saw these fun inner tubes with a unicorn head attached for only $6. I immediately grabbed 2! Not only would my kids have fun toys, but they wouldn’t even need to share! I could barely contain my excitement as I…

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