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Dave and Darcy learn how to budget

Darcy has seen a new riding jacket that she would love to have, but as Christmas was only a few weeks ago, she knows she can’t ask for it as a gift.

“This is a great chance for you to learn how to budget,” her mum says.

“How do I do that?” Darcy asks.

“You decide how much money you need to save to buy something, then work out how much money you have coming in and out. This will help you to work out how long it will take to save enough for what you want to buy.”

“So if the jacket is £40 but I only get £2 pocket money each week, it will take me 20 weeks to save enough money to buy it?!” Darcy asks, a little disappointed.

“That’s right,” her mum replies. “But there are other ways of saving money!”

“Like what?” Darcy asks.

“The local yard has a tack sale coming up soon. I’m sure you and Dave can find some bits and pieces to sell that you no longer need. It’s £5 for a table, so you’ll need to factor that into your budget.”

“Hmm…” Darcy thinks about it all. “If I spend £5 but I sell Dave’s old rugs and my old boots for £30, I’d have £25 left. So I’d only need eight weeks of pocket money to buy the jacket!”

“That’s right,” her mum replies. “Why don’t you see what else you can find to sell and you may be able to buy your jacket even sooner.”

Darcy heads round to Dave’s field and tells him the plan. They spend the afternoon rummaging through all their things, deciding what they do and don’t need. By the end of the day, they’ve got a big pile of items ready to sell at the tack sale.

The next weekend, Darcy’s mum helps her carry everything to the yard and set up her table. She’s got lots to sell, but there are quite a few other people selling items.

As the visitors start coming in to look at the tables, Darcy daydreams about wearing her new jacket. After 10 minutes, a young girl comes over and asks to buy a blue headcollar. Darcy asks for £5, which the girl hands over.

Darcy smiles and thinks, “that’s the cost of the table, so everything else can go towards my jacket!”

Throughout the afternoon, Darcy sells a lot of items including brushes, a couple of whips, an old grooming kit box and a pair of gloves. She writes everything down, so she knows she’s made £28 so far.

With only an hour to go, Darcy doesn’t think she’s going to make enough money to buy her jacket. She accepts that she’ll have to wait a few weeks and save up her pocket money.

“Excuse me?” Darcy turns around and sees a man looking at the pile of Dave’s old rugs. “We’ve just bought a new horse for our son and she’s much bigger than his old pony. We haven’t got any rugs that fit her, but yours look like they’re the right size. How much are they?”

“They’re £10 each,” Darcy replies.

“Well she’s going to need several, so would you do a deal? How about £30 for all four rugs?”

Darcy’s eyes light up, as she knows that this sale would give her more than enough money to buy the jacket.

“Yes, absolutely!” she says.

The man hands over the money and thanks Darcy for helping him out. Darcy turns to her mum and squeals with excitement.

“I did it, mum! I got enough for my jacket, plus I have £13 left so I can buy a little treat for Dave!”

“Well done,” her mum replies, “you worked hard and managed to achieve your goal. I’m sure Dave will be pleased, too. Shall we call into the shop on the way home?”

“Yes please!” Darcy replies.

When they get home, Darcy runs round to see Dave and tell him the good news. She shows him her new jacket and says she has a surprise for him.

“Shut your eyes and hold out your hooves,” Darcy says.

He does as she asks and when he opens his eyes he sees a bag of treats and a new saddle pad.

“Thank you, Darcy! We're both going to look really smart when we next go riding.”

“You’re welcome,” Darcy replies. “Now, can you help me work out how long it will take me to save enough money to build you a new stable?!”


If you liked this story, you’ll love the Dave and Darcy picture book series, which you can purchase here.

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