Dad Discovering What 7-Year-Old Son Is Saving for Warms Hearts: 'I Cried'

A dad who works round the clock has been left feeling dejected that he still can't afford to take his seven-year-old son to his favorite restaurant whenever he wants, despite saving all of his tips in a jar.

The father-of-one, who is a manager at McDonald's, has taken to Reddit to explain that money is incredibly tight, despite picking up shifts whenever he can, and he has asked other users how they address the situation of finances with their children.

The Reddit user, u/LilBuddy272 took to social media on February 5 to explain that he would usually take his son to Golden Corral on his birthday, but for the past two years this hasn't been a possibility "due to money being very tight."

"Sometimes I will get tipped at McDonald's, a quarter here, a dime here, a dollar here and there. I'll bring it home every day and give it to Rory to save. Well two days ago, Rory brings me his money jug and dumps it all out in front of me. He was so excited and began counting it out."

The poster's son had been saving all of his dad's tips in the hope of going back to his favorite restaurant, a place his dad thought he'd forgotten about. "When I tell you guys my heart broke, my son asked me if it was enough to go to the Corral for his birthday. A piece of me shattered inside, I didn't think he remembered the Golden Corral."

Dad discovers what his son was saving
A file photo of a father and son eating out, and (inset) a young child saving dimes. A dad has taken to Reddit to share how he felt after discovering his son had been saving to take his dad out. Sanja Radin / tekin demir/Getty Images

Patricia Roberts, a financial educator who has worked with families to offer better understanding for long-term savings, such as saving for colleges, spoke to Newsweek about the difficulties parents can face: "I recommend finding age-appropriate ways to help educate him on some level about available resources.

"Perhaps decide together, based on his age and level of understanding on ways family expenses can be cut, such as turning lights off when not in use, reducing the number of channels on cable subscription, walking or biking short trips instead of using the car.

"Help him learn to distinguish between needs versus wants and show him how you can work together to save a little at a time for something that is meaningful and desired."

Aside from saving money, Roberts also suggested looking for opportunities and events which are free, such as museums for days out, as she suggests these types of days can be "rewarding but not expensive".

The 24-year-old dad said he "felt like a failure" in the Reddit post because his son had to save the dimes himself, and he admits to crying multiple times about it.

Dealing With Guilt

"Today I cried again in my room. I've never been good at saving money, but his birthday is next month and I'm going to do my best to take him every few months. So other parents of Reddit, can I ask some advice for how you deal with the guilt of having to say no?"

The viral Reddit post now has 16,000 votes, and hundreds of supportive comments from fellow social media users who applauded the morals this dad is instilling in his boy.

One user commented: "Your son already learned a really valuable lesson about saving for the things that he wants. If you can think of a way to tell him, while you have it under control (be sure to stress that he doesn't have to worry on your behalf), that the world has made money tight for you guys, you can absolutely turn this into a lesson and character building for your son. The best skill to learn before you become an adult is money management."

The original poster responded to this thoughtful comment by saying: "I'm proud of my son for knowing that he can save for treats." So although it was a heartbreaking moment at first for the dad, he is able to see the positive in his young son learning the value of saving already.

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