What Would You Have Spent a Fortune On As a Kid?


Can I ask you to cast your mind back a few years. You might be a sensible adult now and you might even live a frugal lifestyle. However, at one point you were a kid who dreamed of holding a big wad of bank notes in your hand and then going crazy with them.

My daughter got given a few pounds from her Gran the other day and I realised that it was the first time she had ever had cash to burn. What was she going to spend all that money on?

Like any sensible 3 year old she dragged me to the local sweet shop and demanded everything in sight. This got to me thinking about what I would have spent a fortune (relatively speaking) on when I was a youngster.

I think the answers I came up with show that the things kids want to spend money on don’t really change all that much over the years.

Computer Games

Back in the days before tablets, smartphones and flipping Xboxes we got our gaming kicks from something called a ZX Spectrum. It was small, it had rubber keys and it went “screeeech!” for 5 minutes while a game was loading. Looking back at some screen shots now the games look positively prehistoric. Back when I was a kid they looked great, though. My big sister used to buy a magazine which reviewed all the new games and I would slobber over the photos of the football, spaceship and golf games. If I had been given a tenner I could have probably bought about 4 of them and still had change left over for a Chelsea whopper.  Speaking of which…

Some Sweets

I was speaking to a few old friends the other day and all of our eyes glazed over as we reminisced about Chelsea whoppers, flying saucers, foam shrimps and those weird chocolate skulls with pink gunk in them. A modern day kid would probably wonder what on Earth this stuff is but to us the local sweet shop was the most exciting place on Earth. I would buy something called a 10p mixture, which basically consisted of the elderly shopkeeper placing sweets to the value of -yes – 10 pence in a small bag. This added a frisson of excitement to the day, as I would whoop with joy if I got an iced gem in there and let out a small sigh if the heartless shopkeeper had placed one of those disgusting rhubarb and custard efforts in there.

Lots and Lots of Toys

Every kid who has ever lived has presumably gone through the process of slowly building up a list of toys they want. I had to give my Mum a call earlier on to see which ones were my dream toys. Apparently there was some sort of talking Action Man figure that I spent over a year asking for. The upside to not getting it at first meant that I treasured it more than anything else when I finally got it. I vaguely remember him having a string on his neck you pulled so that he would say something unintelligible about tanks and grenades.

What Does This Teach Us?

Actually, I didn’t expect to learn anything from this exercise but I think I just have. Part of growing up is the process of wanting things but not getting them. If you can’t get the expensive stuff you want then you find something else to play with and then cherish the toy when you finally get it. I think I’ve been making things too easy for my little girl and giving her access to too much stuff. It isn’t easy to say no to your child but I’m going to try and make her wait a bit more for the things she wants in the future.

What would you have spent your fortune on as a kid?

6 Responses to What Would You Have Spent a Fortune On As a Kid?

  1. Mark Ross says:

    Well, I would probably spend most of the money buying remote control cars and helicopters. I think they were very cool when I was just 9 years of age.

  2. moneystepper says:

    I would have bought enough packets of Merlin Premier League Stickers to fill the book straight away. However, it would have then lost its magic (pun intended)!!

  3. Zimmy says:

    I would have purchased as many packs of Topps baseball cards from the 1970’s as I could. I am sure that I would have opened every one of them and ruined the cards but, I can imagine that I just kept the packs in a box for long term storage.

  4. Wealth Tortoise says:

    In the early to mid 80s, I would have bought every single Star Wars figure and spacecraft going. All I had was a little R2D2, but my best friend had so many Star Wars toys and I wanted them all!

    But would I have had the foresight to keep them all unopened in mint condition though? ;-)…..

  5. This is too easy…NES games, GI Joes and Transformers! Oh and maybe some baseball cards too!

  6. Alex says:

    The ‘old school’ toys and games are now niche possessions. I still have our old SNES and Megadrive consoles from back in the early 90ies, and they work. Not sure they’d be worth a single pound now, but people still want them for nostalgic purposes – the original Super Mario game for example.
    However, if I’m honest I’ve never been someone to want loads of stuff. As a kid I was actually more sensible than I was as a younger adult, but I can’t deny I was a frequent visitor to the sweet shop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *