Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Teach Your Doll Loving Tween About Total Cost Of Ownership

Doll With Dollar Bill Eye

I noticed an American Girl doll purchase buried within an anonymous sampling of transactions today. A little deeper analysis on our family finance site reveals they’re still quite a thing with today’s tweens.

It reminded me of an old post I stumbled upon years ago. The 2010 article tackled the money-burning question: How much does an American Girl doll really cost? (I’d link to it, but the site has long since disappeared.)

The answer: much, much more than just the doll itself.

That’s because nobody buys just the doll. There are the inevitable accessories. Outfits, furniture, even a dog! Before you know it, you’re in for well over six times the initial cost of the doll.

Check out this eye-popping bill of materials from the 2010 article:

  • 1 America Girl doll: $95.00
  • 5 everyday outfits: $120.00
  • 1 fancy dress: $32.00
  • 1 bathing suit or ski outfit: $34.00
  • 1 toy puppy: $20.00
  • 1 doll-sized zip-up carrier: $58.00
  • 1 bed and nightwear: $100.00
  • 1 table and chair set: $75.00
  • 1 set of various accessories: $35.00
  • 1 hair care kit: $10.00
  • 1 tween-sized outfit to match doll: $65.00
  • Grand total: $644.00


I call that a personal finance opportunity. Time to teach your young tween about the total cost of ownership.

Have your doll enthusiast fill out a worksheet of all the “little” follow-on accessories envisioned. It’s a rare chance to introduce your youngster to the magic of spreadsheets around a captivating topic.

Seeing the grand total up front will be a revelation.

Offer a deal: you pick up the doll, and your youngster picks up the accessories.

Now watch that wardrobe — and the total cost of ownership — shrink!

P.S. Consider buying used instead. I know we have a bin of American Girl dolls stashed in the attic waiting to be redeployed. Don’t bother to hit us up though. They’re reserved for our grandkids :-)

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out FamZoo.com.

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine anybody spending that kind of money on a doll, but hey. Everyone has their own brand of quirks and kicks hey? And I guess the most important thing at the end of the day is being able to manage your finances so that you can enjoy what you like without having to suffer in the wallet for it!