We are going on holiday, our first holiday in years and the girls are very excited. I am very excited too! We have a cottage booked opposite the lake, not far from the beach.
A couple of weeks ago we received all the details about costs. There is a basic cost for 7 nights’ accommodation for 6 people (the boys are staying home- they’ll be working and cat sitting), plus an optional end-of-holiday-cleaning cost and a linen cost. I mulled it all over and decided we’d take our own linen but have the cottage cleaned for us after our stay. Who wants to end a holiday cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming floors? I paid the deposit and we have been counting down the days…
Today the balance of the payment was due. I printed off all the money details, handed them to Sophie. Could she help me work out how much money we still owed, taking into account we’d already paid the deposit and we didn’t need to pay the linen charge? Sophie’s eyes actually lit up as she contemplated this mathematical problem. Soon she returned with the answer.
“I have an answer and I think it’s right but I’m going to check it on the calculator, Mum.”
“Yes, the calculator agrees with me. You owe $….”
And she was correct! I’d already worked it out and Sophie’s calculations matched mine.
So off we went to town to finalise our payment. While we were out, I couldn’t resist popping into a favourite clothes shop. There was a sale on and as it’s wise to shop when prices have been reduced, I stopped to browse. After a few minutes of sorting through racks, I was tempted to buy a silky blue shirt and floaty black skirt. I handed over my bank card, paid for my clothes and then headed home thinking, “Wow! What bargains!”
But how much of a bargain did I actually get? Once home, I gave Sophie my receipts and the original price tags and the mark down price tags and asked her if she wanted to help me. How much would the clothes have cost me full price? And how much did I save? The skirt and shirt had been marked down a couple of times so the figures were more complicated than at first glance but soon…
“Wow! Mum. You saved $120.”
I’d paid much less than half price. So now I am walking around with a huge smile on my face because I saved so much money. And Sophie has a huge smile on her face because she was able to answer my mathematical question.
“Have you got any other maths problems I can help you with, Mum?” From now on I am going to be looking out for as many real mathematical problems as possible for my maths-magician to solve. She seems to have forgotten she doesn’t like maths.
And in the meantime, I am wondering, “What can I buy with that $120 that I saved?”