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Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday

Alexander had a dollar last Sunday, but he just can’t seem to hang on to it. Follow Alexander through the week as he makes many poor spending decisions, resulting in his not saving anything!

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Saving, Economic Wants, Scarcity, Goods & Services, Investing

Author: Judith Viorst
Published: 1978
Grade Level: 1
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Lexile Measure: AD570L
Publisher: Aladdin 1987

Comprehension Questions

How much money did Alexander get last Sunday from his Grandma and Grandpa?


What could Alexander do with the money he received?

He could spend it to purchase goods and services. He also could save the dollar or give some or all of it away. When people earn money, they can spend it, save it, or give some of it away.

When people earn money through their work, what else is taken out of their pay check before they can use the money?

Taxes. Taxes are payments to the government.

What was Alexander’s main problem in the story?

He simply couldn’t keep from spending his scarce money or losing it through unwise decisions.

Give some examples of the poor decisions Alexander made that kept him from saving his money.

He bought goods such as gum and a used candle, deck of cards, and stuffed bear. He also purchased services that he later regretted, such as snake rental and magic tricks. He also tried betting and lost, and also was fined by his parents for careless, unkind remarks.

In the story Alexander said, “Saving is hard.” Why is saving hard for many people?

Saving requires the discipline to forgo current consumption in order to enjoy consumption later on. (Hopefully more consumption later on, because of the interest earned on savings.)

Where do people often save their money?

People often save at a bank or credit union, using savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, etc. People also purchase stocks and bonds with their savings in the hope of earning dividends and interest. All this is called financial investment.

Why do people save their money at a bank or credit union?

They usually earn interest on their savings deposits.

What does the bank usually do with the savings deposits?

The bank usually loans the savings deposits to other consumers or to business people. In the hope of making a profit, the bank charges a higher rate of interest than the interest rate it pays on deposits.