Max has a ton of money (by his standards) from his birthday, but he chose to buy things he really wanted and spent that money wisely. He considered saving up to buy a big ticket item, but realized that he really wanted something in particular, so he bought it. He also went in on a deal with Ian that saved them both some money - buying in bulk will do that for you.
Ian, on the other hand, had limited funds. He was the one that initially asked to go to the mall - for Silly Bandz. He heard rumor of a store there JUST for Silly Bandz. Well, turned out that it was a kiosk not a store, but still - very cool in 7 year old terms. But Ian only had $9 or so, not really enough to get the good deal on all of the packs he wanted. So, Ian picked out the one pack that he really wanted, spent some of his money (going in with max to get a better deal) and he was set. He got the exact bands that he was looking for in the first place, so he was quite pleased with himself.
Now, Sam, well, Sam had no money. Actually, he had a little under $2. It wasn't enough to buy a pack of Silly Bandz ($2.50), not enough for the Puffle ($14.99), and certainly not enough to get the Lego Star Wars ship he really wants ($54 ish). But instead of pouting and feeling defeated, Sam soldiered on, enjoying the trip and enjoying trading Silly Bandz with his brothers. He was surprised by how much things cost, and after a quick pull aside where I explained that $2 was really NOT enough to buy anything that we were looking at today, he got it, and he moved on. He stopped looking at prices and began looking at the actual items. He stopped being frantic about not getting something, and relaxed into the trip itself. He enjoyed helping Lucy pick out some Silly Bandz, and he watched as his brothers bought theirs - not complaining once.
So, today I was once again proud of my kids, which after all these years shouldn't surprise me, but it still does. They continue to grow and learn and they are really turning into cool little men.