Apr 09 2008
My views and interactions with money have varied over the years. I decided to jog my memory a bit and write down some of the key money moments of my life to see what I’ve learned so far. Since there’s a lot I want to say, I’ve broken it into two parts. Here’s the first:
Age 5 — I swallowed a nickel. And also, a penny. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought I was a piggy bank. After eating the money, I confessed to my mom, worried I was going to die.
Age 7 — Wondering why my mother wouldn’t buy me something at the store, I suggested she simply write a check for the item. She explained to me that you have to have money in the checking account before you can use a check to pay for something. Oh.
Age 10— On vacation in Disney World, my grandparents, sister, cousin and I were eating dinner at one of those nice Magic Kingdom restaurants. I saw the high prices on the menu, and started to cry. I felt so terribly guilty–why should anyone pay $30 for my dinner?
I didn’t have a sound concept of money, but I knew that was a lot for food. I was angry with my 5-year-old sister, who ordered an expensive plate of spaghetti and of course, couldn’t finish it. My grandparents assured me I could order whatever I wanted, so I did. I chose the $7 pizza appetizer for my meal.
Age 14 — I got my first “job” delivering newsletters around my apartment complex. It was hard work, and when I got my first paycheck, I was horrified at how much taxes were deducted.
Age 17— I got my first real regular job at Osco Drug during my senior year of high school. I worked hard, and my manager loved my friendly customer service and speedy checkout skills. I just figured that if I was going to be spending that much time there, I should try to have fun.
Sadly, Osco didn’t have an awesome rebate program, and my employee discount wasn’t that good. I tried to save most of my money, and used that to save for a few college expenses. I also used my income to pay for a most excellent trip to Los Angeles, where I was a contestant on the Price is Right. Also, the company awarded me with a $1,000 scholarship for school. Woo hoo!
Age 18, pre-college — I bought a computer, paying for it by a check. It felt great to make that big purchase myself! I applied for as many scholarships as I could find, and spent a lot of my summer before college working at Osco.
Overall lessons learned:
I learned first-hand that it takes a long time to save money. And, taxes will really get ya! Also, don’t eat money. :)