Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. This week Lauren is back asking us to remember what we learned about money as an adolescent. Head over to her blog to get the details, and then join in!
This week’s prompt is: Your relationship with money
My post follows.
As a young child I do not remember thinking about money very often. Most of my wants and desires consisted of things like buying a ‘pop’ (soda, coke, etc.) or an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. I had favorite things I liked to buy at our local mom and pop stores. I loved oatmeal cakes, Red Hots, Sugar Daddy’s, Mallow Cups, Bit O’Honey, Kits, BB Bats, etc. – all sugary sweet treats.
We scoured the countryside for pop bottles and returned them to the store for the 2¢ refundable deposit. We loved to buy ‘pop’ because we did not get it very often. Nehi Grape or Nehi Orange, Chocolate Soldiers (or Yoo Hoo’s), RC Cola or King Cola, and occasionally a Pepsi or a Coke. These provided us with an alternate currency. You see, ‘pop’ used to have lids lined with cork. Often under the cork were give-aways. We could often get admission to the movie theatre by saving pop bottle lids or Foremost milk circles for promotions. We would often go to the store and ask for the discarded pop lids left in the cooler where people had opened their drinks in the store.
Growing up in the country, we were never given an allowance. We all had chores. It was just considered being part of a family. We grew and harvested our own vegetables which my mother and grandmother would preserve for the winter. It seemed to me we always had an abundance of food. We were not rich by any means, but I never realized it perhaps until I started school. Other kids had more clothes, shoes, etc., but I still did not feel disadvantaged.
My father was not good with money. He always spent more than he had and this tendency remained with him his entire life. When we moved to Florida, I did not realize until years later, that my parents had declared bankruptcy. They went to Florida in pursuit of better job prospects. Before our drive from Virginia to Florida, our grandmother gave each of us money. Being the youngest of four, I got the least. Somehow we decided that at each stop, we would each take turns buying drinks for the family. Everytime it was my time to buy, I pretended to be asleep! I was determined to save my money!
When I was in high school our home was plagued with calls from bill collectors. It was a lesson I never forgot. I knew I did not want to constantly worry about money. I started babysitting at $1 an hour. Luckily I had well behaved children to care for. It was not my favorite job, but I thought it was good money! I got my first real job as a waitress at a Mr. Steak restaurant where I made 90¢ an hour plus tips. On Tuesday, I worked the register and was paid $1.35 but no tips. I saved my money and only spent it on a rare music album or a special outfit.
When I joined the Air Force, I thought I was rich! Actually, it was a good time financially. Food, housing and uniforms were provided as was medical care. All of my money was my mine to spend. I bought savings bonds to send home to my parents because I knew they were struggling. Sadly, I married twice to men who had poor relationships with money and it was not until I was on my own that my financial situation would improve.
I am still more of a saver than a spender. I have always had the tendency to spend money on other people rather than myself. I am fortunate to have all that I need and most expenditures tend to be for my grandchildren. All of our grandchildren had piggy banks and contributed change for them to save. Thankfully, all our grandchildren have had savings accounts from an early age.