As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!
     

Your Earliest Money Memory ($50 Giveaway)

This article was written by in Family and Life, Giveaways. 70 comments.


Today is the first day of Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary. Every weekday this month, I will be giving away a prize to a Consumerism Commentary reader. Keep reading this article to find out how you can win a $50 gift card from Amazon.com.

Yesterday, Kate Levinson appeared as a guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, speaking about the role of emotions when dealing with personal finances. The author of Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money spoke of the importance of our earliest interactions with money. The first memory one has about money, perhaps a memory pertaining to one’s family’s interaction with finances, plays an important role in shaping the attitude towards and relationship one has with finances later in life.

I stretched my brain and I could not think of any specific formative memories that pertained directly to money. This is probably one of those aspects of my life that would only surface after multiple sessions with a psychologist. I do, however, remember that my father used to drive an old Datsun car. Having the latest and greatest car was not an option for us. As an adult, I know now that my parents did struggle with finances early on, but I never remember feeling that money caused stress at that time.

Today’s giveaway is simple. Here’s what you need to do to enter your name for a chance to win the $50 gift card:

  1. Leave a comment below before 10:00 pm Eastern Time today, May 2, 2011, with your earliest memory pertaining to money and how it might have affected your attitude towards money.

That’s it! Keep in mind that you must be eligible to win. Did you miss the deadline? If so, don’t worry; there will be more to win every weekday this month.

Update: It’s now past the deadline to enter this giveaway. Look for the next giveaway here.

Published or updated May 2, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
avatar
Points: ♦127,490
Rank: Platinum
About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

Hmmm, well like you, I do not know if I have a memory per say about money as a kid, so much as I do a reflection now as an adult. I remember that we ate a lot of 1 pot dishes that would last the week, or boxed mac n cheese. Looking back, I know that was because my parents did not have the finances to have elaborate dinners. So, we ate lots of pasta casseroles. I was not aware that we did not have much money when I was a child though. I always had what I needed, thanks to family members and lots of garage sale shopping. It’s funny how children can see things through rose tinted glasses. I am glad I did not see my parents’ financial situation as a child, I was happy regardless just being loved.

Reply to this comment

avatar Newmans

I would have to say that my earliest ‘important’ memory was an intense focus on wanting a new (waterproof) tent to use for Boy Scout trips. I worked hard with lawn mowing and even door to door sales of personalized Easter eggs. I had earned $50 after a lot of work and was able to purchase the tent. It was a proud day when i achieved the results and proved that with an appropriate goal I could achieve just about anything.

Reply to this comment

avatar Bobka ♦13 (Newbie)

As a young boy I owned one of those little cash register banks that showed your total savings when you put coins in it. Whenever i got my hands on a coin, I’d put it in the bank, which I hid behind a curtain in my parents’ bedroom. When the bank was full with ten dollars in coins, my father would help me prepare a deposit, and off to the real bank we would go to put it in my savings account. That started a passion for saving and investing that continues to this day.

Reply to this comment

avatar Ben

My parents opened a savings account for me a few weeks after I was born. Years later, when I was 6 or 7, it was one of my greatest joys earning money from chores and watching the balance accumulate (especially back then when interest bearing accounts actually made more then .5-1%). Thanks in part to my parents example and diligence, now as an adult, I still get that same rush from saving.

Reply to this comment

avatar Nate ♦247 (Cent)

I never realized how tight money was when I was a kid. I thought it was normal to drink powdered milk and frozen orange juice. Once a year we went clothes shopping for the new school year. That was it for the year. The funny thing is, I was never for want of anything. I always felt we had plenty because my parents never made us feel we didn’t. It must be ingrained in my brain somewhere because I lead a pretty simple life now.

Reply to this comment

avatar Liz

When I was little – before elementary school – my parents made a monthly-or-so ritual of wrapping up the change from the change jar. Not only did we learn how to count, sort, and organize, my sister and I learned that the little things do matter. We were always amazed at how many “dollars” could fit into the jar! By the time we were five and had savings accounts of our own, we got to keep what we wrapped. Another lesson? Hard work pays off.

Reply to this comment

avatar Mami2jcn

I remember my mother (who was a single mom of 2) buying us school clothes at a garage sale. I am very thrifty to this day because of my mother. It pains me to spend a penny over what I think something is worth.

Reply to this comment

avatar Mike Maguire

When I saved up $100 my grandfather matched it and I got a savings account. Because of that I’ve always had money in a savings account since I was 5 or 6.

Reply to this comment

avatar Andrew

My father made money a reward for good behavior. He absolutely hated child-rearing (though not his children!) and the dependency it created. He established a heavy correlation between his love and his wallet (well, and food too). We used to go to CostCo for his business needs and he would follow behind and try to negotiate certain movies or cds to add to the cart, and of course, along the way, eat all the samples. My childhood was a constant negotiation for the thing of the day.

I doubt that’s what he was going for. He found it an easy solution to keep us cooperative (four kids). I have no memory of knowing whether he was in debt, though I think looking back, he had to have fairly successful at his business so perhaps it wasn’t really that much of strain on his budget. I ought to have asked for more.

All of the kids in my family remember the day when they were no longer financially dependent on my father’s good graces. It significantly changed our relationship with him in a heartbeat.

Reply to this comment

avatar Mr. Saver

I think my earliest money memory was going to school and learning to use fake scholar dollars, which was currency used at school for prizes. I learned to save those up for bigger prizes than I did with real money. In all learning to save early really helps my early teenage years and now its helping me in college. I think though, I spend my first few scholar dollars are cookies.

Reply to this comment

avatar Kasey

My earliest memory is seeing that old school charge machine, with the carbon paper and the back and forth motion (to get the credit card impression), where they looked up your card in that thin paper book?

I remember understanding that this was a way of paying but that you would have to pay again later, and that it would suck to pay for something twice!

Reply to this comment

avatar Melissa

My Mom was a single Mom and there were 3 of us. She worked hard to take are of us but there wasn’t a lot of money. We would go to to the supermarket and pay with foodstamps. The paper kind that came in the booklet. Over half of the items in our cart would be have a white label with black writing that read “No Frills”. We had so much No Frills, if you had asked me, I would have told you that was the brand name! However, I also knew that our eating full meals was dependent on making the foodstamps last the month so it was all about careful shopping. I learned how to make food and money stretch from this.

Reply to this comment

avatar Liz

When I was little, we would get the hand-me-down cars from other family members, and my grandparents helped us buy a house with an interest-free loan. As long as I can remember, I’ve always been taught that money should be used to help people. If someone in your family is in need, it’s your duty to help out. It’s comforting to know that if I get in a tight spot, my siblings will be there to help me and vice versa.

Reply to this comment

avatar MC

Doing chores around the home so that we could earn a few dollars to go buy baseball cards with and then using a magazine to track the value of the most prized possessions and venturing into the market place to trade cards for what ones we thought would appreciate at a greater rate or to complete a set. (Still have boxes of them at home w/ my parents). To this day, that lead to one of my greatest interests, following the stats of my favorite baseball team. It’s a great hobby for a young kid and teaches you a few lessons about the marketplace (getting robbed by someone who’d been doing it for years in a trade/early valuations can be inflated). That assets can go up and down in value and sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. Oh I wish I would have thought about my house the way I thought about trading a baseball card; my house has lost value but I guess as when I was a kid, you stay in the game.:)

Reply to this comment

avatar rewards ♦31 (Newbie)

I remember doing chores for what I felt was a lousy quarter. My favorite was watering and spraying the plants with a mister bottle. Boy were those plants happy :)

Reply to this comment

avatar Sustainable PF

My earliest money memory was when I got my first allowance and I went and bought this odd little chocolate with broken pieces of nuts on the bottom. That was it – we didn’t get an big allowance.

Reply to this comment

avatar nimrodel ♦42 (Newbie)

My earliest money memory is having some money I got for my birthday, and trying to figure out what kind of toys I could buy at a toy store.

Reply to this comment

avatar Bucksome Boomer ♦236 (Cent)

My parents raised four kids on a military salary so money was tight. I remember being embarrassed at having to wear homemade clothes to school instead of store-bought.

Kids don’t like to be different.

Reply to this comment

avatar Bobby Berry

I remember storing some of our stuff at my uncle’s place because my parents declared bankruptcy and they were afraid someone would come and take stuff.

I have not always been smart with my money but I keep that in the back of my head. I don’t want to have to declare bankruptcy.

Reply to this comment

avatar Rebecca

I didn’t get an allowance, so I was the kid with the lemonade stand, etc., always trying to make a buck. To this day, I hate selling….

Reply to this comment

avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

I remember that my Mom always bought the name brand in the grocery store. Later, when I started shopping for myself, I wondered why. She finally came around to trying store brands and generics. There was definitely a “they are not as good” attitude back in the day. We now know to try things—they may not be inferior.

Reply to this comment

avatar Greg

When I was a child (5?) I remember seeing a toy ball at the store that I had to have. My mom knew that I didn’t need it, but I thought otherwise. My protests prevailed – the amazing ball was purchased and given to me. Back home I didn’t play with it long. I understood that I had argued very hard for something I didn’t need, and my parents spent money on something that I hardly used. Since then I have been wary of impulse purchases. I’m now very deliberate with my spending – sticking to a shopping list and waiting several days before pulling the trigger on big purchases.

Reply to this comment

avatar @mr_matt

I remember going to the bank with my father when I was 14 to open my first checking account. I had just gotten my first summer job, working at the snack bar, and I needed a place to deposit my checks. I still have the same checking account number today, 16 years later.

Reply to this comment

avatar Salvatore

Growing up my parents were comfortably situated in the middle class. We always had enough money, but I think my parents always carried debt. As a result, anytime they spoke about money it was as a complaint or to say that we didn’t have enough for XYZ.

Their complaints about money have translated into guilt about spending my money. I’ve been living on my own for about 10 years and I still have feelings of guilt anytime I make a large purchase on something tangible like a dresser or appliance.

Reply to this comment

avatar Barb

I got my first allowance when I was pretty little–it was a quarter. I believe I had to do chores for it. But even at the time, when I had ZERO expenses, I didn’t think it was enough.

Reply to this comment

avatar Shell

My earliest memory pertaining to money is seeing the embarrassment of my parents having to pay with food stamps because my father had been laid off his job. It affected me in ways I never thought it would. As I grew up, and to this day, I save. I would rather save and pay in cash than finance anything. I have no bills except for a mortgage and wish I didn’t even have that. I was laid off in February, and still have several months of savings before I have to worry about not money to pay the bills.

Reply to this comment

avatar AJ

I remember desperately begging my dad to buy me a cute wallet at a yard sale once. I couldn’t have been more than 5 and I’m pretty sure the wallet was $.05. The early yard sale experiences have stuck with me – I always make time to pick up pennies ;)

Reply to this comment

avatar Carson

When I was in my early teens, my parents took out a $300 bank note for me to buy a (very used) snowmobile with. I paid $35 or so per month with my earnings from working at the local hardware store until it was paid off. Going through the bank instead of just lending me the money gave me accountability to pay it off!

Reply to this comment

avatar Wayne

Earliest memory was working for my dad and getting paid and him telling me what to do with part of the money. He said portion of it should be put away automatically into savings account. Little did I know that would be important later in life (401k savings) and what the amount would be later in life.

Reply to this comment

avatar lewischolar

I recall when I first came to the United States that we would always need to stop and give coins to someone on a big stretch of road. Upon asking my family, I learned these were tolls and were unavoidable. Before long, I hatched a plan to have them in my neighborhood. I drew on a yellow sheet of paper the words “5 cents TOLL” and proceeded to stand in the middle of the street and hailed people as they passed. This was a busy Chicago street and I found it to be lucrative (int he perspective of a 6-year old)…until my uncle came over and saw me standing there with a pail of nickels in one hand and a sign in the other. He was shocked and took me inside the house to speak with my parents. I sure got in trouble that day, but I learned that if I was going to earn money, I would need to be entrepreneurial by adapting a commonly-known system and duplicating it for my use. Today, I have a full-time job, but this formative experience continues to guide me as I earn side money through tutoring and housekeeping- because every nickel counts. I still have my “5 cents TOLL” sign hanging in my office next to my MBA.

Reply to this comment

avatar Andrew

My earliest money memory would be from what I was 4 or 5 and the tooth fairy left me a shiny silver dollar. The next day I got my first piggy bank (well, technically it was an elephant shaped bank). Over the years I got to watch it slowly fill up.

Reply to this comment

avatar Denise

I remember getting a pretty blue wallet as a gift one year when I was in elementary school. I filled it up will all of my money, probably some change and a few singles, and promptly lost it at the boardwalk that afternoon. I still regret that and have paid much better attention since!

Reply to this comment

avatar Brian

My earliest money memory also involves THE CAR. Growing up we always had the inevitible used ford taurus. Never fancy always noisy. My father always responded when we complained that a car was not a investment! I swore that I would never be so boring when I grew up. FUNNY thing my wife ad 2 kids are now on our 3rd used taurus. Guess I understand now. LOL.

Reply to this comment

avatar Abby

I vividly remember counting sticky soda cans and bottles in trash cans in my family garage. With the 5 cent can and bottle redemption in Iowa, my dad made a deal with my brother and I – if we counted the cans and bottles that my family had accumulated each month and bagged them in large trash can bags for easy transport, we could split the earnings. There was also one more catch – we had to save our earnings towards a goal of something we really wanted. There would be no blowing it all at the candy store! It took me months to save up for my goal. Right before my 8th birthday, I bought my first pair of roller blades that I had been eyeing for months…and my dad surprised me with a new helmet!

Reply to this comment

avatar Cheryl

Grew up on Jersey Shore, and when I was about 7….I wasted my $1 allowance on a rubber lobster at the local store, and got an extreme lecture AND grounded for blowing my entire allowance on same! To this day, my siblings give me a hard time about it.

Reply to this comment

avatar Geoff

When waiting for the bus to go to kindergarden, my grandfather would say he thinks he see something the the grass and it was always coins. He would have me collect them until the bus arrived. He was the one seeding the yard the whole time. Didn’t really affect my attitude toward money, just an early memory.

Reply to this comment

avatar Steve

My earliest memory is moving to a house 2 or 3 times as big as the one I was born into. It’s money related because my parents’ business was the reason for the move. It was going relatively well, so they upgraded our house. Unfortunately they overleveraged to buy the house and build the business, and 5 years later it all came crashing down.

Reply to this comment

avatar 20 and Engaged

I was 5 when I got my first piggy bank. It was in the shape of a pink crayon. I filled it to the top and it was super heavy. When my mom and I went to cash it in, I had $50. I was so excited and made it a mission to keep filling it up.

Reply to this comment

avatar Echo

My mom worked at a bank for years and she brought me home a piggy bank from work that looked like an ATM, the same year that Canada introduced the loonie (one dollar coin). It had all the coin slots for pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and a slot for the loonie. Each slot would measure the exact amount you would need for one roll.

I still have this piggy bank to this day.

Reply to this comment

avatar jimmy

Growing up poor, I remember my mother constantly telling me that we didn’t have the money to buy things, especially when I asked for a toy.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jess

When I was a kid, my mother filed for bankruptcy because of too much credit card debt. She had to go to the courthouse in Freehold, and I accompanied her. I remember sitting by myself in the hallway outside of the courtroom, nicely dressed with my mother’s briefcase in my lap while she was in the ladies’ room, and thinking sheesh this must be a pretty sad sight, lol. Then later, as we left the courthouse and were walking down the block to find a bite to eat, I said something referring to the bankruptcy, and my mother panicked and told me to shush, that using that word where people can hear isn’t appropriate. (Fast forward to today, I pay off my credit card balance every month, using it just to rack up the cash back points. My mother is back to being way over head in unnecessary credit card debt. At least I was scared straight that day in court!)

Reply to this comment

avatar Nacho Mex

Best site ever!!

Reply to this comment

avatar Tom

I remember saving up my nickles and dimes, from my allowance, until I had enough to trade the coins in for a dollar. I have five years old, I think. I don’t know why it was so important to me, but it was and I kept looking at it and didn’t want to spend it, and didn’t for a long time. It seems odd, now that I’m remembering it, because I haven’t made money a priority, as an adult.

Reply to this comment

avatar Amber

I was probably around 9 and my brother 7. It was time to buy our winter coats and I distinctly remember thinking the coat I really wanted was too expensive for my family. I thought it better not to ask for said coat and instead go for a cheaper one. I even remember the coast cost about $30. I think this was one exception where I did ask for the “expensive” item I wanted. I also remember my younger brother asked for a $75 coat and also got his pick. He never seemed aware of expenses and my parents never made much of an effort to bring him into the guilt cycle.

Reply to this comment

avatar Evan

Earliest Money memory I have is asking my mom for money to buy a comic book and her not giving me enough…telling her I was going to save it and buy a different one the next day. Instead of getting a good idea response, I specifically remember her getting angry with me like she wasn’t providing enough.

Not a shrink but probably affects the way I don’t ask for money from anyone today…

Reply to this comment

avatar Bryan

I remember being very young, probably somewhere around 7 or 8, and I had a pocketful of change that I wanted to go put into the bank. I asked my grandpa if he’d take me over (he owned a business that was across the parking lot from the bank), and he asked me how much I had. I counted out two or three dollars. My grandpa told me that I should probably wait until I had ten dollars to go to the bank. We didn’t go, and I probably ended up spending that money on candy.

I think this put an idea in my mind that saving always needed to be a big endeavor. As such, there are instances when I’ve had a hard time saving or investing relatively small amounts of money, and I end up using that money on things with very diminishing returns (Magic the Gathering, anybody?). I’m getting better at it now (particularly since I can transfer as little as I want online to ING), but I have noticed that this has been a bit of a hurdle as I grow into being more responsible with my money.

As a side note, what’s kind of interesting is that my grandfather is very good with money (raised during the Depression, very frugal, runs a small, profitable business), so I’m a little surprised that he didn’t humor me and take me over. Of course, I was such a little kid, perhaps there was something else about the situation that I didn’t notice (he was busy working on something, etc).

Reply to this comment

avatar BillO

For my 10th (give or take) birthday I received this huge box as a present – it easily came up to chest height on a 10-year old. It was stuffed full of newspaper and had 20 silver dollars taped to the bottom (this was the 70s, so they weren’t really silver…). We took them to the bank and opened a savings account, and I remember being heartbroken when maybe a year later I found out that the bank wasn’t actually holding “my” silver dollars for me… I could go in and they’d give me a $20 bill, but my actual coins were long gone. I think it took me a while to trust banks after that…

Reply to this comment

avatar Kay

I remember my mom was very upset when I bought a balloon as well as the milk she’d sent me into the grocery store for. In retrospect, the $20 was probably all the money she had for a while. I’m very, very careful with my money, probably too careful sometimes, today.

Reply to this comment

avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

A few of my earliest money memories include seeing my grandma’s ‘money can’ – where she stashed her cash from running an in-home daycare (back in the days when there wasn’t licensed daycare), and how she would raid it for things like goat’s milk that her friend sold in big glass bottles. I remember being amazed at how big the wad of cash was. I was 4 or 5 years old at the time. I also remember her and my grandpa always buying me a US savings bond and giving it to me for my birthday. After I’d open the card and see what I thought was fake money, they’d take it back from me to “put into my savings account”. I never understood why someone would give someone else fake money. LOL

Later, when I was old enough to drive, my parents gave me $20 each week to cover my gas costs and lunch money. I usually had some left over at the end of the week. This was in the early 80s, believe it or not.

Reply to this comment

avatar Irulan

I remember getting a savings bond from my godfather at my first communion, and my parents having to explain to me how bonds work and that yes, I can really get more money from it than it says on the bond itself if I waited years to cash it. Then they put it away with my savings account passbook.

Reply to this comment

avatar leslie

Whenever my dad paid for something (always in cash) he would give me the change if it was <$5. I kept all this "change" in my purse and at one point had accumulated about $45. I didn't really care about spending it and just liked the idea of "collecting change."

Reply to this comment

avatar Aaron

Earliest memory was probably from grandma giving us quarters each time we visited. We knew it was gracious of her – but we also knew it wasn’t going to buy us much. Don’t if that was a positive/negative thing. :)

Reply to this comment

avatar ctreit

My earliest memory is about my mom writing down every penny she spent in a little book. I am sure it helped her control the families expenses even though I don’t remember that she actually added up our expenses or compared them to the family’s income.

Reply to this comment

avatar Jess

I remember being the supermarket when I was a kid with my mom and wondering why she wouldn’t buy the yogurt. I didn’t yet have a concept of how much something was worse, I just knew that the $1 or $1.50 or whatever the yogurt cost wasn’t much money but my mom told me it was too expensive and we couldn’t afford it and I wondered why. She told me that it was too much money for that product. My parents were always incredibly frugal when I was growing up and went without a lot and drove old, often free cars and it’s definitely impressed upon me a hesitance to spend too much money on something I don’t find worth it.

Reply to this comment

avatar JCL

I won a raffle for $100 when I was in grade school. I thought a U-HAUL truck was going to have to deliver it. When I realized it didn’t, I understood that money wasn’t as much as it seemed to be.

Reply to this comment

avatar Beth

My dad gave me a handful of change to buy some candy with. We had crossed the border into Canada. I had no idea what the coins were. At 5, I found that very intimidating. I still just shut down when I face something I’ve never seen before, money-wise.
Beth

Reply to this comment

avatar dphamm

My family was on foodstamps when I was 7. I remember going to the JJ Pepper (local convenience store in Chicago) and trying to buy a $.99 candy bar with $10 of foodstamp, expecting change back of course. However, the clerk outrightly refused to take the foodstamp because I didn’t have the book cover and I had to leave in shame and sadness.

Reply to this comment

avatar javi ♦80 (Newbie)

My first memory of money was when I was young my parents would give me their spare change. I could spend it on candy or save it in my piggy bank for something big. I would usually save it for something big.

Reply to this comment

avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

it is hard for me to pin down one memory, but i have two, which, for whatever reason, stick in my mind. the first is going to the bank and receiving some old series EE savings bonds from my grandmother. i could only have been 6 or 7, but i remember being handed those large pieces of thick colored paper with pictures of people who looked important and being entranced. my grandmother did this often when i was younger and i remember how important they were as should would always tell me they would help me in the future when i was older.

the second is admittedly pretty strange. when i was younger, i was obsessed with saving my change. i vividly remember saving every nickel i could get my hands on and putting them, all lined-up in those plastic conatiners that held all the plastic armies from the old-school risk game. i don’t why i did this, or why this has always been a memory that i held on to…

Reply to this comment

avatar Donna Korzun

My earliest memory is when I was five years old. I was in church and dad had given me a quarter to put in the offering. Well, when the basket came around I put the quarter in and took a handful out! I guessed it seemed fair to me. Needless to say, my dad became very embarrassed and pried the change out of my little hand. Everyone around us was smiling or laughing and I have a distinct memory of shame. I believe this colored my relationship to money for many years after the incident.

Reply to this comment

avatar OrchidGirl ♦16 (Newbie)

I remember sorting coupons once I was able to read the expiration date. My mom would give me her coupon wallet and I would remove all the expired ones and then sort the rest by product type. I was given a dime for doing this. It was exciting to earn some money, even if it was only change, when you are a first grader.

Reply to this comment

avatar tigernicole86 ♦55 (Newbie)

My earliest real memory about money was when my parents were arguing about bankruptcy. I was only about 5 or so and I didn’t have much of a clue of what it meant aside from it made them both upset which made me upset. Although, it didn’t help much when they clammed up when they knew I had heard. Sort of made me want to be the complete opposite being that they were never really honest about money.

Reply to this comment

avatar Debbie Chioffe ♦260 (Nickel)

My family was always short on money it seemed. It effected me to a point and maybe that is one of the reasons that I am so frugal today. It effected us in all aspects and many! I will share just one. My earliest memory is of shopping for school clothes in the Goodwill Store and the Thrift Shops. It bothered me and my sisters on many levels and it seemed to bother the other kids at school too as they never failed to make fun of us and comment on how mis-matched, outdated or ill-fitting our clothes were, in all honesty some of the clothes were down right ugly and it did not help that this was the 60s and 70s when clothes were kinda funky looking anyway! It was horrifying and humiliating. When we started buying our clothes from those stores that was when I stopped dressing like my twin sister..we just usually could not find two of the same outfit and especially the same size. This was such a small thing, I know, but as tiny little girls it meant alot to us to dress alike. Maybe it was the security, maybe the chance to feel special or that we belonged to a secret twin club, maybe because we just loved each other sooo much and wanted to share everything. I guess it was actually healthier not to dress alike, or at least that is what we heard at the time.. and later. We never dressed alike again, even when we could afford it. The exception was when we finally convinced our parents to send us to a private school ( how many kids willingly do that?! ) so that we could wear uniforms and then everyone would have the same clothes. Ours were still a bit different but we blended in, High School went much easier that way. Things shaped up later..and they are much better now!

Debbie Chioffe
dksugarpaws@yahoo.com

Reply to this comment

avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

Honestly, the earliest memories I have are not very good. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck and one OOPs and they were in trouble. I remember being told to answer the phone and tell the person on the other end that Mommy was not home. It affected me in good in bad ways. Good since it made me realize the importance of an EF fund and bad since it still makes me scared that I could end up like that.

Reply to this comment

avatar Nancy K.

I remember knowing exactly what candy and and in what combination I could buy with a quarter at the corner market. 25 cents seemed like such a lot back then.

Reply to this comment

avatar Brad

My earliest money memory was when my dad started giving me a large allowance every month ($300). The only catch was that I had to buy everything for myself. The only thing they would provide was lodging and food. Any wants had to be paid for myself. I got $150 on the 1st and 15th. This started as young as 13. I got my first “paycheck” and promptly spent all of it on clothes and shoes. Later that weekend when I was out of money, I wanted to go to the movies with some friends. My dad told me “sorry” and I had to sit at home. I quickly learned the value of saving, budgeting, and delayed gratification.

Reply to this comment

avatar One Frugal Girl

My first real money memory happened at a music store where I desperately touched the ivory keys of a beautiful piano and asked my parents to buy it for me. My parents were thrilled that I wanted to play an instrument but I clearly remember the way their faces fell as they discussed the prices with a salesmen.

At the end of the day I didn’t receive a piano and never learned to play. Instead my parents informed me that I could play trumpet. An instrument that my brother had played a few years before. I was given the hand-me-down and played for two years before deciding it wasn’t my passion.

That was the first time I realized my parents weren’t made of money and that I couldn’t receive everything my little heart desired.

Reply to this comment

avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

Good question. I guess it’s just noticing my parents always being frugal and doing stuff to save money. I think I subconsciously realized from young that you shouldn’t be wasting money.

Reply to this comment

avatar tom

Going to the store as a very little kid and wanting a $5 toy and my mom saying, $5 is a lot of money, do you really want to spend your $5 on a toy you might not end up wanting?

Reply to this comment

avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

I was 6 years old when my older brother, who was 8, sat me down to explain to me if we ate only Mallo Cups we could save up points quickly to send away for a free 48 pack box. We used money from gathering and returning bottles in the neighborhood to buy the candy in the first place. Mom never knew what we were doing.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Connect with Facebook

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: