What is your first memory of money? Do you think those early experiences affect how you feel about money today?
My first memories of money all have to do with feeling good about having money. Not spending money, but having it in my possession. Keeping money. Maybe that is why I’m such a big saver. I have always loved to save money.
I remember when I was about 3 or 4 years old and my parents were playfully teasing me about stealing all their change and putting it in my piggy bank. And I remember that too. I would go through drawers, the couch cushions, and the car looking for change for my piggy bank. Anytime I found money lying around I would stash it away.
My next memory was when I was about 12 or 13. I found my Dad’s change jar and he said I could keep the money if I rolled the change myself. I was more than happy to accept that offer. It came to about $40 and I was in heaven. My friends and I would walk down to the local Mom and Pop convenience store where $1 would buy us more candy than we could carry. That $40 lasted me all summer and it felt good to be able to buy whatever I wanted. Sometimes I would even treat! That was fun.
Shortly after that my best friend and I got a paper route together. One time the money we had collected from our customers got stolen and we didn’t have enough money to pay the weekly bill for our papers. I had $20 saved so I was able to pay the bill. I saved us with my savings. I remember that very clearly. That moment of panic about not being able to pay it, and then relief when I realized that I could use my savings.
Those are the memories that stand out to me when I think about my early history with money and I think they are pretty telling. I don’t know if memories make the personality, or the personality makes the memories. Was I just born a saver so those are the situations and memories I have created in my life? Or am I a saver because of those situations and memories? I don’t know, but either way, I think it’s interesting.
I would love to hear about your early money memories.