Sunday, January 23, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 63

Happy Birthday sweet little granddaughters 
Cassidy Grace (left) and Khloe Angelia (right)

#63 – “Put coins in a jar for your children.”
This one of one hundred things my mother taught me a million times is superficially simple but deeply complicated – at least for me. I tend to perceive my bank accounts and credit cards in a dangerously abstract way, diminishing and increasing their numbers with the speed of the Internet – reality rarely entering the equation. However, I guard a $20 bill in my purse with the ferocity of a momma bear protecting her cub.

Mom knew that when you see money going away, in a very concrete visual way, you’ll spend it less quickly, or at least think about the expenditure a little longer before emptying the “jar.” When I was a young adult carrying a checkbook, I was equally protective of the balance waving bye-bye in the right-hand column. Then banks came up with online banking, overdraft protection, and credit cards, and reality became virtual reality, and began to slowly slip down the slippery, seemingly bottomless slope.

There’s also the issue of mom not wanting me to ask her for money. Although it’s speculation on my part, it seemed as though she felt it was degrading for me to “beg,” which begs the question, why was mom so sensitive to this issue? Did she have to beg for money at some point in her life? I don’t know. Of course it could have simply been that she didn’t want me constantly harassing her for nickels and dimes (the standard child-currency of my generation).

I am absolutely positive that if I withdrew all the cash I have in banks, and put it in a home wall safe, closed all my accounts (including credit cards), and lived on a cash-only basis, at the end of the day or year I’d have a whole lot more money left over, than under my current system! So why don’t I? Because I am addicted to the drug of dreams and the illusion of possibilities. The habit of having more than I, or anyone, needs.

I am a financial child. My coins need to be in a jar.

1 comment:

  1. That's probably true. I save my change and it really adds up!
    Sweet little granddaughters!