Sunday, May 17, 2015

Money Money Money Money

Payday at Nana's!
My first paid position came about when I was six years old. Every summer, my sister and I would spend two weeks down at the Jersey shore with my Nana. Nana was a total sweetheart, but rather set in her ways. Her favorite thing in the entire world was sleeping, and at six, that was my LEAST favorite thing to do. So, Nana paid Mo and myself $5 every single morning we stayed in bed until 9 AM. Great gig, huh? But at that age, money meant less than nothing to us, and it was even more uninteresting because Nana often wrote us checks! We would arrive back home in NYC, suitcases bulging with signed slips of paper with Five and 00/100 written on them. After months of inaction on our part, Nana would plaintively ask us to PLEASE cash the checks.  When we finally did, the bounty went for Archie comic books mostly, maybe a little gum.

When I was 12 and babysitting a lot, I spent every single dime I earned on the Columbia Record Club. Columbia sent you a record every month automatically, and charged you if you didn’t return it quickly. I never remembered to send the records I didn’t want back on time. As a result, my vast, expensive LP collection was filled with music I never listened to.

Things didn’t improve when I grew older and worked in restaurants. “Easy come, easy go” was the motto of me and many of my co-workers, as tips flowed to us and then, magically, away from us and towards things like after-work beers and pizzas. For Heaven’s sakes, I was 20 years old! Ever heard of a savings account, Elise? Apparently not!

When the kids were young, we had a change jar in the kitchen, (quite optimistically) labeled “London Fund,” as that was our lofty travel goal.  Alas, the jar’s proximity to the front door and our quickly exiting, hungry little students who needed cafeteria money, caused the fund to deplete to the point that we just gave up and relabeled it “Luncheon Fund.” So much for THAT plan!

What's on sale this week? Who cares!
Nowadays, although we are on a tight budget, I don’t clip coupons, and neglect to scour the sales circulars before I shop. Every time I get in line behind a dedicated couponer, I envy the low number on her receipt ( even as I am tremendously annoyed at the way she holds up the register).  Much better to zip through, paying top dollar!

It’s all about my short-sightedness, I’ve concluded. I simply fail to look ahead and plan accordingly. Oh, I’ve read the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book. I just don’t take any of it to heart. And so on I go, living paycheck to paycheck, doomed to keep working until I am at least 105. But maybe…

Maybe I’d better go on eBay and see what the market is for a mint-condition recording of “Sing Along with Mitch.” Who knows? It might be worth a fortune!

1 comment:

  1. We had that jar in my household too and the quarters were always gone!! I did my grandparents dishes for a penny a dish, a nickel a pan! God gives us what we need and then that coin jar and our wants let us continue to dream. Thanks Elise!