How Did You Learn About Money?

Most people have a distinct memory when they learned about money. Mine was when I was eight years old and wanted a tent. My Mom took me to Kmart to look at the selection. I found an awesome six person tent that I had to have. The only problem was it cost $100. (Side story, I have a vivid memory of learning about taxes too. I saved up all of my Christmas money for a Nintendo NES. Back then it cost $99.99. I saved up $100 and had my parent’s OK to buy it. Then they asked me about the 6% sales tax. I needed another $6! I thought it was outrageous that I had to spend $6 extra for my Nintendo.) Back to my tent story, my Mom wasn’t buying me the tent. I needed to buy it myself. But she did offer to put it on layaway.

The idea was that I would do my weekly chores and when I got paid, she would take me Kmart to make a payment on the tent. The first week I earned $10. With the $20 that was put down to hold the tent on layaway, I needed another $70. At $10 per week, it was going to take me all summer to earn that tent! By the time I got it, summer would be over and I wouldn’t be able to use it.

So I ended up doing some extra chores the following week and earned $15. This continued for the next few weeks until I earned enough to pay for my tent. I still remember the smell of the tent and laying in it on summer afternoons creating comic books with my friend.

Learn about money

Not the actual tent, but a pretty cool one nonetheless -Corey

I consider myself lucky in that I had a foundation for personal finance when I was young. Sadly, most others do not. We learn our bad money habits from our parents and continue with them simply because we don’t know any better. If you are one who was not taught good personal finance skills, it is never too late to learn. You can become a better money manager and be able to afford the things you desire, be it a vacation, a house or retirement without unnecessary stress.

Going back to my Nintendo story, that money experience also had a profound effect on me. I can remember handing the cashier my $106 and getting a penny back. I think I realized more that $100 was a lot of money then as opposed to the tent. With the tent, it was $20 here, then $15. By making it a smaller amount, it didn’t seem so big. But handing over the $106 did seem like a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing that Nintendo and blowing into it and the cartridges trying to get it to work. In fact, I’d love to get my hands on one again!

I urge you to learn all you can about personal finance. You will be better equipped to save money and make smart money decisions that will benefit you both now and in the years to come.

I’m interested to hear how you learned about money. Looking back, do you realize anything now that you didn’t then?

14 Responses to How Did You Learn About Money?

  1. My first lesson on money came when I was about 3 years old. My great-uncle owned a little farm stand/ convienience store and whenever we stopped by, I was allowed to have a candy bar. One day at the grocery store, I grabbed a candybar as we were walking out the door, because whenever we went to the store, I always got a candybar!

    So to explain to me that things have to be purchased, my great uncle would give me money from the register so I could buy a candybar from him at his store.

  2. I learnt about money from my father and then by practice. It is one area that is important to understand. Money is not everything and you don’t need infinite amounts of it but making sense of what you have and how to spend it wisely will make it a lot easier for you.

  3. I actually have a post on my blog about this called How I Became A Saver. Basically my first experience was saving money in a local credit union and getting little prizes for doing so.

  4. When I was in elementary school we had a local bank come in and set up once a week for students to deposit money. They did it so we saw both sides of things. We saw the saving side and also how the bank works. With supervision from bank employees we were actually the tellers. There were 4 or 5 people who did it each week.

  5. The first lesson I remember was when I was 4 or 5 and got $10 from my grandparents as a gift. I remember thinking that I could just getting anything I wanted…which ended up being taking the family out for ice cream. Now that I am a parent, I see it as a responsibility to help give our kids a good financial education as I did not receive that as a child. I also think that’s missing in our educational system, which is why I take it more seriously.

  6. AverageJoe says:

    Great story….especially about blowing on your cartridges to make them work! Funny. We beat the hell out of our Techmo football game.

  7. i don’t think i REALLY learned about money until I was 16 and got my first job, making pizzas. it was hard work, and i quickly realized that the more time that i put it in, the more and better thigns that i could purchase..

  8. I don’t know the exact age but maybe 7 or 8. All my friends got allowances but my parents said they wouldn’t give me and my sisters one. Basically they said if we really needed anything they would get it for us but all our frivolous wants like toys and candy we could buy with our saved up Christmas and birthday money. Which may explain why I am obsessed with saving (or hoarding) money now as an adult lol.

  9. Watching my parents shave pennies off every expense while I grew up was one lesson.

    Getting money (via weekly allowance, rewards for good grades and selling fruit from the backyard) was the best. Kids need to be able to earn and manage their own money and make all of those mistakes before they become too costly!

  10. I think it usually involves some kind of reward program, as that seems to be the most motivating thing to teach kids about money. For me, I got an allowance, so didn’t really learn about saving money until I got a job. I would save my cash in a small chest I had in my room, until I had $1,600 and went to buy my first car. That was a great experience for me, as it showed me the rewards of long-term savings, instead of just blowing my money on whatever I felt like that week.

  11. My first lesson on money was playing the game monopoly!

  12. Dylann Andre says:

    Nice blog! When I was young, I usually do chores for my parents and ask them to pay me. I saved up all the money and gave it to them when they needed it. I don’t regret asking for money because basically I was like saving up or keeping money for them.

  13. I feel ya there corey,

    I remember taking a finance class in high school that taught me how to balance a checkbook, how to write a check and just some other basics of budgeting my income.

    I don’t remember the exact trigger for me, but I have always been pretty careful with my money. It might have been the fact that i started making my own money when I was 14 holding signs for new track homes.

    Despite my knowledge of my finances I still managed to make lots of mistakes which have lead me to be in debt. I am now currently working on getting myself out!

  14. Mike says:

    One of my best and earliest experiences with business and money was working as a paperboy after school. Wouldnt trade that experience for anything.

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