Money To Live

September 17, 2009

Childhood lessons about money

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 1:20 am

Not infrequently, I read something about teaching money skills to kids. Since I do not have kids, I understand that some people may think I have no authority to talk on the subject. Having once been a kid, though, I can talk about my experiences learning about personal finances.

I have two distinct memories of when I learned something about money from my mom.

Back in the ’80s, my elementary school offered “spirit sweatshirts” for the price of $20. I came home and asked my mom for $20. She pulled out her check book and wrote a check for $100. She gave me the check and a note to my teacher saying something like this: “I’d like to buy one sweatshirt for Katy and four sweatshirts for other children in the school whose families cannot afford to buy them.”

I was so proud when I took the check and note into school the next day. It’s funny – I have no memory of the sweatshirt itself, only the act of charity I saw.

In the ’90s, my mom came into an inheritance and invested it in the stock market. I remember her reading the Wall Street Journal. She showed me how to read the opening and closing prices of stocks. I’m really glad she did that because otherwise, I might not know that once upon a time Yahoo! did not provide data on stock prices, and this information had to be found in a newspaper.

For a few days, I felt very important looking up quotes of my favorite companies in the WSJ.

In a recent conversation with my parents, I remembered a time when my dad scared me to death because of money. I had played Solitaire on the computer and “lost” a lot of money. I asked my dad if I would have to pay the money (several thousands of dollars), and he said “yes.” I was very sad and talked to my mom, who explained the situation to me. Maybe that’s why I don’t like gambling.

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1 Comment »

  1. I remember acting as a “broker” in a middle-school stock trading simulation. I wish I had come up with something like Madoff at the time. It would have been funny, smart, and not hurt anyone. 🙂

    Comment by Andrew M — September 17, 2009 @ 4:51 am |Reply


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