Story Weekend: Money
My bookkeeper’s on her way over to help me get organized. I can’t wait (I’m being facetious). So of course I have money on the brain, bringing back memories of having no money, having little money, having what felt like lots of money and then spending it too quickly, etc. The tooth fairy, allowances (never enough!), the changing price of things. Money is such a loaded subject! What’s your money story?
If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:
▪ The story must be true.
▪ Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
▪ Avoid offensive language.
I’ll start us off with my own Money Story.
My then-husband and I were into road rallies. We didn’t understand the rules and had no idea what we were doing, but we zipped around California listening to Rod Stewart’s new song Maggie May, which played constantly on the radio of our little green Beetle. We were pretty broke, but this was affordable fun because gas was only 22 cents a gallon. Plus we received a free glass every time we filled up. Ah, the good old days of the gas wars!
Diane … I named my dog who recently passed away 🙁 after that song. It is one of my favorite Rod Stewart tunes 🙂
My sister was the frugal one; I was the spender! Our aunt would sometimes comment on how interesting it was to take us shopping. Totally oblivious, I never considered looking at a price tag while my little sis always looked for a sale. Apparently, I was not her role model!
In later years it was my pleasure to take her shopping when she came home from school however, I would never let my sister peek at the price tags. She was amused and thought I was good for the economy!
I always loved telling the story and teasing my sister about finding her at the ironing board when she was 11, carefully pressing her greenbacks. I think that says it all!
When I was about ten my family was going through a bit of a tough time making ends meet. I went to my dad to ask for a dime so I could buy some candy. He had one of those black leather fan shaped change purses that opening when you squeezed it. He reached into his pocket and said to me before he opened it ‘If I have 10 cents, you can have it’. When the purse opened like a flower in slow bloom, all that was inside was two lonely pennies. So I didn’t get my candy that day. What I did get was a lesson in life. The look of embarressment and disappointment on my father’s face still haunts me to this day. I never again asked him for money and when I finally was old enough to make some money of my own, I saw to it that he never again had to harbor that pain.
He was very frugal, my father, a pack rat, a collector of antique cars, guns, and all things toward the end. Plastic grocery bags dominated the kitchen, used coffee filters were precious commodities, not to be thrown away in his presence. And why? For what? To leave us, his progeny, money. The house, our childhood home, went into disarray from the saving. For us. He made certain that the bank held a certain sum of money to each of us upon his passing, while his home, once our childhood home, fell into a state of disrepair. My mission, now? To try to resurrect it in his honor.
A ten dollar bill has haunted me most of my life. It was an extremely cold night when I decided to stop on the way home from work to get gasoline. After the elderly attendant filled up the gas tank, washed the windows and checked the oil, I handed him a ten dollar bill and waited in my warm car for the change. I couldn’t help but notice the attendant’s shaky hands and slight limp and I could only imagine how fate had him pumping gas for a living at this late stage in his life. As he handed me my change, his huge smile enhanced his wrinkles as he told me to have a safe and wonderful night. I glanced at the change and realized that he had given me change for a twenty. I hesitated for just a minute before I told him thank you and drove off. Forty years later, I still remember his face, wonder if he had to make up for the loss, and wish I could go back in time to hand him back the extra ten.
Oh Nancy, I wish you could go back too!
Carrying packages to my car from the Mall, I caught a glimpse of someone appear from nowhere and approach me. She was dressed nicely, perfect make-up, tidy hair. She looked like any ordinary woman who had spent time at the Mall. She carefully asked me ‘do you have $5.00 I could have?’ It took me by surprise and I asked her why she would want $5.00. She looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m hungry and I’m homeless’. As I reached into my purse, I pulled out a $20.00 bill and gave it to her. She asked if she could mail me the change someday if I gave my address…I quietly said ‘no’. She turned & left saying ‘God Bless You’
Its New years eve of 2007 and we are almost broke. The money in the bank were not enough for groseries and after new year we would be tottaly broke. We could not even afford the gifts for our kids (In Greece Santa comes on NYE) I have the day off and I take my girls to sing carols at my work place. EVERYONE in the office gave them money. I asked them not to, but everyone said that noone else came to sing carols at the office or at their houses. THe kids had more than 300 euros after we left the office. I went to a toy store and bought them two of the ,very expencive and fancy baby dolls they asked from Santa. Then I went grocery shopping. At midnight they were both dancing around the Christmas tree hugging their new dolls.
What wonderful stories. I love how you all reach inside yourselves to share.
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG MY SISTER AND I RECEIVED A SMALL ALLOWANCE. SHE SAVED HERS IN DIFFERENT PIECES OF A TEA SERVICE. I SPENT MINE, BUT ALSO HAD TO PAY HER WAY TO MOVIES OR CANDY STORES ETC., WHILE HER MONEY WAS SAFELY AT HOME.