Monday, December 20, 2010

Sharing a lesson from my mom

Sometimes it really does pay to listen to your mom. And I mean that in the literal sense of the word, "pay".

A long time ago my mom taught me to throw change in a jar. She said, "If you want to save up for something fun to do on a rainy day, throsing it into a jar is the way to do it."

When I got a little older and was living on my own or when I was first with my ex-husband and was dirt poor, I remembered those words of wisdom.

At the end of every day we would toss our change into a jar. In a month's worth of time we could take our coins to the bank and could afford to go scuba diving. For the first few years of our marriage that was how we saved for fun, whether a dinner out, a movie, or a one-day dive trip we scrambled through that jar for our fun funds.

After a while we started adding whatever dollar bills we had at the end of the week into the fun funds. Wow! What a hugs difference. Then we could afford to order a pizza in once every two weeks or do a weekend dive trip.

To this day, thanks to my mom, I still do the "fun fund jar". And let me tell you it does add up. The best part is you don't even realize you are saving because you're not having to go to the bank every week to ensure that you are putting money aside. You are just doing it.

A few months back I took a trip to see my sister and her family and just so happened that I had packaged my fun fund up to take to the bank but never made it there. Instead, I had the money with me when I went to see my niece and nephews. Long story short, I tossed the plastic baggies with all the coins and dollar bills to my nephews and told then that if they counted it they could have it...with one caveat. They had to take their mom, dad, and sister out to dinner with part of it and then they could spend it on whatever else.

First, you have to imagine the chins dropped to their chests and their mouths catching flies. Too funny and a great precious moment. You would have thought they hit gold after they finished counting. Too funny!

This is the best part. After they realized how much cash they had in their hands they wanted to know how I saved all that. I shared with them the same wisdom my mom shared with me. . .

Find a jar, a bucket, a basket. Then sit it in the corner of a room and start emptying your pockets every evening and tossing your change inside. Put it out of your mind other than making it a routine habit.

Then when you really decide you want or need something you don't have to break your wallet open, you can turn to the jar and if the money is there, "Go for it."

I spoke with my nephews this evening and since then they have both been saving their money and it appears to be working for them.

Moms are brilliant people and it really does pay to listen. And I am so very glad that I got to pass my mom's words of wisdom on to my nephews. Maybe this little family treasure will help you in the new year to come.

Thanks Mom!!

2 comments:

Scott Romanski December 23, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

I do this. I wind up saving enough to pay for my hotel room when i go to California to visit friends.

Denise December 24, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

Scott - That's a great way to see friends. Fun!

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