When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother telling me that she’d often find a twenty-dollar bill in a coat or purse she hadn’t used for a while. I was absolutely amazed to think anyone could have so much money that she could lose track of twenty-dollar bills! The truth is my grandmother wasn’t wealthy, she was just very good with money. She didn’t spend it frivolously; she kept track of household expenses on paper; and she firmly believed in saving some amount – no matter how small – every week.
“Even if it’s only a dollar”, she’d say. I can still hear her words.
As a pre-teen, I opened a small bank account with my babysitting money. This absolutely delighted my grandmother. With a twinkle in her eye, she’d periodically enquire as to how much I had in my account.
Every Tuesday, she took a bus across town to visit us. After each visit, as she’d be getting ready to leave, she’d take out her purse and count out the coins needed for her bus fare home. It was then that she’d give me and my siblings a bit of spending money – a ritual we always anticipated with glee! As she handed it to us, she’d ask: “Will you save this?”
Of course, we couldn’t always answer with a definite “yes”. Sometimes, candy or a comic book was awfully tempting, and she understood that, too!
These days, savings accounts don’t pay anything close to what they used to then, and it must be a lot harder to convince a kid that his allowance will grow with interest. But the principle of saving “something – no matter how small – every week” is certainly timeless.
I have a feeling my grandmother is smiling down on me as I type. . . she’s nodding in agreement. . . and, of course, she has that twinkle in her eye!