Many people are educated from an early age about how to handle money. My father never broached the subject and my mom only taught me a little about the value of a dollar. As a result, I had to learn a lot of things on my own, with more than a few bumps along the way.
Some things I learned pretty quickly, while others took a little longer to sink in. I still remember the first time I learned about money and saving in a bank.
When I was child, I always had a little bit of pocket money from birthdays and other holidays. It was never very much, but at least a couple hundred dollars. My mom figured it was time to give her daughter at least some idea of how to manage money, so she took me to our local grocery store with a bank inside.
She helped me open a little bank account of my own (an extension of hers, since I was too young to open my own account). I was only 11 years old at the time.
I remember the bank lady smiling when she gave me my packet of account information. The papers had cute little dinosaurs on them, and I even got my own checkbook. She also gave me a booklet that explained to me how money in the bank earned interest. It was so exciting to have those documents because it made me feel like an adult. It gave me an incentive to save and put away as much as possible. It was a really great feeling.
I immediately put away my little bit of savings into the account. The bank lady took some time to explain how if I invested some money, the bank would pay a little bit of cash just to hold my money for me. At the time, I had no idea that this was possible, and you can imagine how excited this made a little kid with no idea about money. It was then that I realized how important it was to always have some savings in the bank. It protects you from life’s disasters.
This was the starting point for me to realize what money was and how to store it. This helped me have a better understanding of what to do with it and why. I can’t say my relationship with money has always been great, as evidenced by my financial story, but this gave me a good foundation. It definitely helped me open my eyes to the value of money.