A newspaper article on “’Centsible’ Ways to Teach Kids How to Save Money,” brought back wonderful memories of growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s, when my weekly allowance was twenty five cents. My Dad gave me two dimes and a nickel, suggesting that I put the nickel in my newly acquired Uncle Sam bank. When the total in the bank reached $10, it automatically opened!! I could not wait – not to spend it, but to put it into my savings account in a ‘real bank.’ Dad also suggested that I might put a dime in the church basket each Sunday. He emphasized that I did not have to do either of these suggestions but it might be a good thing to try.
I credit my savings penchant to my common-sense Dad, who had a two-year high school education (the norm for his era) and who had never read a parenting book in his life. Through his loving examples, we learned so many valuable life lessons.
Dad also instilled in us the value of contributing to the family. When I told my him that some of my friends received money for their good report cards, Dad’s answer was “Carole, we EXPECT you to get good grades.” Again, great common sense. Also, when asked about paying us for doing some household chores, Dad’s answer was that we were part of a family and each one contributes to its success. “Your Mom does not get paid for cooking, cleaning, and taking care of you, does she?”
Just some happy memories of family life “way back when.”
Carole Edwards, The Glebe
Editor’s note: When Carole told us this story, she also said, “I’m not rich. I’m able to live at The Glebe because I took my Dad’s lessons about saving to heart. I am grateful that he got me started saving so early in life.”