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Thread: Early money memories

  1. #1

    Default Early money memories

    I am finally reading 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman. Wow- I can't believe how much I am learning!
    One of the first steps is to delve into your childhood experiences with money and see how these experiences have shaped your current financial habits, opinions and practices. Then supposedly you can begin to let go of your fears about money. Sometimes people remember breaking something of value and being scolded, having to give up favorite activities due to parental poverty, or even trying to hide or downplay their parents' wealth.

    It took me a few days, but I woke up this morning remembering how my mother used to deny me spending money (allowance she had promised me until she saw how I was spending it) because she knew I would buy candy and makeup with it (things she despised being somewhat of a hippy). She wanted to control how I spent everything and if I wanted something she didn't like, I never got it. Sometimes she would even take my purchases away or throw them out. When I was 10, I decided to shoplift with a friend one day and got caught (and have never stolen anything since!). So I think that when I got older, I started spending money on the things I wasn't "supposed to" have. As soon as I got money, I would "get rid of it", possibly out of fear that I would be told how to spend it! I feel so much better for having realized this about myself. Now I think I can start to grow and move past my immature fears.

    If you think about it really hard and go back to your childhood money memories, what do you remember? What message were you given about money? How do you think these incidents and messages have shaped how you perceive money today? I think this is a great exercise for everyone to do, whether you are rich, poor or in between.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Early money memories

    There was never enough of it.

    There is still never enough of it.

    I think it'll always be that way for me.

  3. #3
    God/dess Lena's Avatar
    Jun 2002
    On a sweet muddy river.
    Thanked 77 Times in 42 Posts

    Default Re: Early money memories

    I grew up on a trapline. We went to town once a year for rice, beans, powdered eggs and milk. Money was pictures in a workbook for school.

    When we moved to town we had to buy a car, and we went to look at this car that was a piece of shit. My mom was like, "we can't buy this car, it's a piece of shit," and my dad was like, "but he's a nice guy and we can't waste his time, we hafta buy the car." They bought the car. It was a piece of shit.

    The first time I bought something I had no idea what was going on. I'd never really paid attention to money, and my mom took me to a yardsale and said I had an allowance and to pick something I wanted for fifty cents. I found a monkey and she told the woman at the yardsale that it was my first purchase and she got all excited.

    My dad always said if you didn't work, you didn't need money, and we laughed and made fun of "stupid rich people" who paid for crazy things, like running water and new cars and expensive food. I could spout off Thoreau quotes about quiet desperation and slaving your life away and I really thought we were better than "rich" people.

    (I guess the last one influenced me the most. I mean, I went and became the "rich" people and had running water and worked all the time and went to school, but that didn't make me happy. So I ditched the lifestyle but kept making $$$).

  4. #4
    Banned Melonie's Avatar
    Jul 2002
    way south of the border
    Thanked 10,566 Times in 4,646 Posts
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    Default Re: Early money memories

    keeping in mind that I didn't start dancing until after age 30 ...

    - I grew up with five brothers and sisters, thus my parents never had an extra dollar to spend despite the fact that my mother and father both worked lots of hours every week.

    - all of my early 'unskilled' jobs involved a whole lot of work for very little take home pay (barmaid, cleaning houses, other close to min wage jobs)

    - spending any amount of money on anything 'discretionary' usually meant that I wasn't sure where next week's groceries were going to come from

    - juggling bill collectors became an artform

    - saving money (which I did, for college tuition) involved a real sacrifice to set just $20 a week aside

    Even after I got my degree and started earning decent money as a Respiratory Therapist, and especially after I discovered the 'gold mine' of exotic dancing, this background caused me to remain a 'penny pincher'. Echoing Lena's point, arguably the only way that you can truly appreciate the value of money is by actually living without enough money to go around for a while.

    As a side comment, many of today's new dancers who come from middle class backgrounds come into the exotic dancing business without ever having been hungry or cold or having to 'go without' something once in their entire lives. They also have never had to work for minimum wage. As such, they have little real appreciation for the comparatively very high earnings potential that exotic dancing can provide compared to 'real world' opportunities re unskilled jobs.

    Perhaps more importantly, they take for granted that tomorrow's dancing earnings potential will continue to be as good as (or better than) it is today, thus they feel no pressing need to limit their spending or to establish a pattern of saving / investing for their future. IMHO this pattern falls somewhere between being foolish and dangerous given today's economic and political climate. Escalating customer mortgage payments / energy bills, or massive layoffs in a key local industry, or the passage of a new anti-dance club ordinance, or an influx of new dancers who are willing to do whatever is necessary in order to earn big money, could devastate existing dancer earnings potential in short order !

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