No Saving Grace?

By: Knight Pierce Hirst

I think the Secretary of the Treasury should issue a warning that having children is hazardous to the health of parents' finances. In self defense we should teach our children about saving money as soon as they've swallowed their first penny or had their first visit from the tooth fairy.

My younger son was a fast learner. He started his own business at age seven. When his older brother had a series of temper tantrums and threw his toys into Stillings' room, Stillings sold the toys back to him. As they grew up, Stillings was there - with interest - when Pierce wanted to borrow money. When Pierce was thirteen, he wanted to impress a girl with his kite flying skills, but he didn't have a kite string. Stillings did and was willing, of course, to rent it - until four o'clock. When Pierce, who had lost his watch, asked how he was meant to know when it was four o'clock, his brother rented him his watch.

Maybe it's genetic, but my family has unique ways of saving money. When my older sister pays for something by check, she rounds up the number she subtracts from her checking account to an easily subtractable number. At the end of the month she has more in her checking account than she'd expected. However, when it's time to balance her checkbook, she must need a safety net.

My younger sister has a more redeeming way to save money. She redeems coupons. She's so good at it that customers in line behind her at the supermarket check-out lose their appetite for whatever they were going to buy when they see how much she gets for free.

Then there's my mother. When my mother didn't buy something she needed, she considered she'd saved whatever the amount was she hadn't spent; and then she could guiltlessly spend that money on something else. If she didn't buy a frying pan, she'd saved thirty dollars. If she didn't buy a stove, she'd saved a thousand dollars.

I, on the other hand - the one with the flyers in it - save money the old fashion way - on sales. Unfortunately, I don't always find what I need on sale until after I've had to buy it at full price. Nevertheless, I don't have to save as much money for a rainy day as the rest of my family does. I live in Southern California.

Money Management
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