Everybody wants cash. When we were kids, once we learned what all those shiny coins and green pieces of paper were, we always asked our parents for some and sometimes they obliged; sometimes they didn't.
The easiest to hit up were always the grandparents. They enjoyed spoiling the grandkids, knowing that they didn't have to deal with anything once they left.
My late grandfather, Herman, was especially good with taking care of my monetary and "gotta have it" needs. Whenever we visited my grandparents, at their apartment, in Brooklyn, he always took me to the local toy store, "Dealtown," and let me pick out something good.
When I was roughly thirty years old, down to my last $400 in the bank, who did I call to help me. Grandpa Herman, of course; he understood it was a gift, not a loan and. while not entirely happy about it, wrote me a check to help me out of the financial bind in which I found myself.
When I was in high school and college, I was lucky I didn't have to get a job to pay for anything. Sure, I tried the usual McDonalds job and hated every minute of it. I hated getting up at 6 am on a Sunday to go in and clean the restaurant, then work in the kitchen. I complained about that too much one Sunday morning and the job didn't last much longer. I guess the owner didn't appreciate my attitude.
One other job I remember having was at a photo store inside another store. Although I enjoyed the customers and the job, the owner was a, how can I say it nicely, moron. We came to a mutual understanding that I wouldn't work there anymore.
Since both my parents worked and made a good living, money was never really an issue in the house. If I needed some cash, I just hit up Mom or Dad. When I was in college, it was during my third and fourth years that I made some money working at WGLI-AM. It really was nice to have some of my own cash in pocket for once!
I guess what brought up all this has to deal with my own kids and their money issues. Since Melissa is too young to have a job, she gets a monthly allowance in exchange for doing certain chores around the house. What she doesn't always understand is she must do the chores correctly. If not, the must be done again. If she doesn’t do her chores, at all, money is deducted from the allowance.
Part of that allowance agreement is that a certain amount goes towards her cell phone. The rest she gets in cash. I don't really care what she spends it one, but I won't just let her spend it on crap.
Since Michelle is finally in college, she can work more hours at her job, therefore making more money. The problem with that is twofold; she spends it as soon as she gets it, and doesn't save anything.
I told her that I am going to take $20 from each check and transfer it to her other savings account, which she can’t access. That blew up this week because she spent $122 on new sneakers, food at school and had nothing left for gas. I ended up having to transfer $50 into her checking account and giving her $10 cash. I'll get the $10 back, but I don't know if she'll replace the other $50.
Her grandfather, Mort, didn't fill up her tank this week, so she was in a bit of a bind. I would have done it if not for the $600 bill we had to pay a week ago to get a new radiator and assorted pieces the Altima needed to keep running.
One day, when she's out on her own, I don't wish on her the bad luck I had, and she's down to almost nothing in her checking account. Better to learn fiscal responsibility when you're young, than to learn it when it's too late.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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