What was your first or favorite childhood money memory?
Did it stick? Did it become a habit? Did it become the cornerstone of a foundation that led to the development of other great money habits? How has your first or favorite money memory and experience informed your money mindset and relationship with money over time?
This is Part 3 in an ongoing series. The purpose of this series is to share and talk about these experiences with one another with the objectives of building a community of advocates who expand each other’s knowledge and inspire ourselves and others to teach and talk to children about money while they are young, around ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Making it easy to talk to and teach children great money habits while they are young is a key component to Sammy Rabbit’s mission and strategy to create systemic change, giving current and future generations of children and families the knowledge, experiences and skills they need to build more financial stability, security and freedom in their lives and communities.
In Part 1 of the series, seven leaders from the personal finance and financial planning community shared their first money memories.
In Part 2, five leaders from a variety of industries shared their first money.
Today, we are sharing seven more fascinating first and favorite money memories including one that centers on Hello Kitty, another on Barbie and several on earning money as a paperboy!
We hope you find these stories entertaining, educating, and inspiring. We find them to be an excellent way to champion early age, youth and family financial literacy. We welcome you to join in the purpose filled fun. We invite you to share your story with us. Have a Sammyriffic read!
Eric Tyson | 5x Best-Selling Personal Finance Author, including Personal Finance for Dummies; Former Hourly-Based Financial Counselor
One of my favorite money memories from childhood was having had a paper route. This was of course back in the days when lots of folks got home delivery of their local newspaper. I took pride in providing good delivery. Perfection wasn’t possible – sometimes a paper got wet during a rain storm or a home got missed. But, I always made sure to get the customer a replacement paper or give them a credit. I enjoyed visiting each customer weekly to get paid – for me, that was kind of my weekly report card on how they thought I was doing. Getting paid and receiving tips for a job well done was gratifying. All of this taught me the basics of running a small business and meeting customer needs. And, I learned how to earn and save money which led to curiosity and interest to learn about investing.
Wayne Tillman | CRPC, President 2020 at Financial Planning Association (FPA) of the Triangle; Author: The Second Time is Better Than the First
My first money memory was a memory that I shared with many of my friends who were all 7 years old. Most of us had a bicycle and as a group we decided to use that bicycle to make money. We lived in a large neighborhood, and a local newspaper was searching for delivery people, so we got on our bikes and got “hired” to deliver newspapers. It actually involved asking for a loan from my parents, so I could purchase a large basket for my handlebars. I can still remember my Dad saying that I must pay him back for that loan, and the thought of not being able to pay him back kept me focused on earning money. That memory has stayed with me every time I signed a loan document in the future. Staying focused on the goal of making money to pay down debt has been a strong feeling, and one that younger people should each experience.
NOTE: Also be sure to read Wayne’s Guest Blog for Sammy Rabbit titled: Your Upbringing is Important!
Danielle Bautista | Marketing Associate at SaverLife | MA student in Diplomacy
It’s not my first money memory, but it’s certainly my favorite from when I was younger.
It was the first birthday/Christmas present I had ever bought myself and the experience taught me the value of a dollar.
When I was about 14 years old, I really wanted a new desk. The one I had in my room was a hand me down from my parents and it was falling apart. At the time I decided to start looking for a new one, I was using tape to hold the desk up… Continue reading!
Suzanne Siracuse | Financial Services Industry Executive; Former CEO & Publisher, Investment News
One of my first money memories was my Bank Book. I had received money for my Holy Communion and my dad took me to our local bank to open up an account. It was the early 70s and there was no such thing as ATMs. You had to physically go into the bank! The branch manager gave me a little book and my dad allowed me to customize it with my name, date, birthday etc. He then showed me how to make my first deposit from the checks I received and how to log my deposits. I think I had about $50. My dad then said, when you want to buy yourself something, you subtract it from your balance. He asked me what I wanted to buy. It was a new Barbie doll. We started talking about how much the Barbie would cost and how much I would have left in my bank account if I bought the Barbie doll. I actually really loved seeing the balance in my bank account. I was more excited about that than actually buying the Barbie doll. I don’t know what that means, but I think it meant I was predisposed to being conservative with my money!
Read Suzanne’s entire Childhood Money Memory interview.
Charles Adi | CFP®, Houston, Texas
My first childhood money memory was coming to the realization we did not have money. Kids are mean. I used to get made fun of for being on free lunch and receiving government assistant. This judgement translated to me never wanting to be at the check-out counter with my mom at the grocery store. I was afraid someone was going to see us using food stamps, the then “fake money.”
My favorite childhood money memory was chanting “my daddy is a millionaire” for dollars he would pin to my forehead :-). Looking back he was not a millionaire, but that is where he wanted to get. Mindset is so important!
Here are a few other people who started off in the newspaper delivery business!
Fred Claire | Author: Extra Innings; Former MLB and Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
The most important money habit I learned early in my life was the pure joy of having a job and earning my own money. Even as a youngster, I saw that earning money created opportunities to have a certain amount of freedom for things I wanted to do without asking for help from my parents.
I was blessed to grow up in a very small town (Jamestown, Ohio). With that came opportunities for making my own money in a safe environment. One of my first jobs was a paper route for the newspaper in nearby Xenia, Ohio. Doing the route and collecting the monthly fee put me in a position to enter customers’ homes. Some of these people were far less fortunate than my family. This interaction with people was a learning experience.
Timothy Law Snyder | President, Loyola Marymount University
When I was young, I had a paper route, delivering papers in a nearby neighborhood via bicycle. It was tough work. I’d pick up a heavy load of papers a couple of miles away, put them into baskets on my bike, and ride back and deliver them. In those days, you had to go door-to-door each month to “collect.” It was on you. You paid for the papers you delivered, so you had to collect from everybody to make your expected earnings.
Did you know American rapper and business entrepreneur Sean John “Puff Daddy” “P. Diddy” Combs had a paper route as a child? It is true. His story from “paper boy” to “music mogul” is chronicled in the article from Entrepreneur Magazine.
Sammy Rabbit loves championing and raising awareness on the importance of early age, youth and family financial literacy education.
One of his favorite methods to raise awareness is to share the stories of people and enterprises who want to make a difference in the lives of others!
IF you would like to be featured in this series, a Sammy Rabbit blog, his Childhood Money Memories Interview series, a Sammy Spotlight, be a Sammy Guest Blogger, contact us.
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