Cynthia Shields, Founder, The Parenting Training Network

Cynthia Shields, Founder The Parenting Training Network

We are pleased to have Cynthia Shields share a “Favorite” childhood money memory with us.

About Cynthia

Cynthia Shields is the founder of The Parenting Training Network in Newark, New Jersey. She has spent over 20 years helping parents teach their children about morals, discipline, self-esteem building and the importance of financial freedom.

In April 2020 she wrote and launched her first of ten books in a new series titled ‘Meet Baby Crumbles!” The series chronicles Ms. Shields memories growing up in the sixties in Harlem and her aunt’s teachings along the way.

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In Her Own Words

My first money memory is being taught how to save by my Aunt in the 60’s. I affectionally called her “Ma.” She lived in Harlem. I lived in the Bronx.

Ma would hop on a train and come to visit as often as she was able to. She’d always bring me chicken and dumplings, my favorite. And, she’d have a jar filled with shiny pennies that she saved for me.

I have to admit, at the time I only thought about spending the pennies, not saving them. I thought I was rich. All the pennies were mine!

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It wasn’t until years later, when I was all grown up, and read a book called “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” that I realized how important a penny can be. The book really got me to seriously thinking what the current value of all those pennies would be today had I chose to save them instead of spend them – from the many, many penny jars Ma brought me!

Oh, if only I would have saved just five of the 1961 pennies. I can only imagine their value today. I would be wealthy!

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I learned an important lesson. Save money, hard earned money, for the future. Do not spend everything today.

And, I also learned I needed to respect my money, including pennies. When I do, it will take care of all my needs. It will help me avoid money troubles.

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As an adult with a grown child, I talk to her about the importance of saving and money management. I am delighted to share she has picked up the lessons quite well. She has automatic accounts for savings, bills, vacations and believe it or not even stock investments.    

And that is not all. I am now saving for my unborn grandchild. Just like “Ma,” I am storing away pennies in jars for my visits with him or her. And, yes, those jars will come with chicken and dumplings!

Discover more about Cynthia Shields at

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