I became interested in money at a very young age. When I was little I remember watching my father roll coins into those stiff paper tubes. He kept his coins in an old cheese curls can and I remember how excited I would get when he pulled the can out of the closet to begin his counting process. When I was old enough to count he would let me create little piles of coins equaling fifty cents or one dollar depending on what type of coin he was rolling.
I learned quite quickly to covet the all mighty coin and my mom helped me grow quite a collection of them. My mom was one of those women who carried an extremely large purse. She had a ton of pocketbooks in her closet and every so often she’d switch from carrying one bag to carrying another. One day I helped her switch purses and realized there was a ton of lose change hanging out in the bottom of her bag. I remember counting the coins and asking her if I could keep them. Of course, without hesitation she said yes.
Even as a small child I knew I was on to something. From that point on I constantly asked my mom for the coins I found in the bottom of her purse. Of course, every week without hesitation my mom permitted me to count and keep them.
To this day my brother believes I netted quite a bit of money from those old pocketbooks. I actually have no idea how much I found, but it’s not inconceivable to think the total might have added up to a few hundred dollars.
I know my brother feels robbed, but in truth he never thought to ask for that money and if he did he would’ve spent it in a heartbeat. I on the other hand would immediately roll the coins, write the amount on the outside of the wrapper and stow them away in a hidden place where my brother couldn’t find them and ask for a loan.
My brother and I had one big difference when it came to money. He always saved with a specific goal in mind. In the beginning he wanted new toys or games, then records, cassettes or CDs. As soon as he reached the magic number for whatever an item cost he went out and spent his money.
I on the other hand saved my money with absolutely no goal in mind. The more money I found or earned the bigger I wanted the total to grow. For me the goal was simply adding more money to the pot. The larger the total became the happier it made me.
As an adult I still feel the same way. Luckily my husband and I are similar in this regard. Neither one of us has any problem putting money in the bank without knowing how it will be spent. In fact, I wonder if we would have saved as much money if we had specific goals in mind. Would we spend money faster if we already had a vision of how we wanted to spend it?
What do you think? Do you save with a specific goal in mind or do you just save for the sake of saving and do you think your overall savings is larger or smaller as a result of the way you focus on saving?
January 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM