What can we possibly learn from how we spent or saved during our youth? A lot. We can learn what we valued. We can learn if we were impulsive buyers. It may even show what kind of relationship we had with money, then and now.
Ahem, I will now share how I spent my piggy bank (I still have my wooden piggy bank shaped like a pig) and interpret how this reflects my relationship with money.
Growing up, I received a weekly allowance and got birthday and holiday money most years. I typically saved up this money to purchase my favorite toys. I collected them. I loved to play with these toys and spent many hours playing. I would save a significant amount of money, for my age, and would make a conscious decision that these toys were a worthy monetary investment for the many hours of joy they brought me. I still love to play till this day. The type of play has changed, but it’s something I still truly value. I also saved money to combine with my sister’s money to buy toys. We usually played together, and regularly played with one of my best friends. This went on for years. I liked to invest with a trusted family member or friend from a young age. It built trust and a stronger connection to this trusted person when we invested together.
When I was 13, I emptied my savings account to buy Christmas presents for anyone and everyone I wanted to. I had a blast! This was the first time I felt that rush from spending so much money at one time, from buying impulsively, but also joy from being able to show everyone my feelings for them in a way I had never been able to before. I will also admit, there was a sense of freedom, independence, and power that also came with this shopping spree.
From my first transactions with money I’ve never mourned, grieved, or regret when I spent, lost, or wasted money. Through the years I’ve learned to value and respect money from the ways that I’ve seen it affect lives, but I’m glad to say that it doesn’t have power over my joy or happiness but that I have the power to bring joy and happiness from it.
As you reminisce from your childhood here are some questions to keep in mind. Did you spend or save as a kid? Did you save out of fear? Did you spend without conscious decision to do so? Whose choice was it when you spent or saved your money? Have your money habits changed or stayed the same since then? And does it bring you joy and freedom or does it take it away? Hopefully your answers to these questions will give you some insight to the relationship you have with money, because it is a relationship, and it can be your boss running your life, or you can be the boss in charge of your money and your life.