Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everything I Learned, I Learned in Kindergarten...and Then Re-learned as a Mom!

Finance 201:  The other day as I was pulling out of a parking lot of a grocery store, I saw a man reach down, pick something up, study it, and put it in his pocket.  I happen to know it was a penny because I saw the same one as I was coming out of the store, but since I was pushing an overflowing cart of groceries with one hand, holding a baby on my hip with the other, and my four-year-old was balancing precariously on the end of my cart, I figured the penny would have to stay where it was.  I did note it was "heads" and silently rehearsed the little saying in my head, "Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck."  I hope that man had a very lucky day.

I remember when I was growing up, there was value in a penny.  My excitement of being able to put a penny in my piggy bank was immense. 

There was a number of things I could do with a penny.  I would save them so that I would have enough to take on our family vacations and buy my own souveneirs. 

Gumball machines actually took pennies and gave you back those brightly colored, shiny, perfectly round bubble gum balls!  I loved the suspense of waiting for the gumball and finding out which color I would actually get.

There were also penny machines that looked like gumball machines, but instead of gum, you would get those fake tatoos, or fancy rings, (not real gold or diamonds I later found out,) or rubber bouncy balls.

I would even sometimes be able to pay my younger sister to clean our room with a few pennies or buy one of her toys that I wanted.  Yes, those were the days!

As I watch my own children get excited about a mere penny, I sadly think how many they now have to save in order to buy just one gumball.  This however, doesn't seem to enter their minds, and who am I to shatter their naive financial dreams?

I am just enjoying these times when, like I did in my childhood, I can still get a room clean or the dishes put away for a few pennies.


  1. LOL! I remember when I could buy a whole bag of lollies (candy) from the fish and chip shop for 20 cents! 20 cents! Now the same bag costs something like $3.
    And paying for services rendered in pennies? Genius!

  2. I remember a gas station in the town I grew up in that sold tootsie rolls for 1 cent, (and big ones for 5 cents!) I still pick up pennies, no matter what! If I were to cross an interstate and see a penny I would absolutely have to stop and pick it up!


Thank you so much for sharing. It makes my day!

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