by Bob Stewart
My 1st essay in college. Graded A-, I made the punct. corrections. Topic was assigned.
|Robert G Stewart Money in My Life
One thing has dictated what I do in my life. One thing has dictated what I do not do in my life. It does not matter if I want to avoid or participate in something, there is a prevailing force I must deal with. That force is money.
I was born into this world poor. As the first born son of two first generation Americans, I guess tough times should be expected. During my first year, we endured several weeks without paychecks. Diapers, formula, and that pesky mortgage bill required money, money my parents did not have.
My father made the decision to become a policeman around the time of my second birthday. One of my earliest memories of my dad is seeing him off to work and asking him “Dad, what do you do at work?” His reply was probably well thought out in terms of not scaring a three year old, he said “I make money.” My young mind processed that to quite literally mean that policemen went to work and created the green paper and silver coins I knew as money. Whatever he did, this gainful employment allowed my parents the option of moving the expanding family to a better neighborhood. We weren’t heading to easy street, but we were moving away from the poor house.
The new house needed money too. We were good for a while until my parents were divorced. At that point Mom had to go find a job and “make money.” After a while Mom decided to go to college. I, being the oldest, had to work during high school to pay the bills. Pretty soon though, Mom was making money, and I could spend mine! The lack of saved money prevented me from going to college however, so I went into a building trades union apprenticeship. Now I would have plenty of money for everything.
Despite my inexperience, I found that I was excellent at spending money. It didn’t even matter to me whether I had actually made the money I was spending. I could just charge it and pay the bill when I did make that money. I traveled the world, bought fast cars, ate out at fancy restaurants, and I did whatever I wanted. I do not regret all the things I did, some of the experiences shaped who I am today, but a little discretion would have been nice.
A sudden change in employment and a wonderful, fiscally conservative woman, who became my wife, changed all that. I have learned the ways of saving. I resist the urge to impulse buy. Happily, with her guidance, I am no longer in debt.
Money still dictates most things however. I want to take the family to Disney every year, but we settle for short trips to the shore instead. A new car would be more reliable and fun, but the old one does just fine with a little money put into it. The best thing that has come from my new knowledge is my little boy doesn’t get everything he wants. He gets money put into his savings. Maybe money won’t dictate his life as much as it did mine.