a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: April 2024

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Money, money, money…

SUMMARY: As a kid, allowance or wages?
Source:  A friend asked on Facebook April 24, 2024, "Does someone in your family receive an allowance? How about calling it a budget instead? (As I understand it, an allowance is granted to someone from the generosity of the person in charge. Whereas a budget is allocated to a manager to fund vital and important activities. An allowance emphasizes a hierarchy and a budget recognizes the recipient as part of the team. IMHO.)"

This was all a very long time ago. Some parts I remember clearly, some parts are a little vague. 

we siblings received allowances as kids. We were expected to do a pretty minimal amount of work around the house and yard. If we did extra – for example, mowing part of the lawn or washing the dishes – – we got a bit extra. 

We did not buy necessities out of this money; parents paid for our room and board and clothing and any school necessities. And anything for official organizations, such as Girl Scout uniforms. Or camp. Lessons for our chosen instruments. And they paid for our college education as much as they could afford. I think we paid for our own books if we wanted to buy instead of borrow from the library, so thank goodness for the scholastic book club! .25 or $.35 for a whole novel!

Our allowances were not huge. I might have been able to afford one or two comic books a week (at $.10 or $.12 each… I remember being horrified when they went to $.15 each) and maybe a candy bar or two. And, yes, we were expected to buy gifts for people that we wanted to give gifts to. thank goodness for Woolworths back in the day! 

parents helped us to open savings accounts when we first had some quantity of money for some reason (maybe a relative sent a monetary Christmas gift or we earned money babysitting or what not). probably one of our parents showed me how to manage a check register, but I honestly don't remember; I was certainly keeping my own checking account by the time I headed off to college. 

I don't particularly remember discussions about getting jobs, but it was pretty much understood that if we wanted money for more that we would have to earn it ourselves. I was a Mervyn's clerk my senior year in high school, I worked at Gemco doing Basic clerk sort of things. During the holidays my college freshman year; my junior year at college, I worked nearly full-time for the food service at the dorm. And those were all things that I pursued on my own. I think that parents were still buying my college textbooks even when I had a job (they were miserably expensive even back then). I usually tried to buy used versions of the textbooks and then sell them back at the end of the quarter if I weren't intrigued by the book itself--such as, I still have my complete works of Shakespeare from my freshman class at UCLA, and my history of the English language class book from going back to school about the time I got married.

I must confess that, as an adult, with my first "real" job and my first apartment rental and my first need to commute, I managed to find a used version of the model of car that I really wanted but didn't have quite enough to pay for it all on my own and asked parents (read: dad) For a loan--After I had already given the private party a good portion of the price of The car. Dad was not thrilled, but he gave me the loan and I paid it back on a regular basis even though it kept me to baloney sandwichesAnd cheap canned goods for probably four years.?? Things like that.

My parents were basically generous people. But my dad tried to be very cautious and rational about money. I remember – when I was an adult and fully out on my own – – being around when my parents were having a relatively calm discussion about lending my mom's sister's Husband Some money to "consolidate his debts and try to get back on his feet". My dad kept saying various forms of " we will never see that money again if we do this".And mom kept saying various forms of, "but she's my only sister and she is now disabled". They lent them the money. They never saw the money again.

I try to remember both 

I tried to remember their generosity and their caution and their love whenever questions of large money come up. I have loaned relatives money in a quantity that was not insignificant to me, but I was completely certain that I would eventually get paid back. And I was. I have not loaned relatives money if I were pretty certain that I would not get it back. At least one of my Siblings has stepped in to shoulder that responsibility [it was a complicated situation however] and has not yet been repaid yet.

So far, I have mostly done OK. I am retired, I own my own home, I have started a small Social Security Income monthly.To be seen whether I have planned sufficiently or whether I will run out of money in the next two or three years because of Profligate spending on foolish items.Not likely to happen unless there is some major disaster in my life or health. Fingers crossed.

If only I still had someone around to give me a minimal allowance for buying comic books and to pay for my necessities of life. Oh well.