Thursday, June 12, 2008
Dear Old Dad
Thanks for the kind thoughts about our Wisconsin floods & the people affected. Luckily, the only place getting flooded at our place is the space around the Impossible-To-Hit-Toilet-Bowl in the downstairs bathroom. Hmmm...maybe if we SAT we'd have fewer sprinkles... Now, those poor Scouts in Iowa. Geez Louise!
Yesterday was a banner day for Mr. T. We went to the bank and opened up his first savings account with some of his birthday money. He's been asking to do this for a while and he was very pleased to get a savings book with his balance printed inside ($35!).
When I was young my father was a banker and it's no coincidence that I ate ten times my weight in Dum Dum suckers. I recall having a savings account--at age four I'd put my birthday money into it. By 5th grade half of my babysitting earnings were deposited. My dad kept the passbook in his dresser drawer and let me see it when I'd make deposits. Watching the number grow made me proud and encouraged me to save more. By high school that number grew exponentially as I took on a part time job and Dad still required saving half of my earnings for college. I was probably 14 when he handed over the passbook to me and told me it was now all my responsibility. I took out my first withdrawal in high school. I emptied the account towards the end of college to help pay for my first car loan. (A red Pontiac LeMans--hatchbacks rocked!)
Dad instilled in me an attitude of save first, spend second. He brought home complementary piggy banks from work and demonstrated how to live within a budget. I still have one of the ceramic piggy banks he gave me as a child and I vividly recall being a member of the Johnny Appleseed Club--remember when banks used characters to capture young customers? Mr. T and Mr. B received plastic purple piggy banks when Mr. T set up his account yesterday. Apparently the investment in young customers isn't what it once was. Our bank doesn't have a cool club or incentives for kids to start banking and saving. Even so, I'm glad to introduce Mr. T to banking. He's already excited to see that number in the passbook get bigger with his next deposit. He asked me how he gets the money out. I told him, "My dad said it's important to learn how to save first. We'll get to spending when you're ready just like he taught me when I needed to know." And just like my dad did, I'm keeping Mr. T's passbook in my dresser drawer until he's old enough.
I was lucky to have a dad around who taught me some of the basics about banking, saving, spending and earning. I hope to do as good a job with Team Testosterone.