Benjamins, Benjie, Bills, Bread, Bucks, C-note, Cabbage, Clams, Coin, Dead presidents, Dough, Greenbacks, Jackson, Kiwi, Lettuce, Loot, Moolah, Sawbuck, Scratch, Singles, Smackers, Spot, Two bits or whatever you want to call it, money greases the world.
Some say we are financial illiterate?
With money anyone can purchase the needs for survival and possible posterity and without money anyone must depend on charity, illegal means, possible bankruptcy or possible suicide.
How did you learn how to handle money?
Most would aspire for the parents to teach children on the value of money with allowances in payment for chores done. Some would hope that parents would confide their efforts to provide for the family’s welfare and thus enter the child into the economic world with desire for gainful employment and a good salary.
What did our parents have for reference?
Their parents had been merchants, farmers, fishermen or lumberjacks scratching out a living without family planning education or practice. Their parents had settled the land. The land was the inheritance passed down for generations.
After the bubble burst in the 20’s, our parents were handed the depression. Suddenly barter was out the window and the federal government became the parents to help out with bread, milk and eggs.
During the war there was work but rations. After the war (to end all wars, again) tanks turned into refrigerators and new roads helped sell cars and everything looked good with easy bank credit.
My father kept (worked) the books while always working the deals, but he never taught me any of how that worked. He did show me how to get a bank account and put my weekly paycheck in a little book stamped by the teller only to immediately take it back out to purchase my desires. He never taught me about credit cards because he never had a credit card. He knew cash. He never showed me there were other means of accumulating cash, but I found out by myself.
He did teach me how to use a ledger (now an Excel spreadsheet) and keep track of all my expense and save the receipts (but he didn’t tell me the ink would fade away causing hours of frustration). He also taught me how to do my own taxes.
Now there are all sorts of financial planners and advisors present financial products, services, planning or advice related to investing, retirement, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes and more.
They will tell you how to handle money as long as they get a piece-of-the-pie. Look at any late night or weekend television for advice for how to invest or not invest, to buy or save or just stick all your cash in a pillow under the bed for a rainy day.
Money keeps you awake at night. Either figuring out new skims on how to make more or worried about the debt collectors calling, money is always on your mind. When you have enough money, you want more. When you don’t have ‘enough money’ it is an addiction to find a way out of debt. Culture always bombards images; reminders of millionaires (and now billionaires) cars and houses and boats and vacations to lust after.
Salaries are one of our biggest complaints (other than not having enough sex). Employees are given money to do a required task in a time limit. Pay scales are set (without transparency) so the water cooler talk is about ‘who is making more money than another by rumor and gossip’. Backbiting turns to distraction and productivity decline and finally union bartering and threat of strikes. If employers posted salaries to start with everyone would know where they stood and could ask what they needed to do to make more money.
Money (like sex and religion) just isn’t talked about in polite societies, except to speak of the pride our possessions, status, vacations and even children’s education can be compared against others.
I can’t tell you how to handle your sawbucks, anymore than raising your children and treating your spouse or pet.
I don’t have all the answers but if I got two nickels to rub together I feel blessed and I’ll give one who is down on their luck.