You may have been thinking back to your childhood when you read this month’s RAGE Gauge, titled “Remember When You Were A Kid and Money Was Free?” Maybe you were thinking about how much work it took to earn enough money for a movie and some ice cream on the weekend back then. Or maybe about how much more that costs now.
After reading the June RAGE Gauge, my friend John wrote to me to describe how his parents encouraged him to earn money as a child and young man, and how he passed that valuable work ethic and saver’s mentality on to his own children. He wrote:
Good morning E.J.,
Your morning letter brought back some childhood memories.
My mother was the first employer for myself, my brother and sister. It was called an allowance, and the job was household chores. The most important was making your bed. We all learned how to make our bed like a thirties RN student. She taught us how to square the sheets and tuck things so a coin would bounce on the bed. The other items included putting your clothes away and making sure your room was picked up. For that, she gave us an allowance. Although small, she would deduct from that allowance based on our performance.
As we grew a little older, those jobs changed. Brian and I would do assignments around my dad’s office and our home. A lot of our jobs were what immigrants do in our suburbs today. These jobs included taking care of the grounds around the office and our home at the lake and taking care of his car, which he used for house calls. Mary worked in the office doing little things and later seating patients and cleaning up after each. I was also paid for driving Dad on house calls as he got older. The long hours started to get to him.
Was the pay big? No, but it was enough to put gas in our Chris Craft Ranger and keep it running for our favorite pastime, water skiing.
Our chores which we got a stipend for, were the result of our Mom being Dad’s head nurse in his clinic and OB nurse, so we were taught to sort of run the house. When we were very young, she had live-in help, but when we got older, we took over all those chores, and we were paid for doing them. During the summer, our money was spent on gas for the boat which we used every night after we came home from work.
We all went to boarding school for high school, but our summers were spent working for the clinic and keeping the house in shape, for which we, in later years, received a salary rather than an allowance. We all also had outside jobs when we were in high school and college.
That said, we really had everything as kids. My wake-up call was when Marita and I opened our office. We lived on $400.00 a month when we opened our practice, and we learned to pinch pennies. It was then that we had to depend on our parents for help. Not much and not for long, but it was tight.
That said, we never had to pay a penny for our college education, and we managed to do the same for our kids, which was no small job, as there were a couple of years when we had all three kids in college at the same time. Marita came back to work with me when Sean was a senior in high school and laughs to this day that she never saw her paycheck.
Your little start of the newsletter this morning just brought back all of those memories. By the way. All good.
Have a great day.
Regards to you and your great staff.
Action Line: There’s nothing more valuable you can give your children than the ability to work hard and save ’til it hurts. They’ll never be unhappy with those gifts. Click here to be one of the first to receive notice when my RAGE Gauge is released each month.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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