It may not have been her plan, in fact I am sure it wasn’t, but there was one thing my mum did that taught me a lot about money. I think it may have also helped my maths and my mum’s sanity.
I was one of four kids and we were a little competitive with each other, alright… a LOT competitive with each other. So as I am sure you could image food shopping would have been a nightmare for my mum.
On top of that after she finished the shopping, it was a forty five minute drive from the shops home, in a car with us four rowdy kids.
However my mum had a strategy; I’m sure it was more about keeping us out of her hair while she was shopping and quiet on the way home in the car, but it taught me so much about money.
At the start of the shop, she told us we could spend one dollar on whatever we wanted.
I would like to note that this was twenty five to thirty years ago, so you could buy a lot more for a dollar then than you can now.
For the hour or so it took my mum to do her weekly food shop, us four kids would go from the soft drink aisle to the chip aisle to the lolly aisle and back around again trying to work out what we could get for our dollar.
Generally we would buy the same thing each week, but we didn’t rest on our laurels. We would go and check it all out, you know, just in case there were specials or the prices changed.
We would look at quality, compared to quantity, compared to price. If we got that drink, we could get those chips or that chocolate. Or do you get a bigger bag of chips and go without a drink. So many big decisions for a kid.
However it did teach me how to spend my money, hopefully wisely. How to get the most for my dollar, what is important. When is quantity more important than quality and vice versa.
Looking at the price and deciding if an item represented value.
This has then translated and impacted so many of my spending decisions later on in life.
All of this for a dollar a week and I am sure a bit of peace for my mum.
What did your mum do to teach you about money? Please share in the comments below.