Learning to Budget Nickels and Dimes

girl and piggy bank

My friend Lisa from Pebbles and Piggytails is guest posting today on my blog! Be sure to check out her cute blog where she writes about finding peace in motherhood and in life. Today, Lisa is sharing a childhood story of how she learned to save money.

Here’s her story:

As a child I remember my mom often said we were middle class. As middle class we hoped to fit in with the rich while still feeling the never-ending burden of money.  But money did not determine our happiness.

Every month Mom would sit at her desk and balance the check book. I knew not to bother her during this ritual as she sat with the calculator and stack of bills. I knew it was money time. If times were good, her mood was peaceful. If times were bad, we would have Ramen again for dinner.

Mom planned monthly budgets and menus. She was a devoted stay-at-home mom.  She stretched Dad’s meager salary to provide for her six children. The lack of lucrative income did not determine our lives.  With a budget we could live comfortably, happily, and without debt. Even still, we knew the end of the month was never the time to ask for new shoes.

It was then that I learned to hold onto every nickel and dime.

Mom taught me to take of our smallest earnings.  She gave us daily jobs and paid .05 per job. I saved every nickel.

My first real job at the neighborhood fruit stand paid me $4.00/hr for stacking fruit, cashiering, and cleaning.  I carefully cashed each crisp paycheck and budgeted out every precious nickel and dime just as Mom did.

Without realizing it, learning to budget my nickels and dimes helped me to later support myself and my husband through college and beyond.

I’m still middle class, but I’m happy here. I know how to deal with it. And I smile every time I see my own children carefully cradle their nickels and dimes in their little hands, and silently thank Mom for balancing her checkbook every month.

Lisa believes in making each day meaningful. She runs a website called Pebbles and Piggytails and it’s about inspiring mothers through hard parenting moments. Motherhood is not about perfection – it’s about surviving (with a smile). She was hit by an intoxicated driver when she was six months pregnant.  Because she lived through it, she believes in making the most of each day. Her blog is full of ways to enjoy children, safety ideas, tips, recipes, crafts, funny parenting stories, and the lessons she’s learned.

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