Thursday, October 13, 2011

Save, Save, Save!

Man alive, I can't believe how grocery prices are going up and up.  We use the flyer ads, especially for meat, and stock our freezer.  High-priced cuts and roasts come home with us only when they're at a good price.  Why pay more than is necessary?

A week ago, I watched an ordinary down-home guy (without a shopping cart), walk up and down the aisles, back and forth, and back again.  He had to be studying the prices.  He wasn't smiling.

Lucky for me that I attended a School of Finance with a financial analyst I affectionately called Mom.  Even when she was in her 80s, she could tell you within cents what her cart of groceries should cost.  She could add in her head like nobody else.  And, boy, if the checker would give her a way-higher price, the transaction came to a screeching halt and there was a price check.  Never was my analyst wrong. 

A metal coin bank, given to its bank customers, was my first banking institution.  Only the bank personnel could open it and transfer my pennies, nickels, and dimes into the savings account my parents had opened for me when I was born.  Save, save, save.  That was the mantra of my childhood.  My grampa was a regular patron of our town tavern, and he'd always offer to buy me a candy bar when I'd go to say hi to him. Candy?  Are you kidding?  I'd ask him for the money instead.  He'd shake his head wondering what was wrong with me, dig in his overall's pocket, and hand me a nickel.  When I got home, "kerplunk" the coin went in my bank.  I was 5 cents richer! 

Financial Analyst Mom knew what she was doing.  She could fix our family of four a meal using refrigerator left-overs that had us all smacking our lips.  Nothing went to waste.  Nothing.  She was Creative and Careful...the two Big C's to financial security.

As we get older, we turn into our parents.  Lord only knows how it happens, but it does.  I will always stop to pick up a penny, because in the back of my mind I can hear my analyst whispering, "Remember, honey, one penny is the first step to a hundred." 

The generation following mine didn't go to the School of Finance that I did.  They were fortunate to always have plenty, plus plenty more waiting in the background.  They had no reason to save or learn to do so.  The sky was blue, stayed blue, and only until now are the threatening dark clouds moving in.  Only the "lack" of something teaches us to be smart.