Thursday, 9 May 2013
A story from my childhood, my earliest memory of saving
My earliest memory of saving was when I was roughly 7 or 8 years old. My parents took me and my sister to a shopping complex in Heathfield in Ayr, this was big news to us! We were from a very small village and didnt go outside of that area very often, so this was exciting to a 7 year old and a 5 year old. Anyway, one of the shops we went to was poundstretcher, a british budget shop. At the time I thought the place was incredible, it seemed to have everything! But whenever we went there, my sister and I always went straight to the toys aisle, and on this particular trip I saw a big box with a toy robot in it, it was about 14 inches tall, and was red and silver, very mechanical looking, with futuristic lights and sounds advertised on the box (it didnt come supplied with batteries) I saw it and I knew I had to have it! I asked my dad if I could have it, but I was told "No, but if you really want it, then you can save your pocket money and buy it for yourself"
To add a bit of backstory here (which I did not know at the time, but found out later) my parents were not all that well off. They were paying a mortgage and had two kids, my dad worked very very hard as a cemetery keeper, and my mum worked a couple of hours a day in a shop. But they never once let me and my sister think that we werent well off, we were provided for excellently with clothes when we needed them, and we were well fed and had toys which we loved, we had an extremely happy childhood, our mum and dad loved us very much (and still do) My mum and dad have long since paid off their mortgage, my dad was promoted about 15 years ago, and my mum works a few more hours, but they have saved hard and done without for themselves to get where they are, and I am extremely proud of them.
So as you can imagine, the price tag of £8.00 was a quite a lot by their standards, Im sure my dad would have liked to buy me the toy, and buy my sister one of roughly the same value too as they always kept us equal, but my dad didn't want to spoil us, or make us think that we should get a toy just because we wanted one, he wanted to give us an idea of how money works, which I am sure is an issue for every parent. I must point out that I didnt complain or beg for it, or make a fuss in the shop, I simply accepted that what my dad said went.
My pocket money was 50pence a week at that time, but I was very determined to get the robot toy, it seemed so cool that I simply had to! So I saved my 50 pence a week, not buying any comics or sweets, I even did odd jobs for my gran and family to earn a little more, and eventually I had the £8.00 together in coins. I waited till the next time we went to poundstretcher, and I took my money, I can remember lifting the robot off the shelf and taking it to the cashier with my dad, I felt so proud of myself! I got it home, put some batteries my dad had in it, and started to play with it when I very quickly realised....
It was a crap toy, im sorry to say that dear readers, but it was. I was very dissapointed (while still being proud that I had saved hard for it by myself) the lights were dull and the sound was crackly, there was virtually no articulation at the joints of the robot, so I couldn't make it fight with my action man or move it in anyway but roll it along the floor on the wheels on the bottom of its feet.
I learned two valuable lessons there, which have served me well since I was 7, and I will pass them onto you.
1- You can save for anything as long as you take enough time, and try your hardest to save for it. This goes for achieving goals too, try your hardest!
2- Be careful what you buy, research every purchase before you make it, and spend wisely!