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Did you remember?

Welcome to week 2 of our financial freedom series.

Once you have identified your money memories, it is time to acknowledge and understand their impact on how you handle your money.

Some of the other memories you need to unpack to understand your money habits are also from your childhood

  • What’s the best gift you ever received?

The best gift I received? There are two that I remember. One was Barbie dolls with their accessories from America but I don’t remember why, or who sent them, or what was in the parcel.  The second gift was a Bonus Bond certificate (like the government bonds today) but you could cash them in or win money on them. This was a Batmitzvah (similar to a confirmation) present and I can remember winning quite a large sum of money from one.  I took my family out for dinner to celebrate and put the rest away. (I think my father paid for the dinner any way).

  • Were you and your friends from the same type of financial background or did you have more, or less, money than them?

We were a middle of the road family, financially; I had friends whose families were far wealthier than mine and friends whose families were less wealthy than mine. I think we looked wealthy because of my father’s business. He often got samples of amazing toys and we also had a TV and video machine. This was when there was still only a test pattern and no shows yet. Not even the news! We were one of the first to get a computer; you stored data on a cassette tape.

  • Was your mother a stay at home mom or a working mom?

My mom was a stay at home mom, who was involved in a lot of charity work and public speaking; she was always around for school events and things. Sadly my children have not had this same privilege.

  • Were you ashamed to bring friends home due to your circumstances?

We were never ashamed to bring friends home as we had a nice house, which my parents sold after living there for 45 years, and my kids all had their birthday parties there.

  • If your school had a tuckshop, were you able to buy every day or only on special occasions?

I don’t remember if we had a tuckshop at primary school, but there was one at high school, I got to buy there a few times a week, my mom also worked in the tuckshop once a week.

  • What kind of birthday presents did you get as a child? Was it money or a gift? Sadly this is one of the things I don’t remember.
  • If you got money for any reason, a gift or a reward, were you allowed to spend it as you wanted or did you have to put the whole lot away? Once again, I have no memory of this.
  • Did you ever hear your parents fighting about money? Was money discussed openly in the house or was it a secret known only to the parents?

I don’t remember hearing my parents discuss money in front of my brother and me.

  • If you got pocket money, did you have to earn it or was a lump sum just given to you? Also a blan.
  • Did you steal from your parent’s wallets or your mother’s purse? I am sure I did, most kids do, but I don’t remember.
  • When you received your first wallet or purse was it empty or did it have a coin in it?

I think my wallet or purse may have had a coin in it as this is something I do when giving wallets as gifts. I must have learned it somewhere.

  • Did you and your family take regular vacations and what kind were they?

We had some really good vacations and my parents often had visitors from overseas, so we went to the game reserve quite often.   For my brother’s Barmitzvah (my editor = my mom says it was my Batmitzvah, I will have to verify this with my brother), we had an very special vacation taking the Blue Train to Cape Town, then catching a ship, the Achille Laura, which sank a number of years ago. Our journey ended in Durban and we flew home. Then my parents bought timeshare at the Umhlanga Sands hotel, which they still own, and we had wonderful holidays there every year.

  • What did you do want to do when you got any money?

This is an exercise I struggled with as, for some reason, I have very little recollection of my childhood, a lot of what I “remember” is from being told about it or seeing photographs. I have had to leave out the questions that I can’t remember the answers for.

Other memories you need to look at are things that happened to your ‘stuff’? Did they get broken, lost or stolen and what was done about it? Did you get yelled at, did you have to pay back either in cash or in kind (work to replace the item)?

Once you have done this exercise, re- look at the goals you set last week. Can you see a link between your goals and today’s post? Do your answers make you want to change your goals or are you happy with the ones you have?

I hope this exercise brings back good memories and helps you start to understand the way you manage your money.

Next week we will look at facing your money fears and memories and changing them.  I would love to hear from people as to what their memories were and how you think it has affected you.

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