There may have been many lessons that my parents taught me as I grew up, but there was one lesson that has stuck with me since I was little. I am a video game buff. I enjoy video games and still play them to this day (Xbox 360 baby). I am not addicted to them and don’t sit in front of the television all day playing video games in my underwear (I always keep pants on when around the house). I am not a big fan of video games that include social networking or multi-player action. I have never really enjoyed those ever since they came out, so I don’t purchase them. I like to work on single player/co-op games that are local with friends, but that is just my preference.
My parents bought my siblings and myself the original Nintendo when we were young. We all loved that gaming system, especially the hot game of Duck Hunt! I know you have either played it or heard of it. Duck Hunt was awesome and I am not afraid to admit it. We all played that gaming system each and every day. Our friends wanted to play it and we would happily oblige. We thought we were the talk of the neighborhood because he had the latest and greatest. That was until the Super Nintendo (Super NES) came out.
Ever changing technology
If you have played video games or purchasing gaming systems for your kids, then you know that gaming technology changes quite quickly. You think you are running the latest and greatest and then another console manufacturer comes out with something new. It is hard to keep up, especially with the price tag on gaming consoles and the accompanying games. Once we knew that the Super NES was out on the market, we just had to have it. I mean, we were jumping from an 8-bit system to a 16-bit system. Can you believe the power? Well, can you?
The Power of No!
As an eight year old child when the Super NES came out, the easiest way to get that beautiful piece of technology was to ask our parents for it. We begged and pleaded them each and every day for that game console. We figured that it would be easier to ask for it as a Christmas gift for all of us, but our parents never budged. They would always answer us with No! Why is it so easy for them to deny us the greatest gifts? Can they just not open their wallets and fill our hearts with endless enjoyment? I mean, really, it is that hard?
I continued to pester my mother and father a few times per week about this new Super NES system, but they were holding strong. My greatest weapon at the time was pushing them to their breaking point, or so I thought. I have never seen them hold so strong about something that we all wanted. I didn’t know what was going on or what to do.
I feel a lesson brewing
After days and weeks of pestering, my parents decided to give in, or did they? My parents finally decided to discuss the possibility of getting the Super NES. I was so excited that we might be able to jump in the car and go to the store to pick up that sweet piece of technological power. Well, not so fast. My parents decided to use this situation to teach an important lesson. They decided that if I wanted this system so bad (I was the only one that was still fighting for the system), then I should have to purchase it myself. Wait? WHAT?
I was going on nine years old and my parents thought it would be a good idea to figure out how to purchase the system myself. Back then, those systems were like a million dollars. How was I going to earn that much?
Along with putting together the idea of me earning the system, they decided to allow me to work more around the house in order to earn the money. I could pick up more chores and do things to help out. I am sure that my parents loved this because they wouldn’t have to do some of the cleaning. What a great idea parents, you don’t look as clueless as a child might think.
Thanks Mom and Dad
I am not sure if I ever thanked my parents for this little life lesson. I had never been responsible for earning the money necessary to purchase what I wanted. Not only earning the money, but working hard for it (by nine year old standards). I worked around the house and helped my parents with errands for quite some time. It took many, many months to earn the money necessary to purchase a new Super NES. There was no better feeling than getting in the car and my parents driving me to the store to pick out my very own Super NES. When we got to the cash register, I got to pay the cashier with cash, cold hard cash. There was no better feeling.
When I opened that new game console, I probably had the biggest smile on my face. I earned that system. I really worked hard and saved for that system. I resisted temptation from the candy store and the ice cream man to reach my dream. My parents had taught me one of the best money lessons and that is to work hard for what you want and save for what you wish to purchase. This simple lesson molded my young mind to always work hard for everything that I want. I don’t expect things from anyone, I earn them. This is an important lesson that I want to teach my son. Thanks Mom and Dad!
So, what is your greatest childhood money lesson? I want to hear what you have to say below.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net