When I was a little girl, I was a bit obsessed with acquiring money. Most of the time I had to earn it by doing odd jobs around the house. A jaunt to the trash can with a bag of garbage earned me a quarter. Filling a five-gallon bucket of magnolia "grenades" got me a dime. Once, I scoured the roadside for bottles and cans that I could cash in for the deposit money. Of course, most of the items I gathered were plastic and therefore not subject to deposit. I didn't know that at the time, though. It's not as though I needed to buy anything in particular, but I wanted the security that a little jingle in my pocket provided.
I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning to go "yard-saling" with my mom and grandmother in Alabama. My grandmother would scan the paper and circle the sales that she planned on going to. I would put on my tattered shorts and T-shirt, in an attempt to look like a destitute child incapable of affording anything at the sale. The words of my grandfather would resonate as I approached an item for sale in the yard of some stranger, "Never pay sticker price!" The item in question was a mini-stapler complete with a refill of tiny staples. I wanted that joker so badly, but it was marked $1.00. In my most pitiful voice, I asked the lady running the sale if she would take less than a dollar. "Sure", she said, "how about 50 cents?" That sounded like a deal to me! I reached into my pocket and proudly pulled out a dollar bill and patiently waited for my change. It only occurred to me in later years what a scam I was running on this lady! I had the full amount to pay for the stapler, but those wise words of my grandfather encouraging me to get a good deal were too powerful to ignore.
I wonder, given the current state of the economy, how are folks teaching their children about money? Are parents encouraging their children to earn and save? Do children still receive an allowance? How much do children receive in allowance and what chores must children complete in order to get that money?