I’m going to assume that most everyone that stumbles upon this page realizes that money is important. We all know it. All of us have needs that have to be met, the most basic of which are food, clothing, and shelter. It takes money to be able to meet these needs, hence the reason why we get up and go to work in the morning.
Different people come to realize the importance of money at different ages. Some realize it as children, maybe when they start earning an allowance and using their money to buy things. Some might not fully realize the importance of money until they get their first job. Others might not fully realize the importance of money until they are living on their own and responsible for themselves for the first time. And others might not realize its true importance until they have a family to provide for.
My Money Realization
I don’t know the exact age when I realized just how important money was, but I know I was somewhere between 8 and 10 years old. It was a time when my family was going through some really tough financial times. I remember my dad’s workplace was closing down (or something like that), and he was between jobs. The details might not be exactly right, since this was around 20 years ago and I was just a kid but this is how I remember it. I don’t recall my parents actually talking to us kids about what was going on, but I overheard enough to know things were bad.
I remember hearing my parents talk about how we might lose the house and live on the street. Looking back, I’m pretty sure they were exaggerating a bit. However, as an 8-year-old I seriously thought we were going to be homeless pretty soon and that I needed to pack my things. I went into my room and emptied out my box of art supplies (colored pencils, stencils, etc.) and instead packed it with socks and underwear. I remember it didn’t close very well, so I used some masking tape to hold the lid on. I emptied my backpack of my school supplies and instead packed it with some shirts and pants.
At that point, I was ready. I had everything I needed (or so I thought) to become homeless with my family. I brought my box and backpack out to the living room, and my mom asked what I was doing. I told her that I packed my bags since we were going to be homeless. She kind of smiled and reassured me that we weren’t going to be homeless. She said that while things were kind of tough right now, we would be ok. I didn’t need to worry about being homeless. I was relieved, and I went and back in my room to put my clothes away.
While I was definitely happy that we weren’t going to be homeless, I still had a newfound realization that not having a job (and as a result not having money) meant things would be really hard. I understood the importance of money. Money meant you didn’t have to worry about things like losing your house and becoming homeless.
Subsequent Money Realizations
I must say that my understanding of money has come a long way since those early childhood days. While I still know that money is important, I also know that there is a lot more to it than that. Money itself isn’t important, but the security and stability that having “enough” money provides is what’s important.
When did you first realize the importance of money?