Intro- How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars As An 11 Year Old Kid
I’d like to share with you how I saved hundreds of dollars as an 11 year old kid. As an adult who grew up in an expensive city like NY hundreds of dollars seems like nothing today. Most New Yorkers spend that amount of cash on monthly train fare alone. But place a few hundred bucks in the hands of any child and they’ll quickly be on cloud nine. When I was a pre-teen nothing brought more gratification to me than accumulating resources. The concept of having a wallet full of money made me feel autonomous and independent. Every kid I knew had toys, but most did not even have a dime in their pocket. Right around my 11th birthday I only had 7 dollars in my piggy bank. Within a year I saved a good chunk of cash from allowance and money that family and friends gave me.
How I Started Saving
1. I learned from the unfortunate experiences of others
Growing up I saw the negative consequences of people who somehow ended up broke. Many panhandlers on the NYC subway wasted their money on their addiction and were homeless. I knew a man whose family had to go on government assistance because he’d spend his entire check on gambling. The greatest financial lesson that I learned as a child was from my parents. Even though we were middle class, one day there was just no money to spend. My mom took me to a mall and showed me that with no money there was no way of buying anything. It opened up my eyes because prior to this I never had to worry about not having anything. From that day on I did not want to find myself in a situation of great financial desperation. I recognized that being broke was one of the worst feelings any child could experience.
2. I prioritized
I did not put great value in what many other kids my age placed significance in. Most of my classmates heavily treasured the typical things that children cherish such as toys, candy, video games and sneakers. Although I enjoyed having these luxuries I did not look forward to accumulating them. In fact I had a couple of friends who despite having an abundance of these things were living in extreme poverty. I was aware that having a Nintendo or a pair of $160 dollar Nikes did not mean you were rich. On the other hand, I knew about the long term benefits of saving money. A friend of ours bought a home before the age of 30 as a result of good stewardship. I considered myself a normal child, but I had the ambition of someone who wanted to move up the social ladder.
3. I created a plan
I came to the conclusion that the only way I could get somewhere in life was to save. Did not want to throw my money on things that I felt were non essential to me. I also was not going to wait until I finished college in order to have finances. Our educational system did not guarantee that we would have financial stability from obtaining a university degree. And regardless of what college could potentially do for me, it would be another decade until I’d enroll in one. My plan was to save as much money possible until I reached adulthood. Any allowances, financial gifts, birthday and Christmas money would be put away as savings. Unless someone close was in a life threatening situation I made a rule that I would not lend to people. I also promised not to spend on something even if I really desired it.
4. I started saving
Even though I only had a mere $7 dollars at the time I started saving it was better than nothing. From that small sum of money I began to add more to it whenever possible. In the first month I went from having $7 USD to $27 USD. It was not that great of an increase, but it was the most money I ever accumulated until this point. I began this process in early October and by the end of December I had about $100 dollars in my savings. In the span of 6 months I was close to $200 dollars and was still not satisfied. I wanted to set a new milestone for every opportunity that I received. By my 12th birthday I had reached the $400 USD plateau. It was a great accomplishment for me because I did not believe I’d be disciplined enough to get this far.
5. I reaped the reward
There were a couple of benefits to this entire process of saving hundreds of dollars. Firstly, it taught me a great deal of responsibility. Before the time I started saving I was not very reliable in anything. Household chores, school work, and behavior were a few of the things that I struggled with as a kid. But as I began to save I was able to excel in these other areas. Secondly, I had a good sum of money that I could use in the future for an important cause. Let’s say I wanted to start a business later on in life; I would not have to start from zero. Or if I desired to invest in stocks as an adult; I’d have some capital to do so. At this stage I did not have to worry about being broke in the near future.
I hope that you followed me through on how I saved hundreds of dollars as an 11 year old kid. The purpose why I wrote this article was to benefit others. If you have children I’d like to mention that it is very possible for them to use their money wisely. I think teaching kids about finances very early is one of the best pieces of education they can receive. Society places a lot of emphasis on success, but does very little to teach you how to obtain it. As I’ve mentioned in Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School I believe that a class on finances should be mandatory in every school curriculum. No person should have to wait until adulthood to learn how to manage their money. A lot more people would be less in debt if they were properly educated.
Thank you for reading this article regarding how I saved hundreds of dollars as an 11 year old kid. If you’d like to add anything please comment below.