I’m not talking about the birthday money your grandfather gave you, or the allowance you got for taking out the trash or washing the dishes. I’m talking about money you earned from your own work and effort.
The first thing I remember buying with my own money was a metal detector when I was about 11 years old. It was a cheap little model that excelled at finding nails and other little metal objects in our yard, though it didn’t find the treasures I hoped. I can remember seeing an “incredible opportunity” in the back of one of my Superman comic books for people who were willing to sell Christmas cards and other greeting cards door to door. I was the little entrepreneur who sent off for the BIG catalogue and followed all the sales instructions. And yes, I got paid. Sometimes in cash, other times in prizes, but the company allowed you to determine which. MY first paycheck was that metal detector and it motivated me!
I can still remember the intense excitement when the UPS man drove up to our house. I knew what was in that log box and the only thing I needed at that point was 4 D-cell batteries.
The amount of commissions paid per sale wasn’t significant (as I recall it was about one dollar per box) but what it taught me was that labor meant profit and it put me in control of getting the things I wanted. I learned to ask questions of the little old ladies in the neighborhood such as, “Have you ever wished you didn’t have to go to the drugstore for a greeting card?” or “How much did you spend on Christmas cards last year? I can save you some money!”
I was a regular little salesman and I insisted on getting referrals. Looking back on it, my own social ignorance of how much of a pest I was had to have partially contributed to my success. Of course, those little old ladies were just happy that someone was visiting …
What’s the first thing you remember buying with YOUR own money? How did you earn it?
Leave your replies in the comments and yes, a jaded recollection of ancient history is allowed!
Photo by Hippycritical – thanks for the memories!