It started when I was six. On a weekend trip to J.C. Penney, I begged and pleaded with my parents to buy me a $5.00 stuffed bunny. They, of course, said no — it’s too expensive. If I really wanted it, they said, I could save up my allowance and come back and get it when I had enough to pay for it myself.
So I carried that little bunny around the store until I found a suitable hiding place, in the middle of a rack of pants. I wanted to make sure no one bought that precious little stuffed animal before I could come back with the money to purchase it for myself.
Over the next two weeks, I counted the days until my $5.00 savings goal would become a reality. I daydreamed about holding Puffy (yes — I named him before he was even mine) in my arms.
My weekly allowance of $2.50 would allow my to reach my savings goal of $5.00 in two weeks. An eternity to a six year-old.
When the second Friday came I could barely wait to get my $2.50 allowance. With the full $5.00 now at my disposal, I eagerly asked my mom when we could back to J.C. Penney’s and bring Puffy home.
Saturday afternoon my parents took me back to J.C. Penney. I nervously found the circular rack of pants, my heart pounding in my ears as I separated two pairs with my hands to take a peak. There he was! Puffy was still right where I hid him two weeks before, waiting for me to take him home.
Achieving that small financial goal began a lifelong — albeit sometimes unfaithful — love affair with saving money.