First bank account. Money and me: 8-12

Posted on: 12 November 2008

postbankleeuw As soon as I could, my mom took me to open my own bank account. I remember initial excitement at using all those real adult forms. Also some disappointment when she explained how there would only be as much money in the account as I put in. No magic there. The initial excitement returned when my brother explained the idea of interest to me – but when he’d calculated the amount of ‘free money’ that added up to – in my case, I distinctly remember a figure of 3 cents a year – the disappointment returned.

Still, I put as much of my allowance (een “kwartje” a week, equivalent of 10 eurocents) as I could manage not to spend on sweets (two smilies and a small licorice and gone was the weeks’ worth) into the saving account. I remember the nervousness of effecting a withdrawal – did I fill out the form correctly? Will she trust it is really me who set the signature? Will real money issue forth when I give her that peace of paper and that bit of plastic? Holding on tightly to the precious bankcard, sweaty palms. While the cue moved forward slowly.

It never amounted to much, though. I’d ogle my mom’s wallet and the 100-gulden bill she’d pay the weekly groceries with jealously, wondering how I’d ever possess that impossibly high figure. How many “kwartjes”? The idea dazzled me and the task seemed insurmountable. How ever does anyone make money? How is money made? I wondered over and over again, without any real answers coming even vaguely in sight. I felt powerless, a mere pawn in a game grown ups seemed to play so effortlessly. Windowshopping made me depressed, because there was never anything I could buy.

My brother, on the other hand, managed to accumulate stuff. I never knew quite how he did it – to this day. He’d enter competions, and win: I remember how he won an Atari game computer. He bought records (impossible expensive at 25 gulden) and even singles (5 gulden, slightly less daunting, but still a lot. And I  figured out, that was a lot less music to the cent compared to an LP, so in fact, they were more expensive than LP’s. I guess you could call it a quality, consistency or perseverance, that I never bought a single. But I felt marvelously jealous of people who would, and could). He managed to collect a whole box full and gave DJ-ing a serious go. Then, he started up his own catering business with a friend. Quite the entrepreneur. And I was sitting at home, alone, pining away at MTV’s Maiken Wexo, marvelling at the glamorous life and how that could be me. I even wrote MTV a letter. But this was later, when I was in highschool… stay tuned for the follow up.


4 Responses to "First bank account. Money and me: 8-12"

Interest sounds inetersting, but Ihad a kind of the same experience.

Curious about the letter.

Actually, this comment was meant for the other post, age 4-8…… can you move it Tink? I spaced out….

Now, I will try again….LOL…..

Yes, savings seemed like a big, grown up thing to do…… but that I believe was the most direct association I remember as a child with money for me. Saving what I earned in allowance, and the value put upon us by our parents that saving money wisely was always a good thing. The only other association I really have was with what we lived in and what we had for “things” as a result of the money that my parents earned. At this age for me, around age 12, I also had started some babysitting so was able to earn some money in that way, on my own…..

very interesting! Can’t wait for the next chapter….

Hi Vanessa!

I moved the comment – your avatar is now a wobbly cartoon I’m afraid *sorry* – its the best I could do (pointers welcome, I just used copy paste, sort of redid it myself in the right spot).

Nice comment on the babysitting, too! That reminds me of something else… I shall process in the next episode… I feel like such a grown up NOW, planning this series and actually making it happen… great stuff! (did I mention that I suck at planning and tend to feel adrift in the real world issues such as space and time management LOL)

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