How can three boys from the same mother be so much alike yet so different? Our boys are cut from the same cloth when it comes to hunting, fishing, 4-wheel drives, etc., but how very different they are when it comes to money. The only thing they have in common regarding money is that all three would rather Mom and Dad use our money so they can save theirs. Wes is a tight-wad for the most part. He is very good about watching his money and, thankfully, he married a woman who is low maintenance and likes to save money probably more than he does (rare find, these days, huh?). Caleb is much like his mother; if there’s money in his pocket, he wants to find somewhere immediately to spend it. I’ve learned to resist that temptation the older I’ve gotten, but I can so see myself in Caleb. Poor guy…
The good news is Caleb just got a job. He’s working at a car wash called Wheels and Bumpers. The cars go through the automatic wash after being vacuumed out, then Caleb and the other fellas dry down the cars, clean the windows, apply Armor All, wipe down the insides, etc. These guys get tipped pretty well for what they do…and they should. Last week, the first sunny day after our snowfall, the high temperatures were 38 degrees with a sustained wind of 30-40 mph and the line for the car wash was so long it backed into the road. Let’s just say they earn those tips.
Before Caleb’s first day of work, his dad said, “Caleb, you should keep some of the tip money you’ll make to live on and give your Mom your check to put into the bank.” I think all he heard was “give your Mom your check” because he became very defensive about his money and what he wanted to do with it. Steve & I just rolled our eyes because we know that head. It’s HARD. After his first week of work, Caleb announced this great idea that he had. “I think I’m going to live on my tips and just put my check in the bank so I can save it.” Wow. Novel idea, genius. Where do you get your brains?
Because he is under 18 years old, Caleb needed me to help him open a savings account. When Eli found out what I was doing, he grabbed his wallet and said he wanted to go along. Now, Eli, is the SAVER. He receives a $50.00 bill from his Mamaw Allman every Christmas and he keeps it for at least 8 months or longer before he’ll even consider spending it. And it takes a very special set of Lego’s for him to even consider it. He did NOT get this trait from his mother….
Eli and I headed to the bank where a dear friend of ours, Donna Shambley, works. She began helping us with opening two savings accounts; one for Eli and one for Caleb. Donna was awesome; she took the time to talk directly to Eli regarding his account, making sure he understood all of the steps she was taking and Eli was very forthright with his information.
Donna (winking at me) – “Eli, are you a non-resident alien?”
Eli, thinking for a minute, says, “No…because I live in America and always have.”
Donna – “Impressive! I have adults who don’t know what I mean when I ask that question!”
Proud moment for Eli…
As Donna continued to ask questions, Eli asked curiously, “Why do you have to ask all of these questions?” Donna said, “Well, I’m putting you into the system so I have to ask all of these questions to be sure we know all about you.” Eli looked at me and, wiggling his eyebrows up and down, said, “I’m in the system. I feel like James Bond.”
Donna asked him how much he was going to put into his account and he whipped out the dough – $110.00 cash, including the $50.00 from Christmas. He reserved $20.00 for a Lego splurge, but besides that, he was all in.
Donna finished up putting Eli into the system and took him to the teller line to deposit his money. He was very curious about all of the cameras in the bank and where they would keep his money. Donna assured him that there were multiple measures in place to be sure his money was safe. After all, this was his money we were talking about…
Thanks, Donna, for a fun field trip with Eli and for protecting his money like you do.
Now if we can just keep Caleb on the “deposit” track instead of the “withdrawal” track, we’ll be good to go.