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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Your first vivid memory about money?
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ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male

Posted: May 15, 2019 - 11:40am

Not sure what triggered this memory, but hey:

When I sell shirts on Amazon, they show me how much I made. Typically around $5 on a $20 shirt. They also show the gross sales figure, but everyone's eyes go to the Royalties column. A few months ago, they allowed people like me to buy ads on Amazon, so that if you search on Amazon for Yellowstone tourist t shirts, I can "bid" per click to put my shirt in front of your eyeballs. I got into this slowly, because I'm chicken, and I watched others trying to figure it out. One guy posted his stats, something like Spend: $150 Sales $300 and he was happy as a clam! Spent 150 to make 300! Average cost of sale was 50%, and he was convinced he was literally doubling his money with this method. I pointed out that the $300 was Amazon's gross and that he was paying Amazon $10 to make $5 and he agreed, seeing that 2:1 ratio and not following my dotted line. I want to say that this isn't a stupid guy. He just never ran a lemonade stand before.

When I was a kid, my parents ran a bicycle shop. We had different markups on things, but our basic markup was 40% of retail. If the thing was priced at $10, we generally knew we paid $6 for it including shipping. It's a ballpark number. I used to spend after-school hours hand-writing price tags because price guns were super expensive, or later we got a price gun but either way, put the price in $9.99 and the wholesale cost in EKV or TON... we used the "code" POCKETNIVS to represent 1234567890. But from time to time, customers would somehow crack that code and they'd always say, "that's {does math poorly} almost 100% profit!" No, 100% profit is if I pay nothing for the thing and sell it to you for more than nothing. So, say it's 80% markup (pay $5, sell for $9) according to the customer's way of thinking. What good does that do? It provides zero information without doing the conversion back to find the cost, then subtracting from retail to find the true markup. And so on.

I took a course in college, literally "Marketing 101," and the textbook for it was pretty great and I carried it with me for years. But {vivid memory about money} In one lecture, the prof, who was also Dean of Administration at the college, tried to explain retail profit margins etc. and called on me to ask typical markup % on, say, bicycle inner tubes. I told him 40% and he said "Oh! That's interesting. Do you find it covers your costs? It apparently does, but in our textbook, we see the large discount retailer example gets 60% and they work with larger economies of scale. I told him, no, the example there shows about a 35% markup. So he finished out the hour with a long explanation of how math works. Oh, boy.

Kaw Avatar

Location: Just above sea level
Gender: Male

Posted: Jun 13, 2016 - 5:36am

My first vivid memory of money was finding a copper coin (1 or 5 cents) with my friend and going to a shop that was a grocery store or small supermarket and giving the coin to the owner. He asked us what kind of candy we would like to buy and we choose pieces of candy until he told us that this was enough. I think I was 3 years old.

After that it became a daily routine of trying to find a coin in the grass next to the pavement and spending it on candy in the grocery store. After a while we harvested the area and tried to find new places for coins. After a while an area could be harvested again. We were remarkable good at finding coins in grass. Sometimes it was just a few cents and sometimes we found a gulden (around $0.50) but the amount of candy we could buy was always the same. The only fluctuation I found was the mood of the shop owner. A good mood was better for the amount of candy we could buy for our coin. When he was in a bad mood we could only buy two pieces of the cheapest candy. One for me and one for my friend.

For dutch standards my parents were poor. We could not afford a car at first and everything was done on a bicycle. But as a child I never noticed that we were poor. I had a lot of lego. I had more toys than any other kid I knew. My parents bought everything second hand, but as a kid I didn't even notice it. The toys were there and that's all that mattered.
Later on my parents bought a swing for the garden. I was the only boy in the neighbourhood with a private swing. That thing was made from rusty iron and they got it for free, but it feld I was rich.

Until my 17th birthday I never thought about money and having it. It wasn't playing a role in my life.
When I was 17 I finished high school and wend to an university. Then I needed money to buy food and rent a room. So I took a job at a bookshop and I got some money from the government because the income of my parents was very low. Even then I did not think about the possibilities money gave me. I just bought food and some clothes and I paid the rent. After a while I bought a computer because I needed one. That was the only big thing for 4 years that I bought.

After studying I started a company with a friend. I enjoyed working but hated the money part. I outsourced this part to my friend and in the end this was the reason that I wanted to leave the company. I withdrawed very modest amounts of money from the company. Just enough. He feld he owned a company and this involved a luxury lifestyle for the CEO. For a few years this contineud and I did not pay any attention to it. Then I found out that our company was doing fairly well and he still used any credit we had to fund his way of living. Credit with joint liability. Something he tried to hide from me. This was too much for me and I left the company. One year later the company had to let go all the employees it had because of financial troubles and it became an empty shell with 200.000 euros of dept. Luckely I was able to get myself removed from the bank records and also the joint liability before this happened. For a while I really hated money and I still do not trust anyone being focused on money.

Even now, 10 years later, I don't enjoy money. I just make sure I get enough money to sustain my family life and to live in a nice house. My children are raised just like I was raised. They don't have to worry about money. Daddy will take care of that. My wife actually does the spending. She lost her job a while back and basicly takes care of the household now. Her spending and my income are in equilibrium and we just live our lives we want to. We don't have money goals. We have goals about how we want to spend our lives and I make sure those goals can be accomplished. Being able to do so and seeing my family happy gives me my main reason to live. This involves money. So be it.




wallacehartley Avatar

Location: Cape Town South Africa
Gender: Male

Posted: Jun 12, 2016 - 10:29am

This has been such an Aha! moment for me......if you considered your relationship to money and the relative success or failure thereof based on the first impression you created for yourself around money......


My first vivid money memory originates from an instance when I was perhaps four or five years old.


I was sitting on a wooden pew in the Catholic Church inbetween my mother and my next older sister. The other older sister was somewhere else in the row, I don't remember if she was on the outside of my mother or where exactly, but the wooden, felt-lined collection plate was inexorably making its hand-to-hand way down the row towards us and my mother had her purse out and open. My next older sister D asked for pocket money. She was given a shiny silver ten cent coin. Though four years younger I was not going to automatically get the hindmost teat without a yelp so I asked for pocket money too.

I was duly given two copper coins – a two cent piece and a one cent piece.
With it came the whispered admonition to put some in the collection plate, and not to spend it all but to save it.


I remember whisperingly asking how come D got ten cents and was told it was because she was older.


As the plate went past I begrudgingly dropped the one cent piece into it and scouldn't help simultaneously noticing that D didn't drop her ten cent piece into the collection plate as it flipped its way past her.


I began to feel the injustice burning me up and my indignant whispered protestations to my mother about D not paying anything of her obviously bigger resource into the plate whilst I had to give away some of mine only triggered the well-known and dreaded pointed, fiery glare through horn-rimmed spectacles above which pencil-thin eyebrows knotted slightly - the recognised warning signal that further misbehaviour on my part would soon be met with the flat smack on my inner thigh, the smack that echoed through the silent church and stung like a bitch wasp had vented its rage on the same smarting spot.


I steamed, I burned; silently I raged at the horrible mistake of being born the youngest in this family, of being born to my harridan mother, of being born at all.


When we stopped at the store on the way home afterwards, I consoled myself with all the sugary sweetness that two cents could buy in 1968, and it was a lot.

Wilsons Cola flavoured toffees were three for a halfcent, Chappies bubble gum were about five for a halfcent, gobstoppers were much the same, and Pikkies – exquisite tubes of sweetened condensed milk, were a half cent each.

I tanked up on as much of everything as I could, and I remember the sense of disappointment at not being able to buy a Pikkie as well as everything else, but resolving that next week, with the next two cents, I would treat myself. I remember how gently the shopkeeper explained that I had enough for some of this and some of that but not enough for everything I wanted, but that what I wanted would still be available next time I came in with more money.


I took up my place in the back of the red VW Beetle that was my mothers car from 1958 until about 1980, crammed inbetween sisters various, my little paper bag of delight on my lap and gobstopper black-tinted drool no doubt dribbling from my crammed maw onto the front of my shirt.


I know that D must have asked for something from my stash of pleasure, and I know that my response would have been an unequivocal no. I know this because I do remember the pleasure she seemed to draw from telling my mother that I had spent all my money on sweets and had not saved anything as instructed.
My mother was driving and obviously unable to do too much at that time, but I do remember clearly the diatribe that streamed from her over her shoulder and into my burning ears, into my burning soul, and I remember that there was no pocket money for me the next week, or for some weeks after that.
Money was irregular, out of my control, and not to be relied upon. 


I get now that my mother wasn't keen on me feeding all that sugary crap into myself, and I get that money was probably tight enough that every cent counted. I get that being staunchly Catholic my mother was of the belief that poverty was somehow noble and holy, and I get that she holds that belief to this day. At 86, blind, alone and living on the most meagre of means, she still claims that she has no desire to have a lot of money, and that people who do have a lot of money are desperately unhappy and sad if not downright evil, and I get how that is how she justifies her current situation to herself and always has.


There is no doubt that money was a source of much shame and frustration and apparent injustice on my first encounter with it, and that it has taken a lot of work and reframing of beliefs and accepting that how I have related to money all my adult life has been much like with any other relationship that was built on a negative and antagonistic first impresssion.

I have had to acknowledge that there are two permanent relationships that are an unavoidable part of our entire lives – our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with money.

In fact our relationship with money can continue beyond our own lives through inheritances and bequests.

All other relationships can and will rise up and fall away in some way or other throughout our lives.


Even that with our own mothers.


As a family money was never discussed or mentioned – it was taboo. We knew there was never really enough, that it didn't grow on trees and that it was always hard to come by. We didn't think to ask for much because we knew there never was much, and as a result we never expected or desired much.
Lots and lots of hard work equalled money. 

All of those limiting beliefs are bullshit and just that - limiting beliefs.
Hard work equals hard work.
Money equals money.
Money ends up where consistent focussed positive attention and energy draws it to.
It is actually plentiful and in a way, quite free.

Amazing....such a lot of crap we have lived with for so long.