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Guest Opinion

Money management falls through the cracks

East Bernard Express of East Bernard, Texas

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The Bus Stops Here

My youngest daughter had money that was burning a hole in her pocket.

Actually it was in her savings account where I had placed it, against her will, for safe keeping promising that if there was something she really wanted to buy she could withdraw the money.

So against my better judgment a few weeks before Christmas I agreed to let her withdraw money to buy Beats headphones.

After she explained to me what they were, why they were so much better than ordinary headphones and why the sale price was such a good deal (repeated verbatim from a commercial no doubt), I reluctantly agreed to drive her to the bank and then the store.

Reluctantly because it was only a few weeks before Christmas and this would have been a great gift if she had only put it on her list before I was through shopping. And because I thought it was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on headphones.

However, I didn't want to be accused of going back on my word, because I had assured her she'd earned the money and when there was something she wanted to purchase she could get it. I was committed.

Money in hand, we travelled to the store so she could make her purchase.

I was very tempted to use my store credit card so she could get a five percent discount.

In the end I decided handing over her money to the cashier might make more of an impact, so I kept my credit card in my wallet.

The clerk rang up the purchase and gave her the total.

She pulled the wadded up money out of her wallet, trying to un-crumple the bills as she went, and began to count out the amount needed. In an attempt to help, I suggested she lay down the bills on the counter as she counted, instead of keeping them wadded up in her hand.

"Mom, I can count money," she said.

I took a step back, held my tongue and watched her work.

She gave her money to the cashier, who counted it, then handed her back the $20 she had overpaid. Sure glad he was honest.

Of course, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to point out the obvious and turn this into a life lesson about being organized and honest.

And not everyone you meet in life will be honest and hand back the extra $20 the next time you overpay totally lost on my child. her solution to her inability to properly count money?

"It will be so much easier when I can just swipe my credit card," she said.

I didn't even go there. That will be a lesson for another day. Where, oh where did I go wrong?

Tricia Potts, a mother of four, is a homemaker and newspaper columnist living in East Bernard.

Copyright 2015 East Bernard Express, East Bernard, Texas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 15, 2015

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