My first real experiences with how people manage their finances began at age 11 when I took over my older brother’s newspaper route. Back in those days I had to go door to door each month to collect for the previous month’s deliveries. My route was in a decent middle class neighborhood. Most of my customers readily paid up the first time I found them at home. Some were hard to find at home. About 20% — almost always the same people — made me come back a second time.
There were a few on my route that made me come back four or five times every month. There was always an excuse. Probably the most common was that the spouse was out with the checkbook. I’d think, come on, people. You’ve already received the goods and services. We’re talking about a grand total of $4.25. Quit giving me the run around and cough it up!
Sometimes I’d have to threaten to stop delivering the paper. I only had to actually stop delivery a few times during my nearly six-year tenure. It was funny how quickly people came up with the money when that happened. My parents wondered more than once how people like that treated their other creditors, given that they were willing to stiff a little kid.
Over the next few days I am going to discuss my experiences with people’s attitudes and relationships with respect to money and finances. I believe that how people in our nation relate to these matters creates the basis for how our government handles money and finances in the name of We the People.
Next segment in this series: YM and OPM