“Another day another dollar” is the saying my dad would often say. Although today it could be said another day another pittance. Even back when I was growing up the dollar did not seem to stretch far and today it seems that we are unable to even stretch it. There are taxes to pay, groceries to buy, the necessities of clothes and shelter, gas for the car, heat for the house and the list goes on and on. As the prices of everything keep going up and up the value of our hard work and the dollar keep going down and down. The “dollar” made is soon spent even before it gets to the bank.
I have heard different meanings for this saying but the one I prefer is the one meaning that I am setting off to the same ole routine of making a living only to see my dollar gone before I get paid. I was raised with depression era parents, so we were taught at an early age to stretch the dollar even when there was nothing left to stretch.
I was 15 when I started my first real paying job it was a temporary job doing inventory for a local store. Boy was it exciting at the end of the two week period to get my first pay check. I do not remember what I bought with it, I would imagine clothes and maybe some books or records.
When I was 16 my second job took me Kmart where I was a waitress in their restaurant, where I got paid $1.85 an hour plus tips. It is there that I met Tom where he was the Sporting Goods/Automotive Manager. It was also there that I learned the value of the dollar. As all young people I was a bit stupid when it came to smoking and yes, I smoked. I remember when the cigarettes went from 50 cents a pack to 75 cents a pack and I thought I had better things to do with my money than spend it on cigarettes, so I quit.
It was working this job when I decided to leave school and work full time. An opening came up and it was a way for me to help my mother make ends meet. My dad died when I was 14 and my mother had heart health issues that did not allow for her to work outside the home. During that time of full time employment I decided to go in the Army. When I was 17 I take the ASVAB test and while waiting for my physical I got to know Tom and before I could finalize going into the Army he proposed. It was the right decision and I never regretted not having an Army career. Little did I know that in a few years time my Army career would be as an Army wife.
At an early age I learned the value of the dollar and through the years we did make some bad financial decisions but we always came through them smarter and wiser when it comes to handling the mighty dollar. Living within my means was one hard lesson to re-learn.
Today now that I am alone in deciding financial matters I can thank Tom for teaching me how to save money for a rainy day and for spending wisely or as he would say,”sensibly”. We would tease Tom and say he was cheap – picture Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy and that would be my Tom. He would only smile and say, “I am sensible”, while my motto was always “you can’t take it with you!” I would always say I am a typical German, I work hard and play harder and Tom was as Scottish as they come even though he was all American – proper, sensible and very responsible. We complimented each other perfectly with our differences. Thank you Tom for preparing me for this day – when you would no longer be here beside me. And I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful husband who was much more than a husband, he truly is still my best friend and helped me grow into a “sensible” Christian woman, although every now and then I will admit I am not as sensible as I should be when it comes to money – I blame that on the fun loving Irish in me!
Tomorrow I will be off to work again – it will be another day and another dollar – my bills will be paid, food in the cupboard and gas in my car. I will also be a little bit more sensible when it comes to deciding how to stretch the mighty dollar.
How sensible are you when it comes to stretching the dollar?