A Penny a Piece | 31 Days of Growing Up

Work ethic, responsibility, and stewardship were all important values both taught and exemplified by my parents while we were growing up.

We helped around the house from an early age. We helped mom in the kitchen, and as we got older, we were assigned nights to help with dinner prep, and later make dinner on our own (for whatever reason, one meal my sister and I made has always stuck in my head: macaroni and cheese and homemade biscuits :) ). We had a weekly chore list for who did dishes, floors, bathrooms, etc. And we were expected to keep our rooms tidy. Even though I know my parents did a lot of "our" chores for us and picked up after us countless times, I still believe we learned from having responsibilities and work.

We also learned about earning and saving money, and delayed gratification. Looking back, my parents were so generous in giving us opportunities and "things" when we wanted to learn something new or were involved in a sport or activity; they invested money as well as time. But at the same time they didn't pay for everything, and encouraged us to work to earn our own money. Mom and dad gave us piggy banks with three sections for tithing, saving, and spending, and explained how to be good stewards of the money we earned. As kids, mom had a list of extra chores we could do to earn small change. One summer she paid us a penny for every oak worm we picked out of the grass in the front yard (which was grossly profitable). My grandma also "hired" us for various odd jobs (and we were always especially glad, because she had good rates).

I remember the first purchase I made with my own money, a purple watch from JCPenneys. I was so proud of that watch and wore it constantly (and I'm sure have some pictures with my wrist obviously visible!).

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