When I was about 24 years old and fresh out of college, I discovered that my dad paid for a lot of things. Important things, like car insurance and health insurance and food. It was time for me to take my new degree and fly, but that wasn’t the easiest thing to do with no funds.
I was applying for jobs and worrying about things like first and last months’ rent, a down payment for a car, and buying my own food when my dad handed me a bank book. I opened it and gasped. $3,300 in a savings account in my name. How was it possible?
“I didn’t want to give you this for college, because I knew it would be gone to pizza and textbooks,” he said. “Becoming an adult isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. This money is to help you get started.”
But where did this money come from? Dad had several sources.
- My baptism, Sweet 16, and graduation. When I was baptized, Dad asked all family members to put money in my account to get it started. Instead of a Sweet 16 or graduation gift, he put the money aside here.
- Every Christmas and birthday card anyone had ever sent me. Dad collected the money from those cards, usually between $10 and $25 and put it in this account. “I figured you kids never needed anything more than this money at the right time,” he said.
- My Nana. When my great-grandmother died, she left a small inheritance to my father. He split that money up evenly between myself and my siblings and added it to each of our accounts.
When I think back to the day Dad handed me that bank book, I think of it as more than a short term saving grace. I put the down payment on my first new car with that money, wrote a check for first and last months’ rent, and it helped out when I got my first flat tire and had to call the tow truck. When my daughter and son were born, we opened similar accounts for each of them. It’s a fantastic tradition, and I’m sure when they see their bank books, it will fill in some pretty important grown up gaps for them, too.
Ready to set up an account for your child? Call us at Painesville Credit Union at 440-352-8974.