Donald MacInnes: Being money-minded isn't child's play – well it wasn't for me

In The Red

I suppose few of us are particularly financially organised when we are children, for the simple reason that there is no need for us to be a slave to interest rates while we still talk to our teddies. Especially if they answer us back. Actually, mine still do. Anyway, displaying early monetary acumen is not natural. If we were meant to be fiscally competent at an early age, Pampers would come in pinstripes.

Thankfully, I am better with money than I used to be. In truth, though, I could hardly be worse. For me, there was no tomorrow. What I had, I spent. What I owned, I consumed. I could never squirrel away anything. In fact, when my sister and I got our festive allocation of chocolate for Christmas, I would have inhaled all of my selection boxes by New Year's Day, whereas Audrey would still be shaving miniscule slivers off her giant Toblerone come Easter.

I wish I was kidding about this. When it came to money, I think it must have been transparently obvious to my mother quite early on that I wasn't headed for a career as an actuary. I can't put my finger on why this was the case. My first memory of being the (shortlived) custodian of a sizeable amount of money was in the lead-up to our annual summer holiday, invariably to a caravan park somewhere in a field in Cornwall or Northumberland. The night before we were due to leave, my mother would give my sister and I an envelope of cash, which was our spending money for our holiday.

My mother being a single parent, there was never huge amounts of cash floating around, so I would imagine the envelope contained something like £20, which was to last us for the week we were away. I recall during the car journey, I would check my pocket incessantly, feeling the rustle of the envelope and being comforted and slightly horrified by its pregnant spendability. When you are eight years old, £20 seems like all the riches of the Pharaohs. Well, it did back then. Nowadays kids probably get £20 every morning, just in case they need to buy some apps for their smartphone on the way to school.

Given my admitted profligacy, I suspect I would have spent all of my money by the first weekend, so would have to follow my sister around, begging and imploring for more. "Got any spare change?"I would drone, at which point I imagine my mother would have winced and offered up a prayer that I wouldn't spend my adult life repeating this to strangers next to cash machines.

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk 

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

    £350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

    Chief Financial Officer

    120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?