The Two Dollar Story

When my sister and I were younger, whenever we’d ask our mom for money, she had a standard answer that she would always give us. It wasn’t, “Get a job” or “This is my money”. No, what my mom used to say is, “I’ve only got two dollars.” Now, I’m not sure if she was being literal with us and actually only had two dollars, or if that was just her way of telling us “no”. Either way we always had what we needed and even a little extra sometimes. There were times when we’d get things we wanted too. Like the year we got our first Nintendo. Those were the good ol’ days for sure.

I’m not sure why my mom’s response of “I’ve only got two dollars” stuck in my head like it did. Perhaps it’s because that’s what she told us every single time we asked her for money. Or perhaps it’s because of the message it sent. The message of, we’ve got money, but we can’t be spending our money on these trivial things that you desire. We should spend our money on more important things; the necessities in life. Regardless, it has stuck in my head. Never has it been so prominent than right now. Whenever my friends ask me if I want to go out and do something, in the back of my mind I keep telling myself “You’ve only got two dollars.”

I used to be the guy who, whenever I wanted to do something with someone, I’d offer to pay for us to do whatever it was. I was throwing my money around like I had tons of it, when in reality I didn’t have tons of it and probably should have been practicing a little more of my mom’s theory. But if I really wanted to do something with my friends, and they didn’t have the money to spend on something, I’d help them out. After all, it’s just money, right? Now that I’ve been unemployed for over a month, my unemployment benefits being denied, and awaiting my tax refund, I’m finding myself down to the bottom of my piggy bank.

I was talking to my buddy, Bob, the other day about money and how not having any will really put things into perspective and how we are forced to re-prioritize things based on money, or lack thereof. I’ve decided that once I get into a position of having money again, I’m going to try applying my mom’s two dollar theory a little more. I’ll still help out where I can, but I’ll practice a little more frugality.

It’ll all work out. I hope.


About John Shue

Just a normal guy in pursuit of happiness.
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