This part covers Secondary(high) School which goes from about ages 11-17.
When I entered secondary school my allowance went up. I was now getting what I would call an actual allowance which would have to cover lunch and bus fare. I was getting about $50 a week($25 US dollars so as to not scare any of you). At first I was given $10 a day but after a while my dad just decided to start giving me the entire thing at the beginning of the week and I was told I had to make it last.
That fifty dollars had to cover bus fare(it wasn't free then, not even the school bus) and that ran me about $10 dollars to and from home 5 days a week. This is the first place I could have saved some money. Instead of paying bus fare for each trip, I could have bought a bus ticket, which would have given me double the trips for almost half the cost, so long as I wore a school uniform(and these are mandatory for all schools on the island). It would have limited which bus service I used, but it was still double the trips for almost half the cost. Sad to say, for my 6 years at secondary school, I never bought a bus ticket.
Age 13 is the legal age you are allowed to have a job, these usually came in the form of summer jobs like a grocery packer at the supermarket. Some may even do it part time with school but they are mostly offered during the summer and Christmas holidays where more people are home and business is busier. Another lost chance for me to make an extra buck. I've never had a summer job. I applied for one once with a friend but I wasn't successful and I never tried again. I spent all of my vacations running around outside or playing video games with my friends. What made it worst is that my allowance didn't stop during the holidays, I would miss a few weeks or some weeks get a little less but I still had an allowance every week. My expenses were down and I was home most days but I still never saved a penny. I bought food from the local shop when I was hungry and I went to town almost weekly when I made my trip to the library. There is always something to buy in town. I was once hooked on marbles and pitching. Then it moved on to collectible cards and video games. I just spent all my money without a care in the world.
I was so adverse to saving back then I even had a sick budget. Literally. I remember a box of yu-gi-oh trading cards cost about $45 dollars. Remember I use to get $50 a week. Sometimes what I would do is, if I brought home any money from the previous week, I would add that to my new allowance and on Monday, spend almost all the money I had on a box of cards. I would barely have enough for bus fare left over and probably make do with a snack for lunch for the entire week. Thinking back. I was one financially dumb kid.
Now I can't talk about this age without mentioning girls. Despite my geeky hobbies I still had quite a bit of cool factor believe it or not. Not enough to land many girls but enough. I bought stuff for them, I even gave a few money. Maybe how I handled money and girls is the one thing I do
During these years, my piggy(Simba) bank went largely ignored for a long time, but I did remember it at one point. It was at a point where I
I was one really dumb financial kid, but there is a reason why the title of this post says with no regrets. That's because I don't regret the decisions I made as a child. They could have been better, but I was a kid and I was happy and honestly, I didn't know any better. I'm just reflecting and reminiscing with these post.
There will be a part 3 to come, which would cover my years right before I saw the light. Be on the look out.