Snapshot: Handy Counter


When I was a little girl I would go grocery shopping with my mom. When I was old enough, she would hand me her little ‘Handy Counter’ and I was in charge of keeping us under budget. As I clicked the little buttons adding in each item that entered the cart, I’d relay back to my mom how much money we had spent.  At the time she was teaching me how to add using 1s, 10s and 100s, but it also taught me other important lessons.  Like how to stay within a set budget. Or what I’ve recently realized, wants vs needs.  We didn’t have a  lot of money growing up.  And as my mother likes to brag, I was never the kid throwing a fit in the aisle because I wanted some junk toy hanging next to the cereal. 

On a side note, that budget also lead to a diet rich in processed foods because it was the 80s and we didn’t know that home-cooked food could actually be bad for you.  What? It’s Hamburger Helper with a side of canned vegetables and Kool-aid. How can that be bad for you?

These are the little memories and lessons that I keep remembering lately. I hope to share them with my own children some day.


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