Opinion » Cybernaut


Ea$y come, ea$y go



Money in the Bank

When I was a kid with a paper route and a shovel, I was good with my money. I hoarded every nickel and penny in an old lock box under the bed, breaking it out every now and then to roll up the change to convert to bills. I was slowly amassing a fortune.

I had no plans for that money – with Christmas and birthday almost six months apart, I could get almost anything I needed after a short weight. I was content just to collect it.

Then my brother, who used to blow ever cent he made, found the lockbox, and brought it to my parents. They were afraid I would blow it all on Colecovision games (post Atari game console), or something pointless like the G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier or Hovercraft, and took me to the bank to open up an account.

What my parents didn’t realize was that hoarding was my hobby – even now when I have a lot of cash lying around I can’t resist stacking it into perfect little piles. Putting my money in the bank somehow devalued it for me, reducing my precious booty to mere numbers on a page. I wasn’t impressed with the nickel and dime interest payments I received, and I never went back to make deposits nearly as frequently as I used to go under the bed to drop my change in the lockbox.

My brother, the opposite of me in every way, liked his passbook and the interest he received a lot. He became frugal and cheap while I went out of my way to spend almost every penny I earned.

I gradually lost interest in the account for the next five years, when I got my first real job at a grocery store. I opened up a new savings account in a different bank across the street from where I worked for the convenience of it all.

Most of the money in my first account was converted into Canada Savings Bonds, and left to rot in my mom’s jewelry box for another five years – it helped me through university, but since it went from bond to cheque to university on paper, I never saw my precious pile again.

What I didn’t realize was that there was a balance left over in the first account. I forgot all about it. I figure I’m owed at least $40, if not more.

Until I really needed it, that is, which is pretty much all of the time these days.

Luckily, though the bank may close your little-used and insignificant account, a mere pimple on their hard drives, that money never really goes away.

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