50 cents a lotta money

Back when I was a little kid, I remembered that one dollar meant a lot. Heck, I was happy because I received twenty five cents. Nowadays, it seems as if it’s not worth much. The value of a dollar has gone down, the cost of living has gone up and you can’t buy for a dollar what you could have bought back then.

When I first came to Canada, money was scarce. Both my mom and my dad had to work in order to support my brothers and I. We attended school while they worked full time. Growing up back in the 80�s, I didn�t ask for much from my parents. I didn�t ask for toys, I didn�t ask for an allowance, I didn�t even ask for video games. But my dad did buy my brothers and I a gaming console. The Atari 2600 was my very first gaming console and I loved it! I had never seen anything like it. It was this big black box and it came with some big chunky joysticks with a red button on it, not a million buttons like today. Just One! I remember games like Missile Command, Centipede and Pac Man. I never got into the action figures and stuff, I was into the Atari game console! And back then, most of those games were affordable. My dad probably bought us, like, fifty games for it. And I would sit there playing that thing for hours before my mom would yell at me to go have dinner.

These days, the new generations are given Xboxes, PlayStations and Game Cubes where the games it can cost around fifty dollars per game. Back in my days, you can get a cartridge that held over a hundred games on a single cartridge. You can probably do that today but it�s a lot of work and not as cheap as back then. In order to get all the games into one, you would have to modify your system to allow it to play copied games. And if you burnt something while attempt do that, you�re screwed.

And kids these days are spoiled. When I was little, every time we went shopping and we strolled pass the toys department, I kept my mouth shut. If I even think about opening my mouth to ask for a G.I. Joe action figure, I wouldn�t get it at all. Instead, I�d get a slap upside the head. I�d get that if I�m lucky, otherwise I�d get a kick in the ass. Also, while I�m on the subject of shopping, I�ve always done this when I was little, I don’t know about everyone else but every time I went shopping at the grocery store with my mom, I would always push the cart and run into the back of my mom�s heel. I don�t know why that happened but I remember it happening every time I went shopping with her. Being the oldest, I was in charge of pushing the cart. One of my brothers would sit in the baby seat while the other would rode in on the side. It was fun for them because they didn�t have to do all the work. And if I ran into my mom�s heels, they wouldn�t get in trouble. I don�t know why I got in trouble for it, I could barely see where I was going. But I somehow always managed to run over my mom’s feet.

Back in the eighties, I remember buying a lot of candies. And I mean a lot! When I got money, I went to the variety store and I bought myself a hand full of stuff. I would walk into the story with one dollar and I would walk with pockets full of gum. Back then, I bought more gum for a dollar than I could have bought today. The stuff you can buy for a dollar at the dollar store was nothing compared to what I bought at the corner store. But back then, if something was a dollar, it was a dollar. None of this PST and GST stuff. If I had to pay fifteen percent tax back then, I would buy one gum at a time, just so I wouldn�t have to pay another fifteen cents. Heck that fifteen percent would add up to three bubble gums, right there! I not going to let the government deny me my bubble gum rights! That’s outragious!

I don’t know what got me thinking about the value of a dollar. Maybe it�s because I�m dealing with money all day long. Most of the people I talk to are in some kind of financial dilemmas and they�re kind enough to share that detail with me. But these people don�t have their financial priorities straight. They may seem like they do but I doubt it because if they knew how to handle their money, they would cancel their cell phone service rather than keeping it. At the moment, I still consider cell phones a luxury and not quite a necessity. Anyone who doesn�t have a cell phone is doing just as well as those who have one. So, to anyone out there who does not own a cell phone, don�t rush into buy one because you don�t need it. These days, there�s MSN. If that person is not on MSN, then they are not available to speak with you at the moment. Just send them an email and they will get back to you as soon as possible. If you do not get a reply from them then they probably didn�t think it was important enough for a reply.

3 replies on “50 cents a lotta money”

  1. lol… indeed… a dollar was worth a log back then… well… maybe a dollar was way to much for me back then even… i’d usually get quarters on average… and yea… most of the childhood you described were similar to mines….

    everytime i get a quarter… or my dad gave us a quarter from his change… or we somehow get a quarter… me, my sister, and my cousin would run to the variety story with it to buy candy… and hell… we even count or know the amount of variety story in our block… so it was like shopping to us back then… “okay… lets try this place today” lol… but yea… and hell… i’d be lucky if i had 50 cents in my pocket… and get one of those expensive 50 cents surprise bag! ;D but yea… i think back then… my parents started to gave us change was to get us have an idea of what spending money was all about… and stuff… but those pennie candies were good! xD

    And yea, my childhood was pretty much the same, i hardly ask for anything cuz i know the family probably cant afford it, and my parents need their money, and maybe i knew this because its occassionaly stressed, but i dont remember why… i just remember that i shouldnt ask to buy toys and stuff… but when we goto zellers or any similar places… i’d always run to the toy section and see what’s there… and ninja turtles were the thing back then… so i usually check to see what’s the latest ninja turtle figure… ;D but i think in my childhood, i only got 1 store bought ninja turtle figure in grade 3… and a nintendo console system in grade 1… just because one of my dad’s friend bought it for his kids and suggested it to my dad too… or else i’d probably not even know what a console is today… well… more of like… not care about them today… ;D

    but yanno, thinking back into the days were so much more fun… we’d hang out with one another easily… and do things together so much more easily… now everyone seems to be on their own… and sometimes there are communication issues… -_-;; or we’re just not the way we used to be when we were kids… or maybe we just got busier… and yea, i think we were much more creative at the time too… for say… we’re bored and we think of a new game or way of playing to entertain us… x_x;;

  2. Phuong man… I seriously think you should get your blog up. What you wrote there is not a comment, that’s a blog in itself

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