I resented what I saw as her painful pre-occupation with money. I told myself often that I would not grow up to be like her, at least when it came to housekeeping.
On my 15th birthday, my mother gave me a small present. Thrilled, I ripped open the package, but waiting inside for me was something I wasn't looking forward to, and had never really wanted. It was a housekeeping book, the same as my mother's, only smaller. Although I hated it I had no choice but to use it. It was a present from my mother, after all, and I did not want to hurt her feelings. From that day on, whenever she was keeping her book, I would pretend to update mine too. This so-called "pretend bookkeeping" however, soon became one of my daily activities, without realizing it myself. Even in school, I would meticulously keep track of my expenses, and my pocket money. Soon, I realized that I had more and more money to spare, because knowing where my money was being spent actually helped me save a great deal, without making too many compromises. Just as I had thought before about my mother, my friends began to call me, "stingy." I did not care, I could see I was saving money, and a penny saved was a penny earned. It was almost magical. ...