It All Adds Up

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Number

I look forward to the innumerable ways you can approach this theme!



cash book


I have always been a numbers person. When I was in grade school, I made numbered lists of favorite books, colors, records…even friends. When something was numbered, itΒ took on a distinctive degree of significance. And importance.

It was also a way to organize. I numbered all my 45s onto a corresponding divider matched up with their titles, all stored in a bright green case.

The importance of numbers became crystal clear when I started earning money in high school. I quickly realized that saving money – after earning it – was the ticket to the independence I had been craving since entering my teens.

Not surprisingly, my habit of keeping diaries and journals morphed into meticulous record keeping of money spent and money earned. This was back in the days of cash or check. I still have the record of every penny I spent in my last few years of college. Numbers paved the way to learning how to budget. This turned out to be a crucial skill a few years later when raising a family on a limited income.

But I didn’t know that back then.

In 1974 I was still living in a dormitory…on a meal plan paid for by my parents. Food was not a major expense, but other “essentials” added up.

numbers 1

Apparently record albums were a priority.

numbers 2


numbers 3

Numbers added up more significantly once I moved to an off campus apartment the following year…when a garbage can, spatulas and beer mugs took the place of record albums on my list of spending priorities.

At least for a while.

28 thoughts on “It All Adds Up

    1. Thank you. I am glad I kept them. I must have known they would be of some value at some point. Who knew it would be in a blog (!), but writing about that time period has always been in the back of my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I have any of those kind of memories in my storage boxes? I think I had more of my mom’s at that age than I did of me at that age. It is interesting to see what changed or didn’t – all of the good stuff didn’t change right?! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ Wow! I am impressed at your husband’s records. It does help keep track of what is actually spent in the hopes of curtailing unnecessary spending. We actually did that for 3 or 4 years when our kids were little after my husband asked me (the one in charge of the budget) one day “where does all the money go?” I still have those notebooks too. Family history data that’s a fascinating story in itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating. I wish you’d been following me around all these years. I am burdened with dyscalculia and even my best efforts at doing this sabotaged me. I “lost” $800 in my checking account over a period of a decade, no mistake larger than 50 cents…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was impossible for me to balance my checkbook. Thank goodness banks back then would go through the whole thing with a customer. Calculators ARE my friend and even more programs like Excel. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One thing I was thinking of, once I learned my problem, I got better at “proofreading.” One day, about a year before I retired from teaching (2014) a kid came to me unhappy about his grade. I used Blackboard to compute grades — input grades and the program tracked them for my students and me. So he stood there and I said, “Read off your grades for me.” That helps me a LOT hearing the number not looking at it and copying it. I said, A = 4, A- = 3.7 etc. He read them off. I wrote them down, added them up and then averaged them in front of him using long division. He said, “What are you doing?”

        I said, “Long division.”

        “I never saw that before.” I told him to get his calculator and we had a little race. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyable post πŸ™‚ Although I can’t save money (it has to do with the conditions of HUD housing and state assistance), I’m a fanatic about the numbers adding up right for monthly expenses. I like paying bills each month–makes me feel like a responsible grown-up πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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