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Do You Remember Your First Paycheck?

6 Oct

I still remember the exact amount:

$163.00

Give or take a few nickels, I really do remember the exact amount of my first paycheck.  For some reason, I think of this memory quite a lot – about once a month.

I got my first job at a local grocery store at age 15 after months of pestering by my mother.  It was the place to work in my neck of the woods.  I remember primping for well over an hour before my first day on the job.  My parents still have a picture of me in my white polo and tan khakis uniform headed off to my first day at work reminiscent of those first day of school pictures with your new backpack in tow.

What I remember even more was my first schedule.  The schedules for the next week were always posted the Friday before.  I remember sheepishly creeping into the break room to check my schedule before I had officially even started.

40 hours.

FORTY HOURS?!

Since it was the summer, the manager thought he could schedule me from 1-9pm Monday through Friday that week.

I could not believe I was going from long summer days lounging at the neighborhood pool and chatting with girlfriends on the phone to the 40-hour work week grind.

Although the first week was brutal, I felt unbelievably rich when I got my hands on my first paycheck of $163 to be exact.  This was more money than I’d ever had in my possession at one time.  Sure, I’d get $20 here and there from relatives for birthdays and such, but this was well over $100!  Hooray! I was rich!

Of course, the first thing I did was went out and spent $115 on Doc Martens.

Hey, us working girls had to be stylish, right?  After all, I still had $48 left over which was like six-figure pay to a 15 year old girl.

I’m not quite sure why I think of this paycheck so much.  Maybe it’s because I know how far I’ve come since my paychecks are much larger now (thankfully).  Maybe it’s because that was my first real taste of independence – and I liked it.  Or maybe, just maybe, that’s when my love affair with money really began.

Do YOU remember your first paycheck?