Bought with my own money

Remember that feeling? You took your own money and bought something you really wanted. That rush of pride, enthusiasm and ownership of acquiring just the right thing.

I was just reminded of that feeling from my son's recent purchase: the mini wild hockey stick. I wasn't there to witness it, but I was so glad to be shown the outcome of his quest. His pride was noticeable. His smile enormous.

Money is great, but it's not the be all end all. Some of the wealthiest people I know are still motivated by that childlike feeling, that sense of closure and accomplishment that comes from setting a goal, working hard, making the purchase. That's where the money comes in. It's often the measure of a job well done and a tangilble trophy that celebrates and marks the completion of a goal.

Money is not the only measure. But it's a big one in this country. Money buys freedom to do the things you like to do and to donate to more causes. Money also buys more choices. Money buys whatever you want to buy.

I bought a bike in high school to ride to tennis practice and I saved up my money to go on a two-week kayaking trip in Baja California when I was 16. Those were amazing moments of pride and accomplishment. What was one of the first things you bought with your own money?

Cathy Paper