My grandmother’s house had a cookie jar in it. She wasn’t the baking type, so I’m sure there were not homemade cookies in it. But I do have a fun recollection of reaching my hand in to get a special treat.
The thing about most cookie jars (excluding the picture to the left) is that you can’t see what is inside. You just reach your hand in hoping for a cookie, but really it’s a mystery.
The thing about cookies themselves is that it is hard to keep track of how many you have eaten. Especially little cookies. You grab one, maybe two. Then you are walking by the kitchen later and you grab another. There is nothing wrong with you… it just happens.
So, what does this have to do with your money?
You can think of your bank account as the cookie jar. If you just keep reaching in and taking money from it, it will start to dwindle. And little expenses add up. A bagel and latte in the morning, lunch out, a coke from the vending machine, then stopping for dinner and dessert on the way home. Each of these events don’t cost a lot on their own, but when you add them up you’ve just taken a bunch of cookies out of the jar.
Now, it’s ok to take cookies out of the jar (or money out of your account), but you want to keep track of what you have left. Hopefully you have a job where you can add more money into your account (or bake some more cookies, to keep the analogy up).
It is easy to lose count of what you have, especially when you are using a credit card to pay for everything. You don’t see physical cash in your wallet, so it almost seems like free money until you go and pay off your credit card at the end of the month. Unlike a cookie jar, you can actually spend more than you have with a credit card. Unfortunately, you will then owe that money back eventually – with interest! So, imagine you eat 10 cookies out of the jar, but there were only 8 in there. You will owe 3 cookies back – the extra cookies you ate, plus some.
So, what is the moral of this short story? It’s important to keep track of what money you have and how much you are spending. You don’t want to reach your hand in and find it touches the bottom.
How do you keep track? Check out this post on budgeting!
Nina's Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal cookies may not be the first cookie you think of when reaching into a cookie jar, but these cookies are spectacular. Soft, chewy, and filled with flavor! I've been eating them my whole life, and I've never gotten tired of them.
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
(make it creamy)
(make it creamy again)
2 cups oatmeal (1 min. Quick Quaker Oatmeal)
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt (heaping)
1 tsp. baking soda (heaping)
½ tsp. cinnamon (heaping)
½ tsp. ginger (heaping)
1 full cup of raisins (we always use golden raisins)
Bake at 350 degrees until done (7-9 minutes).