Monday, March 19

More on Financial Habits - Your Parents

I love my parents and learned many good things from them, but they would be the first to agree that financial experts they are not. Consequently, the financial habits that I picked up are a mixed bag. Of course, kids are not exact replicas of their parents, so I also picked up some opposite behaviours to those I saw my parents do.

Here are some interesting examples of both cases:

  • SAME: Frugality vs. Bargains - I used to think that my mother was frugal but I now believe that she was frugal out of necessity and a bargain hunter for the love of it. I am much the same. I love a bargain and hate to spend too much on anything, but when I feel that money is not so tight I will loosen the purse strings. I will always shop so that each item is a good deal but the overall spending habits are not always frugal.
  • DIFFERENT: Credit - My parents kept credit card and overdraft balances as constant companions but I have developed a distaste of debt any generally pay my credit cards off every month. They lived too near the edge for my taste so I keep a very wide safety margin.
I believe that part of growing up includes choosing to accept, reject or modify what you bring with you from your childhood. As an adult you will be responsible for your own financial habits so there is no sense in blindly keeping what was passed on by well-meaning but possibly poorly qualified parents.

As a test, take a moment to consider your parents' financial habits. Is there anything about how they have done or still do things that you would change? Now take a look at yourself. The apple may not fall far from the tree, but with some interest or determination it can certainly bounce!

Today's billable hours: 3.5
Today's contracted hours: 1.5


S. B. said...

Great post!

We often hear cliches about how we reject our parents' values, and other cliches about how we end up just like them. As you point out, however, the truth is that we often pick and choose, and that often says a lot about us.

mOOm said...

My parents were/are too frugal and too anti-debt. I'm still pretty frugal, debt has never worried me as a tool. Neither my father nor I are/were risk-averse when it comes to investments really, though I am less risk-averse. So I am more on the edge I guess than my parents.