When I think back to the days of my childhood I am blessed to say I wasn’t one of those kids that came from a home with no prior teaching from my parents about money. My mom always reminded me to maintain some type of stash or “savings” in various remote locations that will be ready when I needed it. My father repeatedly lectured me on credit scores, rainy day and emergency savings, and electing 401ks and long-term disability once I obtained my first real job. I can still hear some of the lessons in my brain to this day.
Interestingly enough as I continued through life barely saving, I had several small stashes that I’d forget about or spend, I got multiple credit cards in college and popped every “tag” there was, as well I never (even to this day) elected long-term insurance, I’ve spent multiple 401ks (and I’m still in my 30s) and very rarely have saved long enough for those “emergency” one year savings funds. When I consider this I often say to myself, “Well it isn’t as if I didn’t know, I guess I had to make my own mistakes.”
We know learning lessons the hard way often yields to change hopefully, your particular lesson isn’t one that earned you a hefty sized knot on your head. One of those burn-your-finger moments after mom told you the stove was hot. Well…I cannot tell a lie I had a few of those as it relates to what I obeyed regarding the rules about money. However, what I retained most regarding money were the behaviors and apparent mindsets of both my parents, what’s fascinating is I grew up like many in a divorced family and still picked these “habits” up.
1. Hide your money even if you lose it God will let you find it on a day you really need it.
2. Purchase quality items, they may cost a bit more but when you work hard you deserve to treat yourself and if you’re going to treat yourself do it with designer brands.
3. Never pay your bills late and if you can pay them early and if at all possible always pay a little extra.
4. Never lend more than you can afford to lose, and if you need to borrow always keep your word in paying things back so others can trust you.
5. Keep a rainy day fund, train ticket money, etc.
6. You can pay this company later don’t let them stress you out, you work hard so play hard too.
7. Don’t be caught dead purchasing generic brands.
8. You can make something out of any budget, take what you have and make it work.
9. Everyone needs an Armani suitevery once in a while, even if you live in an apartment and ride the CTA.
10. Never cosign for anyone ever, not even family, not even your child when you have one.
These are just a few of the unwritten “rules” I can recall hearing and observing about money as I grew up. What lessons were taught or observed in your family?