Posted by Tim Stobbs on February 21, 2007
Over at Get Rich Slowly, the author had an interesting post on how parents influences a child’s view on money and how that carries over to their adult life. I have to admit this got me thinking a bit about my own family’s views on money.
I grew up in the middle class so I never felt deprived of anything, yet at the same time I wasn’t spoiled. Now as I can see my parent’s over spending habits, I have to wonder why I don’t overspend at all. I know that I’m their son (actually I was the only baby in the hospital, so I couldn’t have even been switched at birth), but when it comes to money genetics I might as well be a different species. I always have lived below my means, saved money and avoided debt before I even knew those were good things to do.
Perhaps the two events that shaped me most weren’t even noticed by my parents. The first was one day I was taken to the bank to buy some Canada Savings Bonds. Upon getting to the bank I was informed that I had enough to get a term deposit instead and get a higher interest rate. In that moment I learned something important: Having more money give you even more choices to make your money work for you. So $100 to invest is good, but $10,000 is better.
Then other thing my parents did for me that really hit home was during my second year of university they stopped paying the bills. They had decided to buy a cottage instead of funding the remainder of my education. So they co-signed some loans and I was now living off debt to pay my school. I hated it, but it taught me to pay attention to my spending. Needless to say I reduced my spending at school by 10% the next year and I started paying down the debt with every dollar I could after leaving school. So I learned, debt can be good tool, but don’t depend on or think for a second it is your friend. Debt truly is a master/slave relationship, you get to pick which one you will be.
So what’s your story, did you pick up terrible spending habits from your parents or did you learn to save early on? If you feel like sharing leave a comment or send me an email (email@example.com).