What money lessons did your parents teach you?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by StitchesGr8Fan, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. disney1990

    disney1990 <font color=royalblue>Wow, it make my heart skip a

    Aug 24, 1999
    My parents taught by example. Don't spend money you don't have. Always save something. I almost never buy something the first time I see it (especially clothes). If I still want it a couple days later, then I will reconsider it.
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  3. ::danielle::

    ::danielle:: Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2011
    I was taught me the value of a dollar. At age 10, I was responsible for writing out the checks for the bills, entering the amounts in the ledger, then determine the balance. It's easier to understand how much it costs to provide for your family when your allowance is 1/100 of the electric bill.

    Good credit is essential. Have a credit card but don't carry a balance.

    Money is finite, so choose wisely. This really hit home when he would give me cash for back to school shopping. If I wanted designer jeans it would mean I have less outfits to wear to school. When I was living on my own I could either go out to lunch everyday or you can buy a new pair of shoes at the end of the week. Decisions, decisions!

    Don't mess with the IRS (learned by example).

    These were all taught to me as a child. I plan to teach my kids the same in addition to the other stuff I learned the hard way on my own. :)
  4. njmom47

    njmom47 <font color=blue>He's such a fiend!<br><font color

    Oct 14, 2007
    "It's better to be house poor and cash rich than cash poor and house rich."
    (We bought a townhouse, so I guess that one worked)
    My mom was the queen of stretching money, and I am pretty frugal.

    On a side note, our kids now have to take a class in HS called "Financial Literacy." I love it! It will reinforce what we have tried to tell ds...I just wish they had had it when my both my dds were in HS, although one does pretty well with her finances, the other one has no clue. :confused:
  5. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    My mom is very frugal - she thought me to reuse and recycle - she is well off, but in the back bedrooms of her beautiful house, still uses floor mats 20 yrs old (they're still useable - why should she replace them). And there's no way she'll throw out a useable box/tupperware and she has no problems reusing ziploc bags. Saving pennies count.

    My mom also taught me that splurging is a good thing. She saves lots so when she wants to, she can splurge. She loves to throw lavish parties for her family. I have no problems saving pennies so I can have the money to visit the Mouse.

    My dad taught me that spending frivolously without considering long term savings is not a good idea. He's a spender - and when it came time for me to go to university, he didn't have the ready cash because it was during an economic downturn. I was thoroughly shocked that he didn't have education insurance for me (both my parents worked in the insurance industry!). His grand plan was to pay for my tuition with his annual bonus - which he didn't get that year. Thankfully my mom is a saver so he borrowed the money from her. He lives a lavish lifestyle, and I must confess I worry about him not saving enough for retirement.

    One thing my dad said which I thought was sage advice (although I don't follow it as much as I should!) - "I work VERY hard so I can be lazy". DH and I hope to retire early and are saving hard with that goal in mind.
  6. 2disneyboys

    2disneyboys DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2009

    DH & I are like some of the previous posters... our parents taught us more about what NOT to do, then what to do. As a result, both of our parents don't have anything saved, which means, they will all have to work until death practically. This is not what DH & I want. What we have learned, as been through trial & error and then as we "matured" research.

    We are making it a point to teach our children the importance of good financial decisions.
  7. FergieTCat

    FergieTCat <font color=green>No, I'm serious. And don't call

    Jun 10, 2000
    Never buy the cheapest model, always go up at least one level. You'll be glad you spent the extra money for something a little better.
  8. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2006
    Save, save, save. Then save some more. Just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it. Don't charge more on a credit card than you can pay off at the end of the month. Try to pay cash, or mostly cash for cars. Also, live a little below your means. Don't automatically go for the most expensive option simply because you "have the money." We could have bought a BMW last year, but we got a KIA instead. It's a great car and we still have that extra money in savings. We could have stayed Club Level at the Poly, but we chose Pop and it was fine. All that savings pays off. When DH was out of work for almost two years, we were never in danger of losing our house. We cut back on a few extras like entertainment and eating out, but we were fine. Always plan for the future!
  9. Kim&Chris

    Kim&Chris dreaming of relaxing & soaking up the warm sun at

    Mar 23, 2000
    To have only one credit card, and use it very wisely. Use it only for what you need & can afford, and pay the balance off.

    I learned this because my mom literally had 20+ active credit cards, with balances on all of them. And my sister is the same way. And thanks to those poor habits, my sister came THIS CLOSE to losing her home.

    No thanks. Credit cards are killers.
  10. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2009
    These are all great!
  11. Jill in Chicago

    Jill in Chicago DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2007
    - Be very stingy about your money unless you are spending it on yourself to take a cruise. or to go out to eat.
    - Hide some of your money in the basement so you don't have to pay taxes.
    - Lie about the amount of money you earn to the government
    - Withhold medical attention for your children because you "can't afford it."
    - Act as general contractor for the building of a new home, and then wheedle every penny out of all your friends who are electricians....
    - Never, ever take any time off of work, even for your son and daughter's college graduation.
    - Loan your daughter money to buy a car after college graduation, and then tell her she stills owes you more money after she has paid you back in full. (Thank goodness I kept records of my payments!)
    - Buy a bar with your friends, before you look in to any of the details of running a bar. Sell bar at huge loss.
    - Buy land in Florida, again before looking in to details, and then have to sell it because you don't want to build there.
    - Offer strangers you met in a bar to live part time with you in the summer, so that you can live part time with them in the winter rent free. (Thank goodness they backed out of this one.)

    And just to balance out all of that negative....
    - Always pay your child support on time, and in full.
    - Take turns picking up the tab when you are at the bar
    - If you are not giving financially to a charity you believe in, give of your time
    - Always carry cash so that at your daughter's wedding you have enough money to pay the band to play an additional hour.
  12. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    Money was right there with sex as things that didn't really get talked about in our home, so I didn't get a whole lot of lessons from my mother other than the things I learned from observation of her example. Some of that I've held onto - she would move heaven and earth to afford to let us kids explore our interests or advance our skills in a particular activity, and she always spent more readily on experiences than on material goods. I'm very much the same way - I hemmed and hawed for a year before buying myself a new winter coat but didn't hesitate to sign DS up for a weekend football camp for the same money.

    But a lot of the lessons I learned from my mom were more a "what not to do" - borrowing to cover luxuries and extras, enabling poor behaviour with one financial bailout after another (my brother is 31 and still living on her dime), and generally treating finances as a series of crises rather than having a plan that would keep most situations from reaching crisis point. And DH didn't really get much from his parents either, because they simply had no money - no mortgage, no debt, but no extra either, just barely getting by very frugally.

    For the most part, DH & I have figured finances out as we go. He wanted to start a business so we got seriously debt-adverse and paid off what debt we already had in a hurry, then got addicted to the freedom of having so few payments/obligations staking claim on our income.
  13. LittleMissMagic

    LittleMissMagic Victoria on Vacation

    Dec 24, 2008
    Yeesh, there's a lot of credit card fear here. I was taught that it's okay to use credit cards, just make sure you don't spend money that you don't have and be sure to pay them promptly - there's now an app for that!
  14. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    See, the lesson I learned from my mom in particular, is to buy the cheapest model.

    Mom mom bought the cheapest Kenmore washer and dryer in 1950, ran them until 1980 when they needed repairs, went back to Sears and bought the cheapest washer and dryer, and 34 years later they are going strong today (I found the receipt, $140 for the washer, $120 for the dryer)

    Mom bought a brand new Pinto in 1976. Ran it for 27 years, then traded it in on a new Focus. And she was mad because she figured the Pinto would last the rest of her life. She'll be 90 in May.
  15. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003

    Yeah, DW and I are the first generation in our famlies to have a mortgage or a car loan, so we missed the lesson.
    Our parents paid cash for their houses and cars, and if they didn't have cash, they didn't buy it. My parents first house cost $2,500, sold it 10 years t later for $50,000, bought another house for $29,500, 2 new cars at $2,100 each, and put $5,000+ in my college fund. Full disclosure, they spent $2,500 in materials and 7 years of their own labor converting that first, 1 bedroom, 1 bath house into a 3 bedroom 2 bath house.

    My FIL was career Air Force, and had base housing until he retired at age 44, so could saved a lot of money. Paid $12,500 for his first house.
  16. Squidgyness

    Squidgyness DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2010
    A lot of what not to do...

    Don't talk about all your expenses with your spouse, tell your children not to mention anything about that purchase or two etc...

    Instead of spending a big windfall wisely so you can pay off a loan and put that money you were spending on the loan payments onto others, fritter it away on interest payments across the board whilst not making a big dent in any of them.

    Remind your son that he needs to get a job and contribute, then turn round the next day and suggest full time education. Refuse to take rent off said son all the while. (I still have some few savings.)

    Complain about debts and lack of money, refuse to explain how bad it is, or take advice.

    Sometimes it infuriates me. "It's not your business" or "I'm fine" comments... If true, why mention troubles in the first place if you don't want advice? What do you want from me? Sigh...
  17. Crystal Brewer

    Crystal Brewer Mouseketeer

    Feb 6, 2013
    How to "Rob Peter to pay Paul" if need be tho work hard everyday and you'll most definitely have time to play :) Now the "working hard" has a various meaning so I'll state-none the matter if this is budgeting or physical labor when you "want" financial peace you gain it In my case anyway her lesson worked--I think lol I'm not hungry anyway ;)
  18. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    We were taught:

    Use just enough credit to establish it, then pay it off each month, or use cash.

    Don't impulse buy. Save up for items, then buy them if you need them.

    *Live* within *your* means, not the Joneses.

    Don't ever get in the habit of saying - "It's just a dollar, five dollars, ten dollars" Everything you buy adds up fast.

    Keep up maintenance - whether it be on your vehicle, or house, etc. will cost much less in the long run.

    A place for everything, and everything in it's place (cleaned & put away). My Dad & Mom were very neat people.

    Waste not, want not! If it's worth having, it's worth taking care of.

    Always had to respect others, and especially our parents.

    Actually, I've been glad for all the advice of my parents through the years. They consistently taught us values from toddler age up. We were not allowed to break our toys - we would literally wear them out! We learned to take care of things, and my siblings and I treasure our growing up years.
  19. superme80

    superme80 DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2010
    My mom was never afraid of credit cards. She never saw the purpose of them. She still doesn't. DH and I have 1 card with a low limit. It serves its purpose. My mom was more worried about credit cards with my sister and I when we were first out of high school. She taught us a healthy respect for them. Also if you have money in the bank there is no need for a credit card. I know many will disagree, but that is the philosphy that was passed down to me.
  20. denisem

    denisem DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2001
    Besides "Learn to manage your money & don't expect us to bail you out" ? :rotfl:

    Serious, my parents were children of the Depression and very conservative. Dad loaned me money for my 1st car to the tune of 1% less interest than prime.

    Seemed unfair at the time, but I appreciate that it taught me to manage money well.
  21. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    Ahhhh...but the amount of free stuff I've earned through applying for and using credit cards....literally thousands of dollars a year.

    That said, I'm way too frugal to dream of carrying a balance.

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