What Our Parents Taught Us About Money

Maybe your parents were good at saving and had a well funded emergency account. Or maybe, they weren’t so good with money and struggled for years in debt. Regardless of the good or bad, the financial behaviour of your parents has likely left an impression that affects how you handle your finances in your own life.

I grew up in a relatively well off household. My parents both had stable, well paying jobs. We were able to eat out at restaurants, we got the clothes we wanted, and we went on at least one annual vacation a year growing up. Yet my parents were still frugal. They would always watch for the deals and would wait to purchase something until they had the money saved.   Essentially, they spent their money on the things that were most important to them- a house in a safe neighbourhood for their kids, high quality housewares and clothes that would last a long time, and family outings that we could share together.

My parents’ views on home ownership and building a solid future stuck with me. In high school, I managed to arrange my courses where I only had classes in the morning which allowed me to work in the afternoons and evenings so I could save money to move out. At the age of 18, I bought my first house. What an amazing feeling knowing that my hard work payed off. Later on I ended up selling the house but the experience taught me what I could accomplish if I was patient and smart with my money.

Now, as a married, educated, and independent women, I have the foundation to build a great future for myself and my family. My husband and I too spend our money on the things that are most important to us while saving for the future.

The money lessons from our parents are some of the most powerful lessons we will ever learn. They truly shape our attitudes towards personal finance and can define our financial future.

What did you learn from your parents about money? What are you teaching your kids about money? Please share.


What Our Parents Taught Us About Money — 11 Comments

  1. Absolutely amazing that you purchased your first house at 18. Your parents may have given you a good foundation, but you still had to do the work and have the vision. Kudos.

    My parent’s influence was a mix of good and bad. Good: I learned you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have taste and style; my mom was a queen of “making do” and no one ever knew how little money we really had. Bad: money was never talked about! I knew we didn’t have much, but I never knew how little until recently as an adult. My parents could not communicate about it well as a couple; they certainly couldn’t talk to us kids about how to create and stick to a budget, etc.

    Mainly, I learned how to not spend money – which is good – but I didn’t learn how to spend money – which is inevitable. Make sense? I think that’s why the urge to blog about our finances: too much secrecy in our culture about money and how we spend it, the good and the bad.

    • I agree. People are a lot more open about money, what they make, how they are spending it than they used to be. This helps in education our future generations about money as well as provides a community where people can get advice. I have heard many people relate that they weren’t taught how to spend money. Sometimes this has led to bad money management and other times this has led to extreme frugality. The biggest lesson we all need to remember is that balance is key.

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  3. My parents were completely different with money. My mother took care of the budget, watched for deals and sales, and clipped coupons. My dad would admit that money “burnt a hole in his pocket”! I think I picked up most of my habits from my mom, but dad influenced me as well.

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