I realize the value of learning from one’s mistakes, but this can be especially tough to come back from when money is involved. I read about the top financial mistakes parents pass down to their children (I also learned about a publication called Forbes Woman, and I thought I was pretty savvy concerning such things – I guess that’s what the internet is for).
1. Say Nothing. This is not a problem at my house (I know you’re surprised – lol). I make sure my kids know that money is required to buy their food, clothing, home, whatever. They come along a lot of times if I go pay bills and they know how most banking transactions work. They know that when they grow up they will have to have their own.
2. Credit card magic. One of the ways that this happens is the reckless use of credit. When I was younger, I have to admit that I went through this brief phase where shopping was a recreational activity (nothing like getting the bill back from said activity, which definitely needs to be explained to kids, btw), but I began hanging around people who were concerned with building their net worth and doing more with their money (not to mention hearing my dad’s voice in the back of my head and he’s SUPER frugal- and owns his stuff outright).
3. Not saying no. This one has NEVER been a problem at my house. I have repeatedly and calmly explained the difference between wants and needs, peeled items out of children’s hands, peeled them off of the floor and kept it moving. My mother was the queen of letting people have fits over merchandise and still not getting it, so I guess I learned from the master. LOL.
4. Lying. I think I’m pretty open with the items I buy and order, unless it’s a gift or something. I think that’s because with the exception of groceries, I don’t shop much and usually when people are hiding purchases, it’s because they know they are buying too much stuff.
5. Actions betraying words. There’s nothing like ridiculous gas prices and employment downturn to make me stick to my budget. Thanks recession 😛
6. Overspending on entertainment. See number 5.
7. Not saving enough. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, but I’m really working on it now. I guess it’s a lot like exercise, not fun at the time, but really pays off.
8. Unexplained money tension. I think that my blatant honesty about what money is, how we use it and how the kids will be expected to govern it eliminates a lot of question marks about finances. I also try to help them keep money in perspective because I know a lot of people who are successful yet miserable because they don’t have the life balance to go along with the money.
9. Allowance without rules. I think that good allowance rules go something like – chores done (this includes schoolwork) = allowance. Failure to do chores/negligence of responsibilities/behavioral problems = notsomuch. There was no free money at our house growing up (I don’t even want to get into me and my sibings’ landscaping duties) so I don’t think my husband or I will start that tradition.
10. Gendered money divisions. I have never thought about this one. I’ve always worked to help all of my kids as successfully as possible. I never guessed that the fact that one of us pays the bills could send a negative message to them about money. I’m going to think about how we can work on that one.