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Did your parents talk to you about money when you were a kid?


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Absolutely not.
I think the first time it ever came up was when I was about 17 and mentioned wanting to get a credit card to build my credit score so I could eventually get a car loan. For some reason, she thought I was trying to put a car ON a credit card.

I don’t think my mother is exactly terrible with money, but I do think she’s experienced so many fluctuations over her life that she doesn’t adjust as well as I’d like to see for her.

I talk to my kids about money as much as they’ll listen. I taught a financial literacy course with one of my kids as a student. Both girls saved for their own cars and related expenses.

My 18yo asks people to teach her about cars to avoid the mechanic. (I did try to tell her the $35 oil change is worth the oil, labor, and disposal, but she insisted. I’m impressed.) She’s also changed her higher ed plan to meet her goals without taking on extra debt.

Neither daughter is SUPER duper frugal, but they do budget/prioritize.

My 13yo is chomping at the bit to get a job.

My oldest son isn’t quite as mindful, but I blame that on him being raised across two very different households with four very different parents. 😛 
 

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My parents did not talk about money.  Any time I asked, they'd tell me it was none of my business, but they'd also get mad if I spent "too much money" on something or when the electric bill was "too high". It's hard to know what "too much" and "too high" are when you have no context of a budget or what a normal bill should look like. 

So yes, they did influence my financial life, but in a negative way.  I had to learn how to budget the hard way; by getting in over my head and correcting the problem.  I have no idea if my parents are good or bad with money, because they still refuse to discuss it and say it's "none of my business".  They could be sitting on millions or near broke; I have no idea. I hope it all works out for them. 🤷‍♂️

I do talk to my son about money and show him what our bills are, so he's not blindsided by this stuff as a young adult.  This is what our water bill costs, this is what we spend on groceries, this is what we spend on car insurance, etc.  We talk about how we need to take care of our "needs" first, and then we can spend money on "wants".  He knows I use coupons to save money, but we also talk about how sometimes buying the more expensive item is the better deal, because it will last longer than the cheap item.    

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Not really, but we had NO money. I mean mom clipped coupons and shopped sales and accepted hand me downs. We always had the absolutely most inexpensive everything. So that affected me in that I'm a big saver. And I still struggle to spend money on myself, such as quality over buying the absolutely cheapest whatever that's gonna wear out/tear up quickly. 

But as far as talking to us about bills, and costs of living and loans and stuff...no, never heard from my parents on that. They didn't even have a mortgage till I was a junior in high school and they bought their first home, so there wasn't too much to talk about. 

We do talk with our kids about those things and they start paying bills when they start driving. Our teens have to pay their gas and insurance and phone. They also have to pay for their own cars. This seems to ease them into the world of financial responsibility. We also talk about how fast interest adds up.

My dd got her first credit card this spring and I talked to her about fees and interest rates when you don't pay it in full each month. 

Edited by fairfarmhand
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My parents let me help them do their income tax returns when I was in elementary school. My mom is the “financial controller” in the house while my dad just hoards cash. My parents pass me their debit cards to get cash from the ATMs so I obviously knew how much cash they have in the banks.


My kids want a bigger home since they were in elementary school so we had been talking about money since then. They do know how car loans and mortgage work.  However they don’t know how much my husband earn. 

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My mom was the one who does the budgeting and taking care of money.  She didn't really talk to me much about it at all.  I know she keeps a spiral notebook to track bills, and balances her checkbook by hand each month.  She did talk about not taking out a lot of credit but that was about it.  I think my mom is great with money, my dad wasn't when they first got married.  He came into the marriage with a lot of debt and mom helped make a plan to pay it off.  Dad is much better now as far as I can tell.

I figured out when DD reached the age of getting a job, paying some of her own bills, and figuring out budgeting that I had totally missed teaching her about it.  So we have done a number of sit down talks to help her, and I am here whenever she has questions.

I have learned from this and am working on teaching my 17 year old about financial stuff.  I plan to do the same with my youngest when he is a senior.  I have always talked about making good financial decisions, but never sat down to show them the practical side.  Although my boys did have the benefit of earning their Personal Management (which includes finances) merit badges, I think they need more reinforcement of the ideas.

 

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My parents were/are money avoiders, and the sum total of the discussion about money I heard growing up was that we didn’t have any. Any wisdom I gained about money management and use was primarily from my MIL in my early 20s, with dh and some of my other in-laws thrown in there. 

I did teach my kids a lot more about money than I was taught but I still don’t think I did an outstanding job, because dd told me in her late teens that she really didn’t understand things like mortgages and interest rates. 

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My parents are dead and my kids are grown, but -- yes. There was LOTS of financial talk all around. My parents were too good at saving. I wish they'd spent more of their money on themselves and enjoyed it. I knew all about their finances from an early age. Our boys knew a lot about our finances from an early age. They're both excellent with money.

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My kids do get to help us on the FASFA. When they gape at the "huge" (to them) amount of money we make, my dh breaks it down. Yeah we made that much. This is how much went to mortgage last year, this went to insurance. This went to groceries. This went to gas. Until it's gone and that SHOCKS my teens that *so much* (HAHAHA!) money could go away so easily. 

And when they are young they do see me do my cash envelopes.

Every 2 weeks, I get $X in cash for groceries, pet food, music lessons, fuel, clothing, haircuts and such. I have envelopes that I sort the money into for each category. My kids from they time they are small, watch me sort the $ and slowly, slowly, the pile of cash vanishes. 🙂

I do think it's hard to make the concept of money concrete to a kid when so much is done online or with a debit card.

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Oh, I forgot to say how my lack of eduction impacted me, lol.

I had no concept of student debt being scary. (Granted, it was before it spiraled to today’s amounts.). I ran up credit cards before I was 20. Probably in the $1500-2000 range. Savings was not a real concept to me.

BUT, I was also pretty low maintenance. I was good with generic foods, inexpensive wardrobes, old cars, second hand stuff... I was never trying to live above my means, I just didn’t really know how to budget within my means.

The latter came in handy when dh and I got married young and broke, and kept having kids to offset income increases, lol. But now I’m almost, though I think not quite, obsessive about finances. It helps to finally have finances to work with!

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Yes, absolutely. My mom had a problem with overspending on credit cards and once gave my dad all her credit cards cut up as a Christmas present! 

I also know why my friends went to Hawaii and we camped. My parents gave me a clothing budget beginning when I was in 7th grade ($500/yr) and it was my job to buy all my clothes, shoes, etc for the year. Also, I remember that my parents never paid for us kids to eat out. When I graduated from 6th grade, my friend and her mom invited me to go to lunch with them. I asked my dad if I could go and he said, "Yes, if you have the money." 

I never felt deprived or jealous of my friends. Actually, I took great pride in the closeness of my family and the creativity we lived with. Now that I think back on my childhood, I am so thankful for the values my parents passed on to us as well as for the explicit conversations we had.

Emily

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My parents totally influenced my money thought processes.  And then the student became the teacher and I influenced theirs.  

 

My parents specifically set out to teach me and my siblings what they knew about money.  They never talked about money around us in such a way that we could accidently hear, so nothing like secret fears of not paying bills, or secret trust funds.  They taught us basic budgeting, things like writing checks to pay bills, etc etc.  It was all done deliberately.

As a high schooler....and further, as a single parent college student, I had to budget very strictly.  And became passionate and strict about being frugal and controlling my income and expenses.  That's how I found Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman and so on....even Elizabeth Warren.  And in discussing that stuff with my parents....

They have a fully paid for house.  They have multiple fully paid for vehicles.  They have....NO debt and pay for everything in cash (well on debit etc.....)  My mom has always mostly been a SAHM...though she has worked off an on through their marriage.  My dad was always a "blue collar" worker.  And yet, they have more money saved than anyone would have thought possible in their life situations.  

 

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If you consider telling your 18 year old, "When a bill comes in, you write a check for it and write it in your ledger" when she asks you how to do finances then yeah sure they did.....

My parents were the "we don't talk about money, it's not polite conversation" type. I was and still am very open about money with my kids. Pretty much the polar opposite of how my parents were. Even to the point of having them actually work on the monthly budget with me as preteens and teenagers.

Oldest ds took a personal finance class in public high school. I was thrilled when I found out they used Dave Ramsey's curriculum. Sadly, oldest ds while fairly responsible and financially independent doesn't think he is old enough to need an emergency fund or any of the other stuff he learned yet. Sigh.

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I only was raised with a mom.  She was not good with money and never spoke to me about it.  Nobody in my family ever did.  No courses at school either.   

I was reading money magazine as a ten year old.  Worked since I was 8.  I set up a roth IRA in high school.   I have no idea why I loved money so much.  I was a huge saver.   I never spent any of my birthday money.  I still love to save , but I spend on experiences a lot on non covid times.

Edited by mommyoffive
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Yes- and my siblings and I are all financially stable and always have been.  My DH and I try to talk to our kids about money and I taught a financial literacy class to the teens at our co-op, just like a previous poster.   I do find that even my 17 year old have a hard time figuring out a realistic budget just bc she hasnt really spent much or had to budget.  I do plan to help our kids slowly transition to paying their own stuff once they have jobs.  It isn't enough to teach it abstractly and hope once they get out into the world they will remember.   I think it needs to be a continual conversation- even into their 20s- including buying homes, insurance, retirement and investments. 

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No, my parents never talked about money with me. Although they did teach me the importance of not living beyond ones means. 

They have been very, very fortunate in their financial lives. Both through good career opportunities (dad was an engineer who worked in the early days of what is now Silicone Valley) and through investments.

DS has always been interested in finances and we have always included him in conversation and decision making. He started investing early, pays close attention to the market, college costs and majors and locations that offer both financial security and life balance,  and has taken a college level financial literacy course. As a result he is starting his young adult life much better informed than either DH or I did.

Edited by MEmama
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My parents didn't have a lot to say about about their personal finances other than "we can't afford it," but Mum did demonstrate the concept of budgeting, what one was budgeting for and what was and wasn't worth spending money on. What they couldn't teach us was much about making it  because they still believed that going to school and getting good marks would lead to a safe job; or what to do with money if you had it, because saving until your savings got wiped out on kids shoes, or a new fridge was as good as it got. They didn't pass on many of the hands on skills they both had either.

My brother and I teach my daughter as much as we can learn ourselves and have been doing so since she was 7, when she told me she was going to have ten kids. (At 13, she's not so set on that many, but the point remains that passive income is a good thing.) For the past year or so, she's been cooking for herself on a budget each time she comes to me for the school holidays. (She was given a meaningless budgeting assignment in school, so I'm giving her a meaningful one.) She intends to spend four years as a poor apprentice so I tweak her budgeting challenge a bit each holidays to encourage her to learn more skills, including the knowledge that there was no way she could eat reasonably healthily within budget while we were road tripping. She picked up reasonably healthy frugality much faster than I thought she would, so this holidays I'm going to have her graph her plant food intake to encourage her to spend a bit more on diversity while she has the money, and to make use of the free stuff we have, which she tends to forget about. I haven't much in the way of finances to demonstrate, but my brother talks her through his shares statements and whatnot so she can learn what all that stuff means.

Actually, Ester Maria (those who have been around here forever would remember her) confirmed a lot of my thinking about how to spend money when she said kids only get to take themselves with them when they move out, so they prioritised health and education. I would have been inclined that way anyhow, due to limited income, but having it put down in black and white in that way helped me extend my thinking on what kind of educational experiences you can purchase if you save up for them. So, we lived in a one bedroom house but spent money on opera tickets.

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My father died when I was 12.  Never talked about money.

My mother was a disaster with money - they fought about money and talked about divorce because of her spending.  My grandmother (lived through the depression, very frugal - but also very unsophisticated about money) would repeatedly bail her out  (and my sister) - but never talked to me about money.

I married a man with a finance background and I learned  A LOT.   He eventually took over my mother's finances, for which she was extremely grateful. (she was on the verge of being forced to sell her condo.)

I have one that as a teen spent like dh's mother (I swear her motto would have been "what do you mean I'm out of money?  I still have checks in my check book."  - yeah, for real.).  Fortunately, that seems to mostly be in the past for that kid.     My three other adult kids have good financial heads on their shoulders.

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Neither of my parents ever talked about money. We were dirt poor but my dad had too much ego to ever admit it, and he would NEVER allow us to get any kind of charity or food stamps or other kinds of support. So most of the grocery money went to providing "normal" looking lunches and dinners for him, to keep up the illusion, while the kids had grape jelly on white bread and kool-aid for lunch. My dad is still terrible with money — if he has it, he spends it. He likes to tell people that he never worries about money and that he's still working (in his 80s) because he wants to keep active and loves meeting people, not because he needs the money. But the truth is that he and my stepmom would be homeless if I weren't covering their housing expenses (which he never acknowledges), and they wouldn't have food if he wasn't working. But he still blows what little money they have on stupid stuff and then my stepmom ends up lying awake all night trying to figure out how to stretch the food budget and still keep the electricity on. So I grew up with a great example of how NOT to manage money. 🙄

My mom was extremely resentful about how poor we were, and she complained a lot but never made any attempt to teach us about budgeting or money management. I can remember her taking me to get a new coat from a department store one year, which had never happened before (usually we got hand-me-downs from a cousin or waited until Christmas when she could get a relative to buy us new coats). I picked out a coat I loved and was so excited... and then discovered that she expected me to leave my old coat in the dressing room and walk out with the new one. I was terrified of getting caught and cried my eyes out and she eventually relented and paid for it — and then yelled at me for weeks because I "made" her spend the grocery money on a coat. I was determined never to be so poor that I'd have to resort to stealing to keep my kids clothed. 😞

I graduated HS at 16 and put myself through college with scholarships and loans, so I was totally on my own in terms of figuring out budgeting and money management. But because of how I grew up I have always been pretty frugal, and I've definitely made sure my own kids have a decent understanding of what things cost and how to budget. One is naturally very frugal and the other is more likely to spend what she has — but she just moved into her own apartment and is learning pretty quickly the importance of having a monthly budget.

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We didn't discuss it much. My dad did teach me how to write checks and balance a checkbook. I know my folks had a credit/charge card or two - I'm pretty sure I remember a Sears card - but they used them as a convenience, not to buy things they couldn't otherwise afford. Mostly I knew they didn't spend money they didn't need to. My mom had a garden when I was a kid, and always bought as much as she could at thrift stores. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs and Christmas/birthday giving was not an extravaganza.

My husband and I talk to our kids a lot more than our parents talked to us, but still they don't know all the details. Recently we redid some of our financial documents and gathered everything together, then had a little meeting to go over stuff so they would know where to find things if we died unexpectedly. I don't remember how it came up, but my son said he was glad we had bought our house after the market crash in 2008. We sort of laughed and said, uh, no, sorry, it was just before.  Whoops.  We have made clear our philosophy on credit cards (use free ones with good rewards, get the perks, pay off each month, which still means being careful and not overspending). 

I have had to talk a lot to one of my kids a good bit about the dangers of "spending to save" -  you know, buying more than you really need/want/can use in order to  get free shipping, or buy-one-get-one-half-off deals which turn out not to be great if you don't need two of the thing, or which may be overpriced in order to support the "great deal." And I will still whip out the calculator as needed to figure out the cheapest price per unit when trying to decide between different items in the grocery store. (I can't do that math in my head, but fortunately I don't need to.) My mom always used calculator in the grocery store to stay in her budget and avoid the embarrassment of having to put stuff back once at the cashier.  We also talk about buying quality rather than always going for the cheapest thing if it's something that can be useful long term. 

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When I was young, my parents didn’t have a lot of money, but by the time I was in high school, they did. They have always been good at living within their means, though Dad spent some on fancy playthings. They could afford it though. Financial security was always important to both of them. Dad also made some poor investments, but always with extra money he could afford to lose. They taught us how to live within our means and the importance of saving. They would discuss money in front of us. They spent a lot of money on us for education and experiences, but they didn’t spend a lot on things like fancy clothes for us. 
 

Both dh and I came from similar upper middle class backgrounds with similar financial values. Live below your means, save, and invest heavily in your kids through young adulthood. We talk a lot about money, and our young adult kids know how much dh makes and roughly our net worth. I taught a financial literacy class to both kids in high school, and I still give plentiful advice to them now that they are in college and slowly working towards their financial independence.

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Interestingly, my parents never talked to us about money.  It's strange now, when I think of it.  They were both extremely responsible financially though, and had everything very well budgeted.  So it's odd that they didn't talk with us kids about it.  We (kids) were all quite careful though anyway.   I grew up in the 60's and 70's and I think most kids my age were pretty frugal with money and we didn't spend much at all.  Kids just didn't spend money on clothes and electronics and such then like they do now.  

We did talk more about it with our own kids, but I think we could have even been more specific.  My dh was naturally good with budgeting, etc., and enjoyed it.  So, he did the budgeting and I did the taxes.  

 

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Yes, in that there was never anything hidden from me and money was not a forbidden topic by any means. When I was little, money was tight. After my parents, divorced, we were dirt poor. My mother never hid from me how hard it was to make ends meet or where money came from or didn't come from. It wasn't a forbidden topic with my grandparents either - my mother's father worked for H&R Block doing taxes and he liked to drop random nuggets of wisdom. My paternal grandparents were poor, but my grandfather owned a small business and if I sat in the shop, he'd talk about money. Also about why you shouldn't trust banks, though. Because sometimes, when you're poor and grew up in the 30's, you get a little messed up from it.

I don't feel like I ever got a good education in how to manage money. Like, I got support and random tips, but not a good, real education. I'm not bad with money, but I'm not good either. I think growing up pretty poor at times but poor with resources in middle class neighborhoods and with educated parents... did a bit of a number on my head and my thinking about money sometimes. But dh and I are a good match. He's slightly anal about managing the money where I have trouble sitting down to really go through it because it makes me so stressed. And where he can be a spendthrift, I tend to be a much better "shopper" and good at holding him back - whether it's actual shopping or figuring out what bank plan or credit card deal or what have you. So I think it's works out mostly.

I do talk to my kids about money... but I'm not sure if they really get it. Sigh. They have grown up with a lot more wealth than I did and I see how they both have listened to the rhetoric that we've shared about not spending too much, etc. but also have trouble internalizing it. Balletboy, in particular, seems to think money is endless and easy to make. He would say he doesn't, but it never occurs to him to think there are limits.

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Yes, in that we never really had any so there weren’t many discussions.

I’ve worried that because of that I wouldn’t do a good job with my dc but they are both so frugal! I hear them both often say they have a purchase waiting but are going to sleep on it to see if they still want to spend the money tomorrow. They definitely seem more aware when it’s their own money (even if it’s money we’ve given them). 

 

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Yes, none of it was ever secret. Mom always wrote checks for the household bills on the kitchen counter, and we could see and talk about how much they were. I still remember how much their house payment was every month.

We didn't do things like take vacations or huge shopping trips, but I don't remember if I mentally connected it to the fact that there wasn't enough money or not.  We always had enough to cover the basics, just not a lot of extra. I think when I was very young, they had some periods that were very lean. But by the time I remember, it was more stable.

When I was 13, I started working at the family business and eventually took over all the bookkeeping. I wrote the checks, so I knew how much money went in and out. 

While I don't recall much explicit teaching, I did learn a lot and still live similarly. It was just absorbed in life.

We have conversations with the kids pretty often. They don't know many of the big numbers, but only because they just can't be trusted not to divulge things that we'd rather keep private. When they can be, we'll share it with them. But we do discuss the cost of things, how money and credit cards work, etc. 

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My mother talked about having no money. She lived within her means but her anxiety about money meant that her house decayed around her  because she didn't do repairs.  My dad rarely talked about money but lived within his means.

We've talked to our children a bit about money but I've tried to sound less  anxious than my mother. They seem okay so far.

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Yes, I remember my mom sitting at the kitchen table doing her weekly budgeting, and I would ask her questions and stuff.  This goes back as far as my childhood memory.  And it would come up naturally all the time.  There was certainly no taboo about it.  I also remember going with my dad to the bank to cash his paycheck and then to the grocery store.  Dad wasn't "in charge of the money," but it wasn't a taboo for him either.

I think my mom was good with money, not that we had much of it.  Hard to say really.  I know she meant to be, but probably made mistakes ... and who doesn't?  What are the chances of keeping a balanced budget with a working-class income and six kids?  They did run up a lot of credit card debt over time, but I don't know exactly how or when that happened.

My current situation is a lot different than my parents' was.  I adopted my kids after I had a paid-off house and some cash saved up.  I no longer really need to budget.  I don't have much occasion to say "we can't afford that."  It's more "we have different priorities for spending." 

I'm pretty good with money - to the extent I have bills (like utilities), I pay them efficiently, mostly through automatic payments.  However, the downside is that I don't have much opportunity to show my kids money management.  We do talk about money, and they have their own to manage, but it rings differently when a dumb purchase isn't going to mean we eat less, perform our own medical procedure, or worry about getting something shut off.  I often wonder how I can teach my kids the skills and mindset they will need when they are independent and cash-poor.

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I don't remember a lot of discussions about money or budgeting. I do remember learning a general sense of frugality. My parents grew up very poor (grandma worked in a cotton field) so they were trying to dig out of that. Mom worked 2 jobs often and dad had a side job as well. They wanted us to be in better shape then they were, they didn't want us to be the poor kids like them. They did a great job considering where they came from. I think they use(d) credit too much but considering where they started it is pretty amazing where they ended up. They are set for retirement, as are the inlaws. My mil grips constantly about not having money but that is just her nature, she has a good amount of assets and a nice pension in addition to SS.

We've talked about money with the kids from young ages- savings, retirement, debt, compound interest, budget etc. Dd1 was just telling me that her classmates have no clue about money and she can't believe they don't understand how these things work. Like @fairfarmhand when my son turned 16 he got a job he is paying for his insurance, gas, and phone. He is also saving to buy a car. We bought him a starter car but he will be replacing hit by graduation and it will be sold and put towards a car for dd1.

I planned a more specific financial class for high school to cover anything we might have missed but that will have to be in the summer sometime since they older 2 have opted for PS.

I think my son will be more the spender and dd1 more a saver based on their personalities but we shall see. I'm not sure about the younger 2 yet.

We've done well enough for ourselves, considering we've been 1 blue collar income we've done pretty darn well. Except the first couple of yrs of marriage we've not had car debt. I paid off my small student loans 2 yrs after graduating (then promptly quit to SAH). We paid off the house 6 yrs ago at 35/38. We did that through living modestly. We are still in our starter house from when we got married. We expanded after the house fire but that had to be finished as we could afford as we were underinsured. We've kept older vehicles that aren't the prettiest but run them until they aren't worth anything. We buy use often and do much around the house and with vehicles ourselves. We've grown our retirement nicely. I think we could do better still whereas dh doesn't want to live any more tightly.

I'm hoping to get dc's a good start in life, that might not necessarily be through a lot of financial help(we'll see what we can do) but more specific guidance that I didn't receive and the ability to live at home until they can get a good foundation. I know it is easier for kids that have parents that can pay more and do more but our income only stretches so far and retirement is a priority.

 

Edited by soror
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My parents talked about certain things, but they were a bit atypical when it came to financial matters.  For example, they weren't wealthy, but they hated getting loans because of how much you end up paying in interest.  So the only loan they ever got was in the late 60s for their home, and they ended up paying it off in like a quarter of the time.  They saved money to buy cars, and only bought one car the entire time I was growing up.  They didn't get a credit card until way past when everyone else had them, and then they paid them off every month, again, because interest.

Even though they seemed weird at the time, their financial ways rubbed off on me, and it's been a good thing!

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NO! 

I know my mom was allotted money for the month for household expenses, etc.. No idea how much. My dad was an engineer so he had to be making good money. But I always felt guilty for wanting/needing new clothes. I grew 5 inches in a few months and remember that I hated to ask to go buy another pair of shoes because I had already outgrown the pair we bought last month. 

 

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In the sense of teaching me to manage it? No, sadly. Trying to do better with my kids.

My dad was always complaining about lack of money, mostly bc he was a poor manager of it.

My mom did much better, but it never discussed much.

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My parents didn't talk to me about money but they did teach me not to ask for things that were needed unless it was Christmas or my birthday. So, they taught me that if I wanted things outside of those times I'd have to make my own money. And that is what I did. My brother and I made hundreds of dollars each year selling lemonade from ages 9 to 12. We lived across the street from the University football stadium. So on game days we'd be out there for hours as students and parents walked to the game and walked back. It funded our lego obsession nicely.

My parents struggled financially when I was growing up because they sent all 7 of their children to private school. So, while they didn't make tons of money they spent it where it mattered because we all got great educations. They put us all through college by choosing to work at a community college and a university for free tuition. But they also put tons on credit cards and didn't pay them off every month. They were playing catch up for most of my childhood.

Now they are financially set because of selling a paid off house that appreciated in value and pensions from their jobs. They put the money from their house sale in the stock market right after it crashed in 2008. So, they have seen some crazy good gains since then.

I talk about finances a lot with my kids. They all save a portion of their money by choice and my oldest is trying to earn enough money to put it in the stock market. Enough money meaning I told him is he was able to save $1000 I'd help him invest it. He will reach that goal by working on my parents house with dh and me.

My hope is that all my children are all financially literate prior to age 18 because I don't think most people are and it can really set you back a long time if you don't start out with that knowledge.

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I got great instruction on unit pricing in the grocery store, and learned how to balance a checkbook. Never anything like investments, as we were doing well to keep the utilities juggled, etc. School math classes taught about loan interest.

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Yes, my dad liked to study and discuss personal finance. So I learned that fixed rate mortgages are a great deal when inflation spikes and that if interest is tax deductible, you should finance big purchases, but if it's not, you should pay cash. (Until the 80s car loan interest was tax deductible and when that was eliminated we talked about the effect that would have on financing decisions.) We discussed when to invest in stocks versus bonds. We talked about the gold craze in the late 70s/early 80s and why people were freaked out by inflation and why gold is a store of value.

Both of my parents are frugal but not extreme about it, more fat FIRE than lean FIRE. My grandmother was very influenced by the Great Depression and hid cash because she didn't trust banks. My parents discussed why this was and that she wasn't crazy, but that it wasn't a great model to follow. We never wanted for anything, but we also learned to look for bargains and were taught to shun conspicuous consumption (more as protective camouflage than as a financial misstep.) To this day, I firmly believe that it's wise to blend in and never flaunt wealth on your person. That lesson was reinforced by living in Caracas for a decade. You won't be a target for a mugging if you don't have anything worth stealing.

I've talked to my kids about money, but the boys aren't really able to understand much because of their disabilities. OTOH, they are okay with delaying consumption and earning a treat once a month, so they're not going to go wild when they do have a bit of money. Their tastes are very basic and they're content with a frugal life style.

Dd has been taking a more active interest in financial planning and savings now that she's planning her post high school life. She decided to join the Navy and started watching youtube videos about making the most of military benefits and how to save a nice nest egg while on active duty. Color me astonished that my 17 yo wants to talk about the best option for a TSP. She's way ahead of where I was at her age. 

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Yes, sometimes they were TOO open about money.  I remember one day when I was a fairly little kid worrying I shouldn't go to the emergency room when I got injured at school because we couldn't afford it.  We absolutely could afford it but they had joked about being broke the day before after grocery shopping and I didn't realize it was a joke.

One of my grandparents worked in the financial industry and always had things like MONEY magazine lying around the house.  I would read the articles and ask about them so I felt like I had a pretty good handle on things like low cost investing and compound interest long before I ever got old enough to work.

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I do think there's a balance between scaring the kids and leaving them ignorant about money.

I remember getting in trouble at school because I didn't wear my glasses ... my folks hadn't gone to pick them up from the optician, and I assumed it was because money was tight.  (I was legally blind.)  I also remember wearing shoes with huge holes in the toes to school in 8th grade.  They were my Christmas gift, and I didn't feel I could ask for another pair of shoes.  Pretty sure it didn't enhance my social status.  Now I think my folks would have figured something out if I'd come to them about these things.

I love the movie "I Remember Mama."  This family was living on a super tight budget, and the mom would always say she hoped they wouldn't have to go to the bank to take out money to pay xyz.  So the kids always felt secure believing there was money in the bank for emergencies.  In the end, it is revealed that there was no bank account.  The mom just didn't want the kids to be scared.

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Yes and no.  They talked about how dad had a second job to help with money.  They didn't really talk about how to budget past saving up for something you wanted.  We had some wealthier relatives and I got a lot of cash as a teenager just from that and their was no guidance on using it.  Is always just blew it. Unless they told me I had to pay for 1/2 of some camp or expensive thing.  They seem to be good with money.  I do okay but their was a lot of things I could have done a lot better when I was younger with a little guidance.

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Yes sure.  My parents were self made business owners.  I was born into a trailer park/apartment life and by the time I graduated high school my parents owned many properties, had several successful businesses and was well funded for early retirement (which my dad had to take due to health issues).  We lived in a 4000 square foot house with a pool in a trending suburb. They lived a fairly modest lifestyle for their income level at all levels actually. So I don't remember being scared.  But I do remember them hemming and hawing about things and spending conservatively.  And budgeting and saving for indulgences like vacations, experiences, etc.  Like my mom could have certainly gotten into designer clothes and high end salon services, but she shops sales and wears very basic clothing, she likes small town salons, etc.   We had chores and allowance and had to save for certain things as kids/teens.  We did some group travel as teens and we had to be part of saving for those experiences.

My kids in some ways had more and less privledged upbringings.  I probably wasn't as intentional as my own parents who came from more humble beginnings, but yes, we've talked about money with kids in an ongoing way.  I have been intentional about letting them know where we sit on the socio-economic scale.   I think when you are sitting in a fairly affluent area it's easy to look at the have mores.  I also think in some cases the have mores are not really financially secure either.  I have a brother who lives a similar life style to us at a considerably lower income level and makes more reckless financial decisions.  My parents have saved him multiple times as a full on married adult.  I rarely buy my kids stuff other than necessities except at holidays and birthdays.  We do budgeted vacations, we aren't jet setters, etc.   Also, we live in a somewhat HCOL area which kind of can skew with perceptions too.  

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My parents did not talk about money with us. We did answer the phone and door when collectors came calling. That is pretty scary for a kid. One of my greatest achievements in life is that my kids have never had utilities cut off for nonpayment, or collectors calling and showing up at the door. So grateful that life hasn't put us in that position and proud we haven't put ourselves in it. 

My parents were not good with money. My dad made a decent amount but couldn't manage it. Like, he really enjoyed good food and electronics. But then we would get our lights cut off. He didn't even talk to my mom about money. I think she had a rough idea what he made but he did things like buy cars and houses as "surprises". Alot was for show. He didn't eat leftovers or food that came out of the freezer. To him those were things that poor people did. As an adult I am super frugal (use leftovers and the freezer!) When my dad has been around and he has witnessed that he says things like "don't feed your dh leftovers!" or "don't feed my grandkids food out of the freezer. I'll take you out to eat." Yet, when my family has had a major car expense or house repair he has been floored we could pay for it. There's just a disconnect there. Like we shouldn't eat leftovers but he can't believe we can absorb a $3000 expense. ??

Dh came from even worse. Total financial mismanagement with no concept of reality. We, in our mid forties, are doing better and have learned alot but we got married at 21 without no clue and no counsel. We made messes. 

We do talk to our kids about money. When we would get a medical bill or EOB I would open it and explain how it worked. We make sure they understand how the car insurance works. We have taken our teens with us when buying/financing cars and allow them to see the process and the numbers. 

My 22 yo ds starts his real job on Monday. Like real job with very signifcant income and retirement benefits, etc. He is consulting with me on all his options and what health insurance he takes etc etc. He's really smart and can learn on his own but why? Why not consult with someone who loves you and has alot of life experience? We have just never thought it necessary to be super private and we are all stronger with open communication about it. 

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My parents are not good with money. Dad has a good pension so now they're ok, but growing up they routinely lived on credit. The only thing they explicitly taught me about money was that getting a credit card early would give me a good credit rating 😞 They definitely influenced my thinking and spending. When we got married and DH was adamant about no debt except the mortgage I had a lot of mental adjustments to make. DH had to make some adjustments too because I felt a lot of personal conviction about tithing.

Giving 10+% of our income and living on one income without using credit meant for some rather lean times at the beginning of our marriage. But we've been so blessed by it and now that we've been married for 23 years we've paid off our mortgage and own our own vehicles and have a modest amount in the savings account.

We have been intentional about teaching these habits to our kids. From the time they're little they have Give, Save, and Spend jars to allocate any money they are given or earn. The Save jar is for college. We talk about money issues a lot and they know what we can/can't afford as far as purchasing vehicles, going on vacations, helping them with college costs, etc. We also have them do Dave Ramsey's homeschool course in high school.

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I grew up in a different country, there were no mortgages, no credit cards, and the idea of being poor was very different than what it is in US. I know they saved and never borrowed from anyone. That's about it.

When we came to US, my mom didn't want to buy a house bc she couldn't wrap her head around "borrowing" money.

I don't know if I am the way I am about money bc of nature or nurture.

I talk to my kids about it, but in more abstract terms, I think. They don't get allowances bc "there is no welfare in our house". They do get their own budgets for certain things. They don't know how much we make, but they do know that there is a budget and certain things we can afford and why and certain things we can't. They know the difference between saving and investing, and compound interest and that it works both ways....

 

 

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Dh and I had a really interesting time figuring out how to talk about money with the kids without scaring them right before Thanksgiving last year.  Dh was in the process of switching careers and his employer of 20 years decided to demote him to part time because he was leavin.  It was a mess and really threw us off guard because this employer had always tried to treat dh and our family well. Anyway, we couldn't avoid sitting down with the kids and explaining to them what dh working part-time meant for us because it was right before Christmas and we couldn't even afford to buy a tree. 

We sat them down and told them they would have food, their home, electricity, and water but beyond that we were not sure what christmas would look like.  Thankfully, we were able to assure them that even if we didn't have enough money to cover the necessities our families wouldn't allow us to go without.  It really put money into perspective for my older three. And while it was a scary time I'm actually happy we went through it together.  we all came out ahead eventually.

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On 9/25/2020 at 6:19 PM, mommyoffive said:

Did your parents talk to you about money when you were a kid?

Are your parents good with money or not?  Did they influence your financial life?

Do you talk to your kids about money?  Are you doing things to teach them about finances?

No, I don’t ever remember having any idea of my parents’ incomes, bills, etc. 

Looking back, they never used credit cards unless we were on a vacation. Vacations were low key - zoos, rent a cabin to fish, not glamorous, but a lot of fun. We went out to eat twice a year - once in the summer to the A&W and once in the winter for pizza when we would go see a light display. I think I’d been to McDonald’s less than five times ever. 
 

Looking back? Solidly middle class - both parents worked good blue collar jobs. We had new clothes every new school year, plenty of food, band instruments, a comfortable home. However, they bought the family farm when I was fourteen and they worked HARd and nearly every minute.

I think they are amazing with money. They are very comfortable now but they invested heavily and saved a lot. Both are retired, except for farming now, and have additional specialty insurance and savings for nursing homes, etc. Thryve planned well. That said?  They never had any health concerns, etc.

We think we’ve taught them well? All three of my oldest bought their first cars with cash they saved. My oldest is married with three kids and can make a dollar stretch! She went to school on scholarships and they paid cash for their car and van.

My second opted for a fancier second car and a loan... and a cracked head. Expensive lesson in how much nicer life is without a car payment. 😉

My third is eighteen and very responsible -but I would say maybe even bordering on not enjoying what she earns? She makes me realize kids need to be taught to save AND that it’s okay to enjoy some of it?

DH and I are okay with money - not amazing... but to be fair we have eleven kids (and clothes, activities, groceries, etc that go with eleven kids...) and major medical expenses. 😉

 

 

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My mother would never say a thing about money other than downplay what she could afford but then, miraculously, when something happened she had the money, cash - and not credit. I don't know why she could not bring herself to saying "I am saving it."

My grandmother lived through WWII and left behind a house and most items in it when they had to flee. She saved as much money as she could but managed to appear more generous than my mother. Every New Year's Eve, my grandmother would walk around to various vendors (coal & wood & oil delivery and maintenance items that would normally get billed) and pay all her bills so she would never "go into the new year with debt." As a kid when I stayed with my grandmother, I remember that the man who delivered the coal had to scramble into his chaotic office and shuffle through stacks of paper to find my Grandmother's bill so she could pay it before the new year arrived.

I did budgeting with ds when we were doing schooling and he seems to have self-educated on some things.

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Just now, Liz CA said:

My mother would never say a thing about money other than downplay what she could afford but then, miraculously, when something happened she had the money, cash - and not credit. I don't know why she could not bring herself to saying "I am saving it."

My grandmother lived through WWII and left behind a house and most items in it when they had to flee. She saved as much money as she could but managed to appear more generous than my mother. Every New Year's Eve, my grandmother would walk around to various vendors (coal & wood & oil delivery and maintenance items that would normally get billed) and pay all her bills so she would never "go into the new year with debt." As a kid when I stayed with my grandmother, I remember that the man who delivered the coal had to scramble into his chaotic office and shuffle through stacks of paper to find my Grandmother's bill so she could pay it before the new year arrived.

I did budgeting with ds when we were doing schooling and he seems to have self-educated on some things. Thank God, because I today I would include compound interest, investment strategies, etc. into the curriculum.

 

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On 9/25/2020 at 6:19 PM, mommyoffive said:

Did your parents talk to you about money when you were a kid?

Are your parents good with money or not?  Did they influence your financial life?

Do you talk to your kids about money?  Are you doing things to teach them about finances?

Yes, they did. It was not a sit-down one-time lecture, but my mom, especially, talked about things as they came up. And yes, they were good with money. Well, my mom was better than my dad, because my dad was very generous and cared more about helping people than about securing his finances. But they were wise with their money and careful. They had a good income, bought quality, but didn't spend on things that many of their peers did. They influenced me, but I am not as good about it as they were; or at least, dh and I together are not always so good about it.

We have talked to ours about money, and for the most part, they seem to be practicing wise principles (sometimes better than we do). Some of them went through the Financial Peace University program for high schoolers. Others have read books on finances.

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19 hours ago, SKL said:

I no longer really need to budget.  I don't have much occasion to say "we can't afford that."  It's more "we have different priorities for spending."

Dh would tell the kids we couldn't afford X. I would tell them we could afford X, but are choosing to spend that money on A, B, and C instead. I thought it was important for them to understand that while there was a lot we could afford, we couldn't afford everything and had to make choices.

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My dad taught me to budget and was always so proud when we returned home after a trip because I still had a significant amount left. However, after my parents divorced, neither of them were very involved in my finances. I started using credit cards in college because they were so easy to get and I never had enough money. Dh straightened me out and we've had a budget every since.

Dh taught our kids about budgeting as soon as they got their first jobs. He set up their budget for them for college. Oldest dd was incredibly frugal her first few years of college, then decided it was ok to spend some money. She received a Navy scholarship to cover med school and was unsure about taking it. We talked about how much the loans would be monthly when she got out and how many $$$ monthly she would need to make just to cover them.

Younger dd has had a job since her junior year of high school. She saw how frugal her older sister was and didn't want to live that way, so her job allows for a little bit of spending money. She's good at looking ahead and setting goals, but has a tendency to spend whenever she wants.

Ds is using the budget dh made for him and they talk about it every so often. We're still on his checking account, but not on his credit card. Se we see some spending, but not all of it. I expect in the next couple of years dh will let it go.

One thing that's been tricky in our house has been letting go of our budgets for the kids. It's much easier to continue guiding them if we can see what they're spending.

Our kids have very different ways of spending their money. We usually spend cash. They usually use a card (debit or credit) or Venmo or another app. I can see the benefits of not using cash, but they don't use a checkbook register to verify how much money is in their acct. They rely on monitoring their checking/savings accounts. Oldest dd forget to take into consideration that the rent check was coming up, so she didn't really have as much money as she thought. I think they get by this by having a set amount in their checking acct and transferring money from savings if needed.

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yes.

 We were taught that budgets don't work as people then spend all their budgeted money. instead you buy minimal and every single cent left over from everything is put into a container and paid off the mortgage faster or put into savings. if you can get something secondhand then get it that way, don't buy new unless there is no other option and it is essential. 

nothing every borrowed apart from a mortgage. live well below your means and save save save.

 that is how my parents lives, that is how their parents lived, that is how we live and my children are living like that as well.

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On 9/25/2020 at 7:52 PM, fairfarmhand said:

My kids do get to help us on the FASFA. When they gape at the "huge" (to them) amount of money we make, my dh breaks it down. Yeah we made that much. This is how much went to mortgage last year, this went to insurance. This went to groceries. This went to gas. Until it's gone and that SHOCKS my teens that *so much* (HAHAHA!) money could go away so easily. 

I do think this is an important point because kids can think xyz salary or amount of money is soooooo much, but it isn’t for living on. I have even seen this misunderstanding (when I was a kid; not recently) in boys who quit school at 16 because they could make soooo much money as a roofer’s helping or in a car shop. They don’t understand that these “great riches” don’t go very far for indépendant living, much less raising a family. Also, a lot of young people, IME, do not think or believe their body will wear out or they could get permanently injured as a trades helper. 

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