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What Money Lessons Did You Learn From Your Family?

Everyone is finger-pointing blame about the state of the economy, including financial guru Jean Chatzky. She thinks one of the reasons we got to this place is because "fewer of us have grandparents telling us why it’s important to save and what it was like to live through the 1930s." Chatzky immediately clarifies that in no way is she comparing the present to the Great Depression, and is just suggesting we could brush up on the money lessons from the time period.

Have you learned valuable financial lessons from your grandparents or parents? Please share them in the comments!


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JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
To pay bills on time. Not live out of my means but at the same time don't deny myself or my family. To save whenever possible. How to keep a budget. How to use a checking account. My husbands parents never taught him any of this. It's not like they didn't do it but they didn't teach him how to do it. He didn't know about debit cards until he was with me. Luckily, he's really responsible with money and is a quick learner.
burnsrunner burnsrunner 8 years
I feel like my family and I are always on a roller coaster with this economy. I'm always trying to catch up to what's happening and why. Right now I am reading "The 21st Century Economy—A Beginner’s Guide," by Randy Charles Epping, that is helping me make sense of what is really happening. I also feel like choices on what to do with my money are a lot clearer.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
Never lend more money than you can afford to lose. And if it's a friend, it's easier to give them some of what they need as a gift than to lend them all that they'll need and ruin the friendship over it.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Does learning from your parents' mistakes count? I learned never to overdraw your checking account (my parents did that a LOT), always record what you spent from your checking account and keep receipts from your credit card so you know where your money went (my mom was notorious for not writing down how much she wrote checks for), don't take out store credit cards, ALWAYS keep money in a savings account, never borrow money from your 401(k), and pay your credit cards off in full every month. My parents did a few things right, though: Try to never have a car payment...put down as much as you can and pay off the balance as quickly as possible and never lease a car. Buy a house that you can afford, not necessarily the one you REALLY in the affordable house for a few years until you can afford a bigger one, THEN buy it.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Bills come first, never let a credit card payment slide because it will come to bite you in the end and splurging is okay but saving is better.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
I got my savings account when I was old enough to do math. I was held accountable for everything I wanted, i.e., I had to buy it on my own. While my friends were getting their cars from their folks, as well as new wardrobes all the time, and skiing vacays, I had to *buy* everything! I complained bitterly but it really made me aware of what my priorities were. I also had jobs from the time I was 12.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I learned to live within my means, pay cash for everything, and credit cards can be a horrible thing.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
I learned so much about money growing up, including general values about saving (I had the cutest piggy bank), frugal spending, investing, etc. But I think one of the most tangible lessons I had was when my mom sat me down shortly before I left for college and showed me the composition book where she tracked the household budget. It was meaningful for me to see how they actually managed money. And it was their way of telling me, you're grown up, now it's time for you to do it on your own.
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
I had my first savings account from birth, and my first checking account at about 13. My mom paid the bills and preached a lot about money (since we never had any). I have been a nut about saving and not splurging ever since. Some of her tips.. hmm, lets see. -Always know how much money you have in your checking account. -Always have a little extra in your checking in case you have missed something. -Ask yourself if you "need" this, or if you "want" it. If you are strapped for cash, put everything you want back. -If you saw something you really want, put it back, and if you are still thinking about it a week later, and can validate the purchase, then get it. I have come to a lot of conclusions on my own since then. -Put aside a certain amount of money each paycheck. You won't miss it if you never saw it. -Make a budget and don't go over it. -When looking to purchase a house, think about how much you are spending in rent, parking and utilities. Think about how much more you can afford to spend. Add in 100 dollars a month for repairs and double all of your utilities, and that should be your maximum mortagae payment. And don't forget about property taxes. Mine are 275 a month, and have to be included in that number of "what you can afford". Don't leave that out, or you'll struggle and fall short every month. -Use cash for purchases. It really makes you think about how much you are spending, and on what. -Set up retirement accounts when you are young. Putting in 5000 when you are young, as compared to 5000 when you are 45 is a huge difference & will really help. That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I'll think of more later.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
I grew up watching my mom balance her checkbook and account for most purchases down to the penny. As I got older, she encouraged me to open my own savings account and when it came to credit cards, she said to always pay my bills in full. I have yet to pay a penny of credit card interest to date!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Yes -- live within my means. This is why my husband and I are doing fine in this economy.
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