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How a Parent's Money Habits Influence Children

How Did Your Parents' Spending Shape Your Money Habits?

Our parents teach us many things, from healthy habits to money matters. Mine, for one, were pretty frugal, and I learned by example the value of replacing only when necessary and forgoing a spending spree.

The money lessons I learned from my parents have helped me be the saver I am today. They've also helped me recognize the importance of investing in things I value, whether it be a good pair of boots or traveling the world, while not going overboard or neglecting other important things like 401(k) or an emergency fund.

Sometimes, however, your mom or dad's money habits may make you want to do the opposite. It took me years (and several high-balance credit cards in college) before I jumped on the saving bandwagon. From splurging instead of penny-pinching to contributing to an emergency fund when you see how hard it was for your parents to manage without one, how have their financial habits shaped the way you manage money today?

Source: Flickr User Ken Wilcox

Join The Conversation
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
They always planned ahead on everything (large expenses like summer vacations as well as small ones like apples on sale somewhere), and never ever got any loans, apart from one where they bought a house. For everything else, they saved up the money, then bought it.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
I live within my modest means (which sucks sometimes, I'll admit it!); contribute to my 401k, savings account, and HSA every paycheck; and pay any money owed off as quickly as possible. My mom did not do these things, and as a result of that, she lost her home and lived in my basement for a few years. I will NEVER do that to my own daughter. She might miss out on some trendy clothes or extracurricular activities, but she'll have what she needs and she'll be able to enjoy her adulthood without having to subsidize a parent's living.
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
They did a great job of teaching me how to use my money. When I was in middle school my uncle gave me a 100 dollar gift card to the mall. Typically I would be like "buy me this, buy me that", but since it was my money it taught me how to spend wisely. That was one of my first lessons. I also try not to impulse shop, and waste my money on unimportant items. I know if I really want something I can wait a day or two to make sure it's not lust (lol).
mscc mscc 6 years
My parents taught me to always be wary of all things involving money, like credit card offers and telemarketer/TV sales pitches. I learned by their example and definitely from their mistakes. I don't think I would be in such good financial condition today if it hadn't been from watching them deal with both sides: living frugally and also falling to the traps of excess. Thanks, parents! ;)
Deidre Deidre 6 years
My parents definitely taught me a lot about basic money management. Daddy's number one tip was always "to pay yourself first," meaning to always sock away funds into a retirement fund then use the remaining paycheck to pay for bills, housing, leisure, etc.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 6 years
i didn't know a THING about my parents fiances...which is probably good. I was able to learn about budgeting (thank till debt do we part!) and play around myself without my parents being invloved. I now like to think i am responsible with my money and am on a good track :)
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