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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Doc Holiday on August 25, 2017, 09:22:03 PM

Title: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Doc Holiday on August 25, 2017, 09:22:03 PM
I grew up in a family that seemed always on the edge financially. We lived well, but always being at the edge lead to constant fighting between my parents. My father was in it for the high life and my mother a much more conservative approach. Both were born in the Depressio era.  My parents divorced after 17 years in the 1970's. FWIW, my dad lived great until he died in his 80s, leaving almost no money. My mother lived simply and left over 1M.
Although my being on this board is res ipsa loquitur, I'm wondering whether others are fiscally conservative because of their parents good examples or bad ones (or unrelated to parents' styles).
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: TartanTallulah on August 26, 2017, 02:30:18 AM
My parents managed from the outset (they married very young) to do everything right on working class earnings. Solid jobs, no scatterbrained spending, two children, state schools, on the housing ladder before it was fashionable and avoided churning houses and cars, inexpensive holidays, self-assured enough to shrug off peer pressure, the epitome of "frugal but not cheap". Mustachian before MMM was born. They saved rather than investing, but even then they were sensibly sticking to what they understood.

I think they have despaired over me at times.

Something I have learned from them is not to be intrusive about how much my children earn and how they handle their money. My mother still interrogates me about my personal and household finances and tells me how to manage my money. I'm in my fifties! I love it when she gets obsessed with something different and monologues about that instead and gets her proboscis out of my wallet for a while.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: happy on August 26, 2017, 04:46:53 AM
My first response to your question was that my money habits are the result of my own decisions and actions, not my parents. And in terms of my MMM "conversion" 5 and a half years ago, thats true. I really have pursued my own financial education.

But I realised I had a lot of background habits I got from my parents. Like my parents, I'd say financially middle of the road... no debt other than mortgage, second hand cars until my late 40s and so on. But I definitely liked a fine  lifestyle, and was pretty spendy from a mustachian point of view ( clothes, dining, concert subscriptions, home furnishings, holidays) - pretty similar to my folks.  I also received almost no financial education from my parents. Dad ran the finances and mum ran the home. He taught my brother a wealth of business and financial practices but didn't like to talk to me about that. Whilst they were really supportive of me having a good professional career ( in the 1970s), I think he thought I would be alright because of that, and still had those gender stereotypes whereby I didn't get much tutoring in finances. At the age of 40 I became a single parent  and relearned what I called "living like a student" and general became much more frugal, but succumbed to lifestyle creep as I got back on my feet. So yes, previously programmed to a combination of LBYM and YOLO.

Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: startingsmall on August 26, 2017, 07:32:46 AM

My parents divorced when I was about 12 years old. I lived primarily with my mom, but spent weekends with my dad

My mom was VERY financially irresponsible. She was receiving ~$36k/yr in alimony & child support (this was 20-something years ago.... so apparently the equivalent of $67k in today's dollars!!) and spent money like it was going out of style. New vehicles every few years (one of which was a Mustang convertible), a bumper sticker at one point that said "He who dies with the most toys wins!", nice clothing, etc. She mad a lot of bad romantic decisions, too, and spent a lot of our money supporting her boyfriends' drug habits, bailing them out of jail, etc. My parents went in together to buy me a used car when I turned 16... but the title was apparently in my mom's name and she took out a title loan on it, so it was repossessed multiple times (when she didn't make the payment or allowed the insurance to lapse). Financially, I'd say she was kind of a disaster. She declared bankruptcy while I was in high school and went through a lot of struggles after that... once my brother and I moved out, she didn't have much income.

My dad, on the other hand, is very financially savvy. No college degree but worked himself up to managing and then co-owning a big, successful business. From an early age, he tried to talk to me about money. As soon as I started my first job, he started a Roth for me and contributed every year. (I didn't find out about this until I finished grad school and he sent me a statement for it, along with an explanation of how the account worked, expected account balance at 65 based on varying contribution levels, and and the fatherly advice "DON'T SPEND THE MONEY!") He shopped mostly at Target, emphasized the need to always buy used cars because of new car depreciation, etc.

I definitely feel like I got the best of both worlds. My dad gave me a basic understanding of the right way to do money and my mom gave me a valuable example of what could happen if you didn't do money correctly. In that regard, I'm very grateful for my upbringing.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: steveo on August 26, 2017, 06:09:39 PM
I think I've become a much better saver since learning about FIRE but my parents were always safety first when it came to spending money. My parents are still together and my dad was a pathologist so we had plenty of money. We didn't spend plenty of money though. It was just sort of known that we were fine monetarily but there was no reason to spend money because my dad's piece of crap car was as good as his doctor friends mercedes benz.

So we never lived a high life even though dad earned a lot of money and I think I realised years ago that spending money doesn't equate to happiness and I partially learnt that from my parents.

My dad though had a financial advisor and still does and they spend a lot more than we do. They've done a lot wrong but simply saving consistently has left them with money to burn.

Myself and my wife will retire with a lot less money than my parents had and still be fine.

Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Rubic on August 27, 2017, 07:00:16 AM
Mostly positive, especially in the area of savings (e.g. saving income earning
during high school for college).  Saving at an early age: 50% of any cash gifts
were put into the college savings account.

Negative in the area of investing.  Dad doesn't have the temperament for
long-term investing (day trader, options) and lost 50% of his net worth during
the Great Recession.  Unfortunately he still trades options and is glued to his
computers during market hours. :(

Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on August 27, 2017, 07:16:20 AM
We grew up lower/lower middle class. My parents were Eastern European immigrants and while my dad worked 80+ hours a week to support us, my mom would blow money like it grew on trees.

Fast forward 10-15 years and my dad managed to start a business from the ground up that propelled us smack into middle class by the time I was in highschool. He continued to work 80+ hours a week, taught me a lot about not wasting money, interest, debt, etc. My mother continued living like she is upper class and not working.

My parents also taught me the importance of hard work and delayed gratification, I never received money for nothing as a kid. For allowance I had chores, when I was 13 I started working at an Ice Cream shop ~25-30 hours a week. That first job and the subsequent paychecks paved my road to employment throughout the following 17 years.

So yes, dad's work ethic and sound money advice influenced me before I knew about MMM.

Moms senseless spending and disregard for how money is earned also influenced me on how NOT to live.

Their situation today as a result of this lifestyle over the years has also made me very weary of shaking up with someone who is a spended and not on the same financial page as I, luckily enough I just got engaged to an SO who works very hard and has similar spending habits.

Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Dicey on August 27, 2017, 12:13:15 PM
My parents were frugal, but not great investors. I guess that makes me another "both" vote.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Gus_Smedstad on August 27, 2017, 01:38:11 PM
My parents were frugal and cheap. Mediocre investors as well.

One thing I learned from my father, unintentionally, was that cutting corners can sometimes cost you more than doing it right in the first place. I was into computers from a very early age, and we built a home computer out of kits and various surplus parts in the late 70's, before home PCs were anything like affordable. The base Super Elf kit was $100, which was a lot of money by our lights in 1977.

At the time, things like proper keyboards and printers were expensive. We picked up a series of non-working / inappropriate surplus items for cheap - and none of them every worked, no matter how much effort we put into them. Reverse-engineering an electronic interface with no technical information isn't easy. All of the money we spent on that stuff was essentially thrown away.

So, I learned how not to be cheap, but fortunately didn't also learn to waste money while doing it.

He was apparently not a great investor. I don't know the details of how he invested, but when I did finally learn enough to talk intelligently on the subject, it proved impossible to discuss with him because of his assumptions.

He died this last April, and left 50% of his estate to me, and half to my brother. The proceeds were about 15% of what I'd saved on my own at that point. It's a little weird realizing I already have significantly more money than he ever did, presumably because I have a better grasp of these things. It's not like his estate would have been reduced by overspending on his part.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: marty998 on August 27, 2017, 03:43:36 PM
Definitely better off because of the role modelling my parents provided.

Dad taught me the value of working hard to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, and mum had the proverbial keys to the wallet and controlled the spending and investing.

I reckon the only cash dad ever had was a $50 'emergency' note in his wallet, which was never used in over a decade.

they were both very good at working together towards shared goals.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Mr. Green on August 27, 2017, 05:48:02 PM
I got both sides of the spectrum. When I was very young (under 10) my parents owned a business so I was exposed to some of what comes from owning your own business (controlling your time, etc.). We also sold pumpkins from my Grandfather's garden so we experienced first hand making money.

However, by my teens the business had gone under and my father was penniless. My mother (and us) was saved by her parents having been savers. They bought a house for us to live in and gave her cars for many years when she would have otherwise had difficulties obtaining both. My father continued working for himself but he was never able to make good decisions with his money. While this was masked when the business was successful early, it resulted in a lot of emotional scarring for us kids once he was broke. Child support went unpaid, yet he would end up with some expensive thing that was supposed to help him run his business more efficiently (he has severe ADHD - undiagnosed at the time). My father truly marched to his on drum, so far outside the realm of normal that by the time I was 16 all I wanted to do was make money so I'd never end up like what my parents had to go through.

My father's money problems continued to impact my life all the way to my 30's because I couldn't see him struggling and bring myself to not help, even with all the trauma I through as a kid. He went through a couple bouts of living with us and a couple bouts of homelessness. He and I both were finally saved by a great deal on a foreclosure that we bought and he now lives in and him receiving SSI disability and now Social Security. It's a meager amount (he gets food stamps, medicaid, and energy assistance) but it's just enough to get by on. Medicaid was truly a game changer because it meant the cost of his expensive pain medications (he got hit by a car several years ago) were now under control. Prior to all of the government assistance my Dad was a huge emotional burden for me because I never knew how badly his situation would impact our finances. It was incredibly stressful.

All of these things drove me financially right up to FIRE. I was only in the last 5 years that so many of these things happened (the house, Social Security, MMM, ridiculous salary) that really allowed us to pull everything together and go into financial independence knowing there wasn't a time bomb waiting that could blow a hole in our financial plan.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: SwordGuy on August 27, 2017, 08:10:19 PM
I learned  a number of valuable lessons from my parents:

1) If you want something, go work for it.
2) Do your research before you make a major purchase.
3) Save money.
4) Don't spend the money you save for the future.

What I didn't learn from them was how to invest.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Doc Holiday on August 27, 2017, 08:21:56 PM
These are great so far! Some inspiring and some sad.... we are born with two parents and create our own mythology around them, learning like Aesop's fables, Grimm's fairy tales, or less likely Disney. My dusty memories of my Grimm's have 1970's clothes, sideburns, and a lot of scotch. Mostly cautionary tales. Like another poster, my seemingly simple goal when I was young was to get a job that paid well enough so that when the car broke down, I could just say "Let's get it fixed" without any stress.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: tj on August 27, 2017, 09:02:25 PM
I absolutely credit my parents for instilling solid financial values in me. The only thing I taught myself via the internet was investing.

I could be in a very different world if I didn't have my dad teach me common sense behavior, such as paying off a credit card on time.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: rdaneel0 on August 27, 2017, 09:29:44 PM
Definitely both.

My parents always had us shopping at thrift stores, going to the library, taking advantage of free local events, bought used cars, didn't put emphasis on status items, cooked everything from scratch, grew food, etc. I have kept all those life lessons with me and they have made my frugal path much easier and more intuitive.

On the flip side, they moved a lot, which always costs lots of money, and each time they did they would cash out their 401(k) accounts. They also eventually moved to a HCOL area they couldn't afford and didn't need to be in for their jobs. They made the move to be close to family, but if they had settled just two hours away instead of 10 minutes away, they could both be comfortably retired by now.

Money was always weird growing up. There would be a windfall and then nothing, and kids weren't allowed to ask questions about money at all. I didn't get any guidance on how to manage money growing up. Sometimes we were on food stamps, sometimes we were doing ok. It was all a mystery.

At this point my parents have both been making decent incomes for decades, and my dad is in his 60s and nowhere near being able to retire and the house isn't paid off. My parents have listed the house and had to drop the price several times already. The sad thing is, my Dad would like to retire, and he should be able to based on his past work ethic and income. He just got pushed out of his job (essentially due to age) and had to move to a smaller company that pays less. He'll probably have to continue on this path until he's making a tiny fraction of what he did in his prime.

Now my parents are finally going to move to a slightly lower priced area, but it's still expensive (more than areas DH and I are considering). I've encouraged them to take the plunge and move somewhere super super cheap, but they won't do it.

I learned a lot about money and relationships from my parents, and I honestly think that's why I've done so well in life. Sometimes a poor example can be just as effective as an excellent example. I took the good stuff they taught me and the bad stuff. 
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: deborah on August 27, 2017, 11:18:37 PM
I'll never forget the day I was home sick from school one winter when I was about 13. Some months prior to this, my parents had an argument about money, with the result that from then on, dad was to pay the bills. He hadn't. On that day, every utility came to turn off their service, and were met by a small (I was always the smallest in my class), sick child who was very upset when they knocked and said they were turning off the gas, the electricity, the water, the telephone...

They arrived one at a time, and each left without performing their task - overwhelmed by the sick child! My mother had multiple phone calls from me that day, and before the next morning, mum was back to paying the bills, and controlling household finances.

My parents always had every bit of their money budgeted, so, although they both worked at reasonably paying jobs, there was never any spare money for school excursions or if your shoes developed holes. They always said "we're too poor - we can't afford that", and you put cardboard in your shoes, and went to your private school in holey shoes for the rest of the term. We always had meals from the cheaper cuts of meat, and as we had a vegetable garden and a lot of fruit trees we ate seasonal produce from our garden. So, although they didn't give financial guidance, I learnt delayed gratification, and to grow my own food.

But I also vowed that I would ALWAYS have enough to cover emergencies - and I always have.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: mies on August 28, 2017, 05:44:36 AM
I'm better with money because of my parent's bad money habits. My parents were materialistic and overspent. They had to get a couple of debt consolidation loans and there was tension over money. My dad accused my mom of not paying bills on purpose. I think that was partly true, but only because she was juggling them to pay what absolutely had to be paid. Some didn't get paid by on time because of that.

If they hadn't bought new cars every 4 years, new furniture every decade, and a bunch of gadgets they barely used, they could have lived a relatively stress free life financially. They fell in to the "I deserve it" trap when buying stuff.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Gunny on August 28, 2017, 08:29:44 AM
Growing up we were lower middle class.  Dad worked hard and provided and the bills were always paid on time.  But dad did not go in for any fancy trappings of life. We did not eat out and vacations were camping or to visit relatives.  For much of my childhood we lived in humble houses and only had one car.  We didn't even have a phone until I was about 13. Dad saved, but did not invest and I was never taught good financial habits.  As a matter of fact, Dad encouraged me to go into debt for things like cars and appliances.  Spend the other man's money, he would say.  He retired on his social security and modest savings account.  When he died, he had $65,000 to his name.   I'm FIREd because I taught myself about investing and frugal living (I guess some of that comes from dad).  Web sites like MMM were very helpful. 
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: meatface on August 28, 2017, 09:31:40 AM
I am money-wise mostly because of my father-in-law. He taught me all about Vanguard Index Funds nearly 10 years ago. At that point, I sold all my stock and moved everything into a few index funds. Been happy about that ever since.

My parents never really taught me anything about money, probably because they lived almost paycheck-to-paycheck and didn't know all that much about personal finance, as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Lady SA on August 28, 2017, 10:38:04 AM
It's kind of a toss-up. My parents had the behaviors of a mustachian, but they NEVER talked of financial matters with me so I left for college with only a rudimentary knowledge of how bank accounts or credit cards worked. I had to learn all of that myself (with the help of some very patient college friends), plus took it a step further by figuring out wtf investing was and how to do it.

My parents are the epitome of frugal. Every single car they have ever gotten was sensible and second-hand, and they ran it to the ground. They prepared simple, hardy meals, and took us on simple holidays. They rented until I was born, then bought a duplex and lived in one half and rented out the other until they saved up a downpayment. Then they built our house, actively taking on most of the work and saving gobs of money (put up sheetrock, helped shingle the roof, ran electrical wire (my dad is an electrical engineer), installed appliances and cabinets themselves, laid flooring themselves, painted themselves, etc. Then they kept the duplex and rented out both sides. All car repairs were done by my dad in the garage. We mostly shopped at Target and Goodwill. We only went to the movie theater on special occasions and only at the $2 theater. We ate out at restaurants extremely rarely -- mostly only when one of the kids came home with good grades to celebrate. We didn't have internet until I was in high school (this is 10 years ago), and only within the last 3 years did they get cell phones--they went with a pair of old flip phones. They really couldn't give less of a rip what other people think of them.

So I grew up with a very frugal mindset, and just functioned as though acting this way was normal. It never really occurred to me that other people acted any differently.

But like I said, these frugal behaviors are great, but unless it's paired with basic financial knowledge, it's hard to actually achieve financial stability and success. I went off to college laughably clueless about how basic financial instruments worked. My boyfriend (now husband) and his roommate very patiently had to coach me along to finally open my first credit card and explain how to use it--not because I grew up thinking credit cards were evil, just that I had had zero exposure to it and didn't understand it. I didn't understand how direct deposit worked when I got my on-campus job at my university. Taxes were a black box of mystery. I absolutely didn't have a clue about different types of accounts beyond a basic checking and savings account, and was overwhelmed by the maelstrom of basic retirement account concepts. IRAs, 401ks, pretax vs post tax--but then, it's not just putting money in like a savings account, you have to DO something with the money! Having to figure out allocation? What to put in there? The whole thing was completely obscure to me.

Not even having a basic foundation of knowledge makes it really, really difficult to learn, but when I stumbled upon the concept of FIRE, it lit something within me that I just NEEDED to figure this stuff out. It took a long time to learn how investing worked (what is a stock? how to I buy one? Like I literally thought you bought a piece of paper that you needed to put in your safe or something...), but I think I've finally figured it out.

So I'm glad my parents instilled frugal habits in me from a young age, but the step beyond into the strategic tools and methods to achieve wealth? They really were not involved in that at all.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: boarder42 on August 28, 2017, 11:21:43 AM
my parents were frugal and reasonably good investors.  i've stepped up the investment game but they taught me the basis and what i found here got me the rest of the way.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Laura33 on August 28, 2017, 03:20:42 PM
Both.  I grew up with a very frugal mom who both made a low salary (Food Stamps for a few years) and disdained materialism.  And then a few times a year I visited my a dad, a steadily-employed engineer who lived with his beauty-pageant second wife and second family in suburbia and spent every cent on toys and stuff.

From my mom, I learned to save first and to work for what I got.  I learned that the world did not come with safety nets for people like us, but that I was smart and if I worked hard, I could find a good career and be independent and self-supporting.  But I also learned to envy my brothers -- that being rich was a matter of being lucky to be born into the right family, and that since I hadn't been, I was therefore not good enough in some fundamental way; while I echoed my mom's anti-consumer belief system, I didn't learn that materialism was bad as much as I learned that I was not worthy of having nice things.  My overall lesson was that money was the most important thing, and that the most important thing you could do with money was to hang onto it, and so spending more than you needed was the worst thing you can do (because that was for other people who deserved it).  I learned many very good frugal habits, and I followed them religiously, but they came from a place of fear and pessimism, not power and optimism. 

This made me very susceptible to becoming a lot more spendy when I met and married DH, who believes that he will always have the power to make money appear for whatever he wants.  And who seems to have miraculously done that over the past 20+ years.

It has taken me a lot of years to comprehend the idea of optimistic frugality -- that you do things for yourself not because you can't afford anything better, but because it is good and powerful to learn to do different things and to challenge yourself with hard stuff, to see that you are capable of more than you thought and that you don't need a "thing" to make you happy.  Honestly, watching bad things happen (e.g., DH losing his job), and then seeing that we got through it and even ended up better off helped me realize that maybe I'm not always living on the edge of catastrophe -- that maybe he has a reason to be optimistic, and that his optimism in turn helps him make things happen, which feeds a virtuous cycle.  And then one day I realized that I was FI, and suddenly I was able to relax and let go of some of that fear -- and only after that fear was gone did I realize exactly how much I had allowed it to drive me, to color my view of the world. 

I know for sure that this was what my mom was *trying* to teach me -- not deprivation, but finding happiness in what you do and how you spend your time; it just took me a long time to get it.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: FireHiker on August 28, 2017, 04:05:01 PM
My parents were absolute financial trainwrecks. My mom still is (dad died in 2007). They never saved a penny. My mom spent money on stupid shit, whereas my dad spent money on alcohol and cigarettes (likely to cope with the hell that was living with my mother...). I grew up with constant financial instability. Utilities being turned off, car breakdowns because they "couldn't afford" proper maintenance, constant creditor phone calls. I lived in 22 different places by the time I was 17. Not homes, because 9 of those places were while we were homeless, living in campgrounds, split up amongst friends while my dad lived in his car, etc.

I was very determined to NOT be like my parents and figured money was the answer. So, I got straight A's, started working part time jobs as soon as I could, and put myself through college, earning an engineering degree. I have been "successful" enough, but also misguided, because there was a perpetual "have not" experience growing up, along with all the tense unhappiness in the home, so I certainly equated "having" with happiness. I understand now, that freedom is the key to happiness, not "stuff", and I'm continually re-aligning my priorities accordingly.

In short, my money-wisdom is definitely a result of not wanting to be anything like my parents, thanks to their exceedingly negative habits. But, I was definitely more spendy for some years as an adult since I COULD be, as a result of making up for "doing without" during my childhood.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on August 28, 2017, 11:46:41 PM
Largely a win here.  My parents taught me a ton.  They learned and improved throughout their life.  They were never expert investors (tried RE once, tried mutual funds, then were scared, etc.), but they taught me a ton about finances otherwise and continued improving up until dad died.  They were middle class, so they learned budgeting, saving, and so on while also learning to avoid debt and eventually spurn it altogether.  (They were less great with investing, but they did it, to their great credit.)  I now manage mom's investments for my mother, largely, although we keep it ultra-conservative since that's her risk profile. 

I actually posted a story recently about how my parents helped someone go from homeless back to stable: (  I was very blessed by them.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on August 29, 2017, 08:25:59 AM
Absolutely 100% positive habits. I learned everything from them. Study hard, be determined, spend less than you earn, give no f*** as to what others think, invest aggressively but wisely, spend where it's important (health, education, world exploration as a family), and save where it isn't (stuff).

2 immigrant scientists, scholarships straight through doctorates, bought reasonable homes, reasonable cars that they drive to the ground, etc.

Honestly, MMM didn't teach me anything new, my parents taught me everything first, but MMM has provided me a community outside of my family that understands as well :-)
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on August 31, 2017, 11:23:21 AM
I am not sure that the way I grew up had much to do with it because I wasnt unhappy. My parents were broke but we always had food on the table. Not to mention times have really changed since i was growing up. At 15 i was told if you want clothes for school go get a job and buy them. Maybe at the time I lived in the poor part of the city it was more the norm and now I live in the complete opposite. My dad was a hard worker but didn't know how to earn money so the hard work I got from him. My mom was way ahead of the curve in buying and selling crap but she was always lying to people and our house was full of shit all the time. But i took the good parts of her salesman ship and promised to not be like her in others. For me it was more just being afraid to fail whatever that meant at the time. Then after having success because of my attitude and good work ethics and a little timing and luch I then had some rough times so it became more about revisiting what was important to me and was I losing touch with some things that reeled me back to what i call my "roots".  So i learned from them mechanics but not about saving or anything.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: T-Rex on September 01, 2017, 02:00:14 AM
I definitely learned some lessons from negative and positive examples.

I learned what a budget was early on because my mom told me a budget was why we could not purchase whatever I wanted all the time.

I also feel more motivated to learn and do everything I can to become a home owner because my dad never bought a house, and living in apartments and having rented houses bought from under us was a bad experience.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: fluffmuffin on September 01, 2017, 02:31:46 PM
I think I had the ideal parental setup to teach the importance of frugality and financial planning. (My parents are long-since divorced--I don't even remember a time when they were together.) My dad is a financial train wreck, so I got to see the stress of always being short at the end of the month, or being completely rocked by an unanticipated financial need. On the other hand, my mom is a frugality rock star and I grew up doing a lot of frugal "hacks" like line drying clothes, batch cooking, etc. She was also always open about budgeting and "we can't afford expensive XYZ want because we're focused on college/retirement/etc," so I had someone to model how to make the right choices from day 1. From my dad, I knew what I wanted to avoid; from my mom, I had most of the hard skills to make it happen.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Pigeon on September 01, 2017, 05:54:58 PM
My parents were great with money.

They were children of the Depression and were very frugal.  My Dad got back from WW2, married my mother and he and my uncle built the family home (and my uncle's) with their hands at night.  The only thing they contracted was pouring the foundation.  He was an engineer.  There was nothing much he couldn't do (other than cook or sing).  He took up sewing later on, and made all his daughters' prom gowns and bridesmaids gowns.  He was mustacian long before MMM.

He and my mother raised six kids and paid for us all to go to college.  They were frugal in a lot of ways--there weren't too many extras, but it was a comfortable childhood.  Mom managed the household expenses very well.  Dad died at 94, and after 2 years in a private pay nursing home, there was $2M left.

Mom was a great example in terms of cooking from scratch, shopping frugally, prioritizing and being content with life.  Dad didn't really give us much actual financial advice, other than to look for no-load, low expense mutual funds, and he talked a bit about the evils of debt.  I guess he covered the bases.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: dreams_and_discoveries on September 02, 2017, 04:22:30 AM
My parents are both very sensible and almost frugal with their money, I remember hearing we can't afford it a  lot growing up, when I realised we actually could afford it, they just chose not to spend money that way.

However they are both very risk adverse, working for the government with defined benefit pensions, and have never invested or learned about the stock market, of which they are both very wary.

Some good, some bad I guess?
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Plugging Along on September 02, 2017, 10:37:36 AM
I have a different spin.   My parents, and my older siblings were mustachian before it was a thing.   In fact, there were so mustachian it drove me nuts as a kid and teenager.  My parents both grew up poor in villages, immigrated with nothing and worked really hard to not only stay out of debt, but have a lot saved and build a life. My parents were so frugal that I hated it.   Nothing was wasted, I hated wearing my brothers hand me down home made clothing including undergarments.  I just wanted to be like other kids.  My parents would say, ' if you don't like it, then you will have to find a way to pay for it'.  So that made all of us very entrepreneurial.  I spent like there was no tomorrow when I first started working, with debt and no savings.  That was because of my families over frugalness.

However, thanks to my parents and brother. I learned hard work, and ways to always make money, and eventually balance. My family also FORCED retirement savings on me when I first started working.  It was kind of strange to have a retirement account yet consumer debt.  Of course, once I grew up a little, just a healthy retirement savings. 

I would say my parents and family had great financial habits, but didn't know how to teach them to me when I was young.   I say this because as a parent now, it reminds me that not only do I need to teach my kids about finances, but I need to do it in the way that suits their personalities.   This also goes that what is important to me as the parent may not be important to them.  Going too far to And imposing my will as my parents did could back fire. 
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: C-note on September 02, 2017, 12:58:28 PM
I'm money-wise because of the positive habits instilled in me by my parents and my own negative money experiences.

My parents used envelopes long before Ramsey made it fashionable.  They budgeted every penny and planned every expense.  My dad passed away about 4 years ago and left my mom with a little shy of $4M they'd saved from their frugal ways.  She's still going strong in both life and financially.

I had to get myself deep into debt and drag myself out to fully appreciate how I'd been raised to respect money, value work, and plan for my future beyond the next day or week.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Morning Glory on September 02, 2017, 04:20:43 PM
I suppose my parents have average money habits. Dad was a professor and mom stayed home until they had a very expensive divorce when I was eight. Both were left with absolutely nothing. My brother and i stayed with Mom most of the time and went to Dad's house every other weekend. Both tended to spoil us with small treats during this time (movies, fast food, museums, etc.) We lived in a cheap apartment but were never food insecure or had the utilities shut off. Mom remarried and went back to school to become an x-ray technician, carrying student loans until well into her 40's. Dad remarried and then divorced again. Both parents have been smart enough to avoid credit card debt and other obvious traps, but neither was motivated to save much or retire early. Both are still working into their late 50's, but will have good pensions and be able to retire comfortably at age 62 or so.  Mom likes to have a house full of nice things, and has had several financed cars. Dad spends most of his money on travel.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: mandy_2002 on October 01, 2017, 11:18:40 AM
I was mostly negatively impacted.  My father was frugal, with was a positive influence, but when he pushed me out the door, told me he couldn't afford to pay for college, and later that month bought a plane, I became more than a little bitter.  He was also a workaholic, so though he had these frugal tendencies, we didn't see them often.

My mother on the other hand was a wreck.  My first financial based memory was standing in Target writing a check to pay a CC for her after she broke her arm.  I was 6 or 7.  She said to write the check for $60.  I pointed out that the bill said her minimum payment was $92, which did not make her happy.  I've wrote about other things on the boards, but family company embezzlement, $25,000 in CC debt (which my father found out about about), and 3 credit card in my name (which he still does not know about) later, my father and she are still married and I don't know how she is doing financially.  My prayer is that she is getting help, because she has some serious mental issues that binge shopping was a bandage for.  We would have a new set of dishes every few months, new clothes all the time, just new every thing. 
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 01, 2017, 11:51:53 AM
My parent once bought a new, expensive house and then couldn't sell their old house for two years. They rented it out, but that was not lucrative. Since the purchase of that second house we had very little to live of. We were the family living in the nice house in a fancy street, driving a 12 year old Volkswagen Golf. We didn't go on vacation abroad or at all. So I never get used to fancypants spending.

My parents in law are early retirees, who retired at 50. They had understood Mustachianism long before it existed. MIL sometimes mentioned that they were quite rich, and I always wondered why they never took us out for a fancy dinner in a restaurant. And why MIL was so happy to find good bargains. DH has learned their habits and has the builtin frugality.

When we moved to a very HCOL country, we automaticcaly became frugal because we were so afraid to not be able to afford a living there.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Dave1442397 on October 01, 2017, 01:26:52 PM
My parents didn't spend much (four of us kids), but knew nothing about investing, either. My father has a defined-benefit pension that initially was really good, but when the company was taken over, the lawyers managed to sneak a provision through to reduce the pension.

They have enough to get by, and we kids give them gifts so that they can travel, whether it be frequent-flier miles, weekend getaways, or whatever.

In one respect they lucked out. They paid 8,000 for their house in 1973, and comparable houses in the neighborhood are selling for 600,000 and up. If they ever really need money, at least they have that.

As for me, I borrowed 1,500 from the bank to come to America. I started a good job within six weeks, paid that off, and then was very wary of racking up any kind of debt. I didn't want to be in a situation where I owed money with no safety net. I hate owing money.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Zikoris on October 01, 2017, 02:03:46 PM
A little of both, like most people I guess.

The positive side was mostly due to circumstance of where we lived rather than anything they did in particular. I grew up in very rural places where a lot of things just didn't exist (restaurants/takeout, a lot of normal consumer stuff, etc), so you're sort of forced to find solutions to problems that don't involve throwing money at them. So things like cooking all my food, repairing things rather than replacing them, and repurposing things I already have are all just second nature to me. If I had a space where gardening was feasible, I could see getting back into that as well.

On the negative side, they always spent all their money and never seemed to save anything. They both chose career paths that have pensions, so they're going to be okay financially. I'm able to do so much more than they were, especially travel-wise, because of the way I handle my money. They were kind of tied down because they had a very large, expensive house that took up most of their money, so we couldn't really do much growing up. I think that definitely motivated me to figure out how to keep my base expenses low, so I could afford all the fun stuff.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: Channel-Z on October 01, 2017, 08:07:53 PM
My parents were savers, but not investors, and that mindset rubbed off on me. Both grew up poor. My mom tells me she grew up on a diet of white bread and Miracle Whip. We lived a middle class life, though. My dad worked his way up into university administration, so while we lived frugally, we were never short of money. I didn't know a thing about credit cards, other than what I saw in television commercials. I certainly had no clue about investing money, and I don't think my parents did either.

The only financial education I can remember is a program called "Exchange City," where in the 5th grade, our class trained to run a mock city for a day. We learned how to write checks and deposit slips. I was chosen to run one of the businesses. I tripled the value of it by not spending all of my supply budget, and by raffling some of the merchandise instead of selling it.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: pbnjpeg on October 02, 2017, 11:41:50 AM
As many before me have said, my answer is both.

My dad was a reckless spender. He always had the newest Ford Mustang, spent way too much money on beer, bought houses for the family he could barely (or simply couldn't) afford, and essentially saved nothing. He was sure his parents were going to leave him some grand inheritance when they died (they didn't) and he's now living miserably off a crappy retirement plan somewhere with very little to show for his 61 years on earth.

My mom, on the other hand--always the secondary, lesser breadwinner of the family--is incredibly frugal. She taught my brother and me how to cook meals at home, how to fix things when they broke, and, most importantly, how to be happy with what we already have instead of always wanting more. After my parents' divorce she was left with almost nothing at age 45, but she somehow managed to put my brother and me through college, and she's now set to retire in a few years with two paid-off houses in her name, one of which she intends to rent or sell, no debt, a pretty substantial retirement account, and a solid retirement benefits plan through her work. Not bad for a teacher.

Obviously, I learned what not to do from my dad, and what to do from my mom and the MMM/FIRE community.
Title: Re: Are you money-wise because of your parents positive or negative habits?
Post by: milliemchi on October 05, 2017, 11:52:07 AM
I was born this way. I don't think anything they did mattered.