Friday, October 15, 2010
Flashback Friday - Show Me the Money Edition
How was money handled in your family when you were growing up? Were your parents savers or spenders? What are examples of ways they saved or splurged? Who paid the bills? What, if anything, did they teach you about money? Did you have an allowance? Whether received as an allowance or through other means such as gifts, when you had your "own" money, were there restrictions on how you spent it? Were you paid for making certain grades on your report card? Did your parents tithe or give money to the church on a regular basis? What about other charities? How old were you when you got your first checking account or credit card? How has the way you were raised impacted your handling of financial issues today?
As I was growing up, my parents (like most everyone who grew up during the Great Depression) were savers, frugal almost to the point of being miserly (although nothing compared to their later years) ... so I thought we were poor. Little did I know. ha! Money (particularly budgeting and living within our means) was never discussed when I was growing up ... as a result, I had to learn some valuable lessons about money the hard way and much later than I should have. :-(
I am not sure who paid the bills during my childhood; when I was an adult, my mom paid their bills, so I suspect that she did when I was growing. Like I said, money was never discussed while I lived at home, and like most younger kids, I was oblivious to such adult things as bill paying. I don't believe that my parents gave money to any charities, let alone the church; generosity wasn't often exhibited.
I was 16 when I got my first job ... and that was when my mom declared that I needed to open a checking account. I didn't get my first credit card until I was in my late 20's; back in the day, credit cards were rarely used and not nearly as widely available.
I wish I could say that how I was raised had a positive impact on how I handled money during my adult years, but unfortunately it didn't. In fact, it probably had the opposite effect ... because I grew up having to do without or make do, I "overcompensated" as an adult. Budgeting and living within my means were totally foreign concepts to me. After all, if there wasn't quite enough money to pay for what I wanted/needed that month, there was always the credit card, right? :-( Thankfully, I never got myself into the kind of credit card trouble that plagues so many today; I had the one bank card with a fairly modest credit limit ... but still I never managed to get/keep the card paid off. I don't even want to think about how much I've had to pay, over the years, in interest on credit card debt; I'm just thankful that the lesson was finally learned -- better late than never.