My Parents Taught Me About Personal Finance

by David Ning · 12 comments

teach your daughter about personal finance

As I sit here thinking about my plans and goals for full time blogging (and at the same thing pinching myself to see if it’s all real), I realized that all this was only possible because of my parents.

Sure, I was able to quit my job because I established an emergency fund, knew my monthly expenses and kept them low. But these were all a result of the way I am, the frugal mindset that my parents influenced heavily.

Thinking back, there were many ways my parents taught me about personal finances.
By Example
As a young child, my family was having a hard time making ends meet. My mom, the incredible woman that she is, never bought anything for herself until we were much older. While I never really felt the difficulties since I was so young, hearing the stories from my relatives were enough for me to learn that saving money to avoid poverty should be one of the main priorities in our lives.

Practice Practice Practice
My parents gave me allowance early on. The money was very little but it allowed me to learn how to manage my own finances. I understood that if I saved and practiced delayed gratification, I could afford bigger and more expensive items.

Story Telling and Discussion
Some of the people we knew made financial mistakes that led to dire consequences. Fortunately, my parents were willing to take the time to share with me those decisions and how events played out because of those choices.

Tough Love
My parents loved me but didn’t let me have everything I wanted. They allowed me to reason with them but never let me get away with any freebies. They never took shortcuts on necessities but thought diligently on luxuries.

Show Me the Money
When I was young, my parents bought me mutual funds. It was fun opening those quarterly statements because not only did I love checking on stats, I also saw for the first time the power of compound interest and capital appreciation. From that point on, I knew that it was important to invest, invest and invest.

Thank You.
In many different ways, my parents taught me about personal finances. It needed patience, creativity and unconditional love. I wouldn’t be the same person if it weren’t for my parents.

Thank you. I truly love the two of you.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ren November 3, 2008 at 9:51 am

My parents never brought us to fast food restaurants when we were younger because she says the food is expensive and unhealthy…

But during special events like birthdays or celebration, we are allowed to have the fast food.

I feel that she has did a good job, because not only did we grew up healthy, she taught us things are more precious if we have it less frequent. :)

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Donny Gamble November 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

I’m glad my parents taught me about personal finance at a young age too. I would definitely would not be financially where I am at right now. They taught me the value of saving my money and diversification.

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Melanie November 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Parents don’t realize the impact they have on us as children – They shape the way we deal with money.
Parents today also don’t realize that they are shaping how their kids will deal with money in the future – great examples you show here.

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Matt @ MyFinancialRecovery.net November 4, 2008 at 6:45 am

I think I had to learn most personal finance on my own. My parents did sometimes give me an allowance and from what I remember we lived pretty frugally but a lot of things came from other sources.

I appreciate what my parents taught me but wish that they had also included:
– How to balance a checkbook.
– Some information on credit cards and how they work.
– How debt can affect your life (my father was never willing to take on new debt for me, I did not understand why – of course then he did for my sisters lol).

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marci November 4, 2008 at 9:43 am

A tear jerker – but how appropriate for your first week of totally blogging for a living :) I believe that giving thanks keeps one humble and appreciation is as good to give as it is to get.

Congrats again.

Yes – sounded a lot like my upbringing, but without the mutual funds – we kids had just savings accounts, and half of all gifts (Christmas, birthdays) HAD to go into the savings accounts, as well as half of the first paychecks we brought home when we started working. It was a good lesson on savings. While we got a small allowance (altho 50 cents was a lot in those days) it was subject to being taken away in part if our chores where not done right, so we also learned to fulfill our obligations, and we learned about consequences of our actions. All good lessons.

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Oblivious Investor November 5, 2008 at 11:19 am

Could not possibly agree more strongly: Parents play the biggest role in teaching children about money (whether they like it or not).

Our education system (in the US) obviously doesn’t do a darned thing in that direction. So it’s essential that parents pick up the slack.

Like you, I was fortunate enough to have parents who saw the importance of educating me about money.

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Kevin @ The Money Hawk November 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Great story.

The greatest impact on people’s finances and chances for success are going to come from parents early in life.

It gives you a head start.

That’s why I try to teach people to pass on the skills they learn and acquire to their children so their children have a chance to acquire even more success than them.

Great post.

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David November 5, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Good article. When I first clicked on it (at tipd.com), I was thinking “I didn’t learn that much from my parents”, but after reading your article, I learned that they taught me much more than I realized.

Going through hard times as a child has definitely been motivation to not go through that as an adult.

Again, nice post.

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Marsha November 10, 2008 at 6:34 am

I just don’t understand why we don’t teach kids in schools to handle personal financing. If we knew then what we know now – my god, we would be in a better spot.

http://texasloanoptions.com/unsecured-small-business-loans-fort-worth-tx/

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Me Financially Free November 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I wish that I had the privilege of experiencing such a profound upbringing. Yet, there is a hint of poetic justice in learning how to become financially free from scratch. It’s like the difference between making a cake from a box or from scratch. I’m glad that your philosophies are in line. Hopefully, I’ll get some good advice from your words.

Caleb
http://www.mefinanciallyfree.blogspot.com

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Nathan Gurley December 1, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Great article and blog.

Congratulations on doing it full-time.

A caller on talk radio the other day said he gives his kid a small allowance and deducts from it when agreed upon responsibilities aren’t met. I was thinking of trying that with my daughter who makes 13 tomorrow.

We’ll see how it goes.

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Arminius Aurelius July 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I count my blessings every day that I had such frugal intelligent parents . They taught me the value of money and compound interest . They were not wealthy but we owned our own home and had a summer cottage in the mountains . Even as a young kid , I learned to save money . Because of that , when the time came and I wanted to borrow money to buy several bankrupt restaurants over the years , they knew I was a good credit risk and gladly loaned me money . My last loan in January 2000 was for $ 800,000.00 to buy and restore a bankrupt Steak House .
I built it up , made a good profit up to mid 2004 , then sold it and got my total investment back and now collect rent , over $ 100,000.00 a year . Because of THRIFT and hard work , I now collect over $ 200,000.00 a year in rent , no work , no fuss , no muss , thanks to my parents . Other friends of mine never saved, only spent , spent , spent and went into DEBT . They are now struggling .

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