Most kids are like sponges. They soak up information from all around them every day. This is usually a positive thing, as they begin to discover more about the world around them, and begin to grow and interact with it and with the people near them, too. You probably do things a certain way because that’s the way you were taught to do them. You probably don’t even think of changing that.
But sometimes we can soak up information and habits that aren’t helpful. For example, if your parents weren’t very good at budgeting and managing their money, you may have inherited those habits. Similarly, if they were good at saving money and instilled that ethic into you as well, you probably save regularly without even thinking about it. You grew up thinking that was normal and a positive thing to do – just as you’d mismanage your money if your parents did the same.
So, if you struggle with your money and you’re wondering why, look back at your family history and the situation you grew up in. Some people are inherently better at managing their finances than others. If your parents weren’t very good at it, you may have absorbed those ways of handling money without even realising. The good news is, it is never too late to make changes. The trick is in knowing where to begin.
Firstly, don’t blame your parents for your money woes. Maybe their parents weren’t good with money either, and they inherited the bad habits and patterns from them. Instead, use your energies in a positive way. You can start today by focusing on your own financial situation. This can be overwhelming to start with, so it’s best to set aside a weekend to get started. Grab a coffee, an A4 pad and a pen, and be prepared to dig around for statements and other financial information.
But don’t just take the practical route. Think about how you approach money. Do you spend it the moment you get paid? If so, what do you spend it on? Some people spend money to make themselves feel better. However, there are ways you can do this without spending money – and you’ll feel better still if you have money left over at the end of the month that you can save.
If you’ve followed your parents’ habits for many years, you won’t be able to break those habits overnight. Instead, focus on some easy steps you can take each day. Maybe you will resolve to put just £10 away to save in the first week. It doesn’t sound like much, but the act of doing it will help break your spending habit. Over time, you can build up lots of small improvements into one big one, and you might be surprised how powerful this can be.
We are all taught many things by our parents as we grow up. However, when we are adults, it is sometimes beneficial to make changes. Do you agree?