Our parents aren’t perfect, so there will undoubtedly be times in your life when you have learned from their mistakes. However, while you will have learned valuable life lessons from their parenting and adult blunders, we are going to steer you towards the positive. There are things your parents are bound to have said to you when you were growing up that can help you manage your finances today. You may have turned your nose up at their advice in your younger years (the arrogance of youth), but some of the words they gave you are worth still worth remembering.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
As you probably reminded your parents in a childish retort, money does actually grow on trees (the paper is made from wood pulp). Still, you know what we mean. Money isn’t freely available, and this life lesson is a reminder to all of us to conserve what money we do have. Spending willy-nilly will not help us, and we will run out of this valuable paper eventually. Of course, you already know the benefits to making savings, giving you that extra cash to play with when you really do need something, or to help you pay for life’s luxuries when there is something you desperately want. And when you have no money left? Work harder for it and earn some more, because there really is no magical money tree to save you from your spending.
Don’t spend it all at once
Remember those times when you were given money to spend on the family vacation? You probably spent it all at the airport on the way there, leaving you with nothing to spend for the rest of your holiday. So again, remember the importance of saving. You don’t need to spend all of your pay cheque at once, as you will struggle for the rest of the month. The same applies to your credit card. It’s not free money, so you shouldn’t splurge out on those must-have items as soon as you get this piece of plastic in your wallet, as you will find yourself in debt later on.
Pay back what you owe
As a child, you probably borrowed money from everybody, from your parents to your mates at school. You needed it, of course, because how else were you going to buy those childhood essentials (sweets, videogames, pairs of trainers) without their help. Of course, unless the people you borrowed money from were extremely generous, you probably had to face the fact that you had to return the money back to them at some point, or forever incur their wrath! Which leads us into adulthood and back to the subject of debt. Remember that you do need to pay back what you owe! Late payments are going to incur the wrath of the lender with penalty fees, and unlike your parents, they may not look so kindly upon you. Of course, your better bet is to stay out of debt altogether, so if you do have any existing credit cards or loans, consolidate them onto a lower-interest credit card – see best.creditcard for options – and then try and stay in the clear from lending in the future. You see, unlike your parents, banks and other lenders are only too happy to take you for a ride!
Valuable life lessons we are sure you will agree. Of course, like your parents, you aren’t perfect either, and you will mess up occasionally. Still, stick to these financial principles as much as you can, and take the time to thank your parents for the valuable advice they gave you.