By: Kathleen Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Adults are faced with challenges (and advantages) that can date back to our experiences as children, particularly when it comes to money values. Our long-term financial perspectives are strongly influenced by money conversations and experiences with parents. However, even kids that grow up in the same household can end up with very different money values. For example, my 12-year-old son is a “spender” and money seems to burn a hole in his pocket, while my 11-year-old daughter is a “saver” who always seems to have cash in her piggy bank (or other hiding places her brother doesn’t know about yet). On the other hand, our “spender” son pooled all of his birthday money a year ago to buy stock in Apple through a great website called stockpile.com and has resisted the opportunity to cash out whether the stock has gone up or down (fortunately for him, mostly up over the past year).
But how do people learn lessons in money management and financial decision making? We all have a money story and each of ours is different. This money story likely begins in childhood and has shaped who we are as adults. Some people have repeated the money habits of their parents, and they have faced financial setbacks or successes depending upon the outcome of their financial choices. Many people have also learned from their parents’ financial mistakes and made financial decisions based on those lessons. Or, as experienced in my family, people can grow up in the same environment and develop very different money values. Whatever the results, our upbringing has created deep roots that impact financial choices.