Mr. Canadian Dream, the blogger @ Canadian Dream: Free at 45, wrote last week about how his parents influenced his financial perspective and habits. How much do you think parents influence their children regarding financial issues? In my opinion, I think that parents have a GREAT influence on their children’s financial outlook and habits. Lets take a look at my personal scenario.
I grew up in a fairly conservative, middle class family within in a relatively small city called St. John’s. My family owned a small business where my Mom was as frugal as they got and my Dad, who was also frugal, was a big fan of investing his money. The only debt that they kept was the good tax deductible kind with their investment properties, everything else was paid in full with cash.
Starting at a very young age, my parents used to say to me, “young FrugalTrader, you need to save your money“. So that’s what I did! I remember opening my first bank account when I was around 7 years old, saving up birthday/holiday money and building up a whopping $100 nest egg not long afterwards. I don’t think I saved my money because my parents “said so”, I did it because I learned from example. My Dad was the one who taught me about investing, and how if I started investing at a very young age, I could be a millionaire when I got older through the magic of compounding. When I was 16 or so, I took that advice and started making small contributions to a mutual fund. In hindsight, I didn’t exactly pick the greatest mutual fund, but it was a start. Throughout University, I worked with the family business which along with my work terms, I managed to graduate debt free (my wife is another story). :) Fast forward a few more years, we’re quickly paying off the mortgage and have obtained considerable investment portfolios.
I remember growing up worrying if the business was making ends meet. Now that I’m older, I realize that my parents earned a very comfortable living, and they could have bought me a lot more toys. ;)
When I have kids, I plan to make financial education a priority. In my opinion, children learn best through example! As to HOW I’m going to do this, that topic is for another post.
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