Moms, Dads, & Money

May 09, 2022

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.

What does that have to do with investing?

Quite a bit.

Our family of origin can have a significant shaping influence on the way we think and feel about money. It’s likely that you either mimic or reject the way your parents handled theirs. This can be a very good or very bad thing.

If Mom and Dad consistently stressed and fought about money, it might become a trigger point for you. If one of your parents was proactive with money and the other was passive, you might mimic that very role in your life and in your current or future relationships.

And, yes, all this can still be the case whether you are 35 or 75.

The scripts you tell yourself about money may not be true. They may simply be the story about finances that you inherited from your parents. Here are some unhelpful scripts:

  • Money is meant to be spent. Live in the now. That’s all you have.
  • Money is meant to be saved. Accumulate! Don’t give. It’s mine. We earned it.
  • Money is the root of evil, so avoid learning about how to make it grow.
  • Money can always be borrowed. Worry about paying it back later.
  • Money must be kept safe. Risk is always foolish. Grandpa lost everything.

There may be a better story than the one you tell yourself about money. Don’t blame your mother or father. Get educated and begin new habits.

If you had parents who handled money wisely, you should express your gratefulness to them and carry on their legacy to the next generation by emulating them. The ones who call you Dad or Mom now or in the future will thank you.