My parents were polar opposites in many ways but what my parents taught me about money has been invaluable. Let me tell you the lessons I learned from them.
My mum was sensible, hard-working and very organised.
Her money management included paying off bills as they came in, working out her incomings and out goings and recording all spending. She encouraged me to do the same, really control my money and document it so spending did not run away with me.
Lesson 1 * keep track of your cash*
Mum was also thrifty: keeping an eye out for bargains, scouring car boot sales and happy to buy pre-loved. She also made an effort to make do and mend, many of her clothes lasted her for years. She bought with an eye for longevity rather than current trends and always looked fabulous despite her thriftiness
Lesson 2 *embrace preloved* and Lesson 3 *purchase to last*
The other great lesson she taught me was to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Mum was quietly content with her tiny garden evolved from shared cuttings and tended seeds, she would read her books from the library for hours. Visiting with friends or taking out children to the park gave her all the socialising and adventures she craved, She was not at all driven to buy, buy, buy and her pleasures were in people, books and flowers.
Lesson 4 *appreciate the simple things in life*
My dad was a completely different kind of person.
Dad was a racecourse bookie and some days he had lots of money and the next day it could all be gone. He never had a bank account at all and he really liked a flutter. Hmm… you could be thinking what on earth did he teach me about money…but he really did teach me a few pearls of wisdom.
Dad never drove but due to his resourcefulness he managed to always get a lift to whatever racecourse he needed to be at. He in turn would help people out in various other ways: advise, support, even a racing tip! Dad was also really funny and a great travelling companion.
Lesson 5 *being part of a community and sharing resources can save a lot of money*
He also was very strict about how we looked after our cash and insisted we took care never to have to much out with us and to always secure it carefully .
Lesson 6 *take good care of your money*
I think mum and dads money wisdom has been a huge part of me managing my money well.
Lessons learned and passed on
I have passed on a lot of these wisdoms already to my children. I want them to have a current account that they keep track of and use well (I like the TSB current account that comes with money planner budgeting tools.) I want them to be organised, safe, resourceful and thrifty.
I think financial education is important right from the start.