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Sep 23, 2021

All in the Family: Learning (and Unlearning) Fiscal Habits

by Marie Oliverio

Whether we like it, love it, hate it, or go to therapy to understand it, our families generally pass down their habits, beliefs, and that seemingly endless supply of gym bags from the 90s (if you’re my parents). Unlike your height or the color of your hair, those habits, beliefs, and attitudes that our parents pass down to us — whether beneficial or detrimental — can be changed. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of (wait for it!) investment. Accounting for your parents — and yourself If your parents never spoke encouragingly of investing and saving, or had frivolous and irresponsible spending habits, you may have unconsciously absorbed their approach to money and finances. However, you aren’t resigned to the credit card debt or financial strain that you may have witnessed — you can set the stage for the financial future you want, with some work. Children naturally absorb the world presented to them, and have no reason not to believe what their parents show or tell them to be true — they look up to their parents and are taught by them how the world works, even if they have to progressively unlearn it as they age. Sometimes, you’re directly told something to believe, like “saving is good.” Sometimes, it’s indirect, like seeing your parents or guardians make exorbitant purchases. One parent may unhealthily depend on the other for financial security. Or sometimes your parents’ financial decisions are completely avoided and kept from you, and the subject is never […]

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