I am a nerd and I find these things fascinating
So was just thinking... How did I learn my credit habits?? Did my parents have same credit "style" as I do as an adult?
My answer is both yes and no. Parents divorced when I am one. Mom always had lots of bills and juggled $$. Although she raised 6 kids alone!! Always worked and made good $$, but always stretched and barely made it
Even as a retired 74 year old, she just filed bankruptcy!! Taking care of others her whole life and doing with nothing for herself. She never changed!!
Dad- never helped anyone. He would pay for dinner, but he wouldn't help pay for us kids and never did extra for anyone. Always said "your mother will never change, she has to spend it if she has it" Yeppppp!
Me- I am like Mom. I borrow alot and stretch, and even work at the same place she did and do well... but am facing bankruptcty too! Mine from divorce and such though, hers was due to helping my disfuctional loser 40 yr old brother- since he was born she did this... Now he is a big LOSER that leaches from MOM!!
How about you and your parents??
I don't pay interest either, but I take advantage of stuff like NFCU BT offers or BML x months no payments + no interest. So I choose to stretch occasionally, but only bc it is offered to me without costing any money. My parents live frugally, but have a lot of money. I suppose we use credit similarly, but I actually spend my money.
I am totally different from my parents.
Dad - Very hands off, only uses 1 card
Mom- The one who understands credit between the two however is 100% against AF on cards, and uses her BOA debit card as much as possible
Me - Uses Credit cards for everything possible, does the calculations to see which cards are best to use where, has more cards than can fit in my wallet.
I just recently sat down with them and showed them what progress I was making with United Miles, they want to get started doing the same now!
| CSP (AU) $12,000 | Amex PRG (AU) | United $6,000 | OCCU $12,000 | Ink Bold | GM $3,200 | DCU $7500 | Luthansa $9000 | SPG $6,000 | Citi AA Executive $11,000 | Ink Plus $5,000 | EX 2/7 697 | EQ 10/27 721 | TU 12/15 719 |
My biological parents - I don't know them - but my son was doing geneology and found a lot of "public records" that indicate that they suck with money. He reached out to them and some of the stinging comments that were made ring of poor financial management. I remember when I lived with them (for very short periods of time) that they always had cigarettes, chocolate, and booze. I saw one tax refund (from the 70's) and it was over 1k. At the time, I had no financial reference, so I did not understand the significance of just HOW MUCH money that was! Now that I am older, I can see that they were very poor money managers. They took care of their needs and their wants and always cried about how poor they were.
My adoptive parents - super poor money managers.
I started becoming financially independent at age 7. Since those around me didn't provide for me, I felt I had to. I bought my own clothes and definitely learned the art of buying too big to grow into the clothes. Transportation was walking and riding a bike. By the age 10, I was responsible for all of my expenses, to include food and utitlies. Money was paid (in addition) to the bills I had to pay - which was essential rent. Still age 10.
It was an uncomfortable feeling (remember I was 10 yrs old) knowing that no matter how hard I worked, I could not get ahead. Any money I had left over after paying the bills (utilities, food, medical, school, clothes, etc) was consificated for rent. There was no good hiding place.
By age 15, I was filing my own tax returns. I started to get a better overall "feel" for the "big picture." I was also living on my own. (yeah!!)
I have no clue where I came up with the percentage, but at age 16, I decided that no matter how small the paycheck was, I was going to put aside 25% of it. I was living in a garage, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and using a coffee can for a toilet. I want to say the minimum wage was $2.15 back then? Rent for the garage was about 50-75% of my paycheck.
I saved up, continued school, and moved to renting floor space in a living room. From there, it's been a continued move forward.
There was no one to have my back. No work, no eat. No save, no get.
To me, if I have less than 10k in the bank (savings), I am starving broke. Don't even suggest we go out for coffee unless you are buying!
To me, if I have less than 50k in the bank (savings), I really need to be working hard and spending less. I find myself getting in the cold shower, getting wet, turning off the water, taking care of business, and then turning the water back on. It totally sucks, but man, it saves on the water bill!
Right now, my fear would be having to go back into the workforce. I have been out of the traditional work force for soooo long that I am not sure I could conform. And I know that I don't want to go back to working three jobs like I was when I was 15.
I strive to be debt free with a nice cushion in the bank of liquid assets. Not where I want to be, but getting there.
I didn't "learn" any positive money behaviors from anyone around me. Although, I did pick up one thing from my grandma. She use to say that if she had to work two jobs to make ends meet, she would. And she did sometimes. I really admired her.
I have - I hope - taught my kids financial responsibility. I know that my husband has learned a lot since we have been together.
PS - my "adoptive" parents never adopted me. They are just from that generation and I meet them after I had finished with school.
I am not stingy - I donate generously to different organizations, as well as volunteer.
And I am loosening up with my money attitude. It's like a game - let me see how scimpy I can be just so I know the lower limit and I know where I can cut expenses if I need to. And am I willing to do that to reach a goal? Yeah, most of the time.
Food is one thing I don't scimp on. I have a food budget, but never seem to remain within those limits. Having gone hungry for most of my life, I don't want to feel that way again. So I do spend on food, but choose (try to) buy better foods to cook/to eat at home.