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Family Financial Advice

We all have advice about money from our parents and family members. What tips do your family live by?


  1. Make sure both people in a marriage are involved in the day-to-day finances and long-term planning.
  2. Other than a mortgage and (possibly) car loans, stay out of debt. The debtor is slave to the lender. Save up and pay for what you want. I really wish there was a way to give everyone in the country indoctrination in my Mom's loathing of debt and belief in saving for things first....loads of people would be in better shape!
  3. It is okay to have a saving account just for you. If you are not taking away from family and can put some away, do it.
  4. Always pay off your credit card in full each month. When I got my 1st card (about 40 years ago) I didn't realize there was any other way than to pay it in full. I was shocked when my husband didn't
  5. Part of our homeschool curriculum includes life skills, so one of the things we talk about is how to read the tags at the supermarket so they can figure out what the better deal would be. One piece of advice that has passed on from my parents to my kids is "just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it."
  6. My parents did not have money. They spent what little they had as soon as it came in their hands. My Aunt taught me not to invest any money I could not afford to lose.
  7. Save, save, save! I earned an allowance mowing the yard not with the thought of what I'd buy with the money, but when would I have enough to take to the bank. Today I always divert money into savings and an IRA when I get paid. When I buy something for myself, it's a well thought-out decision. I'm going to have to take care of myself when I'm older, so I'm making sure now that I'll be able to do that when the time comes. I proclaim my tightwad status proudly.
  8. I don't remember my parents ever explicitly giving me financial advice, but they definitely taught me lessons by the way they lived. They modeled frugality and careful spending, and now, in their retirement years, I can see how it's paid off for them.
  9. My father and I went out to the barn one night looking for my mother. The only sound was the relentless "crunch crunch" of horses chewing their grain. My father looked at me and said "Do you know what that sound is? It is the sound of money going away, never to return again."
  10. My mom is Asian. I learned what interest was when I was young enough to borrow money to buy a pack of gum.
  11. My father lost a lot during the stock market crash of 87(?). He realized how much better off if he would have held his mutual funds without a change all the way through the crash instead of trying to move. -- taught me from that to just watch, wait and hold.
  12. "Enjoy the silver, china, and other nice things you have now. Don't save them for the second wife!" Advice from my mom.
  13. My parents have led by example and go over their budget each month and sit down and talk about it with each other to make sure their both on the same page. Communication about money within marriage.
  14. Financial tips I learned from my parents...... 1. Always keep a separate "emergency" account for the unexpected expenses, and always build it back after it is used. 2. Buy with your own money, not credit (when possible). If there is reason or need for credit, find one with the lowest possible interest and try to pay it off every month 3. What to do with extra money?? Always be generous when you are able! Give to those organizations and groups that are important to you and/or hold a special place in your heart.
  15. My folks were religious so it was important to give to the church. I'm not religious but I still give generously to charities and causes.
  16. About stocks, "you only lose if you actually sell it". The price may decline but if you hold onto it, it may recover, even if it takes years and years. I learned this playing a board game we had about stock markets kinda like monopoly. I've never seen it elsewhere or met anyone who played it. Sometimes you'd pick a card and it would show a line graph: up, down, zigzag up or down, 'V' shape, 'W', 'M', etc. Anyway, when it went down sometimes I'd panic and sell. My dad always held til later.
  17. Do not invest in things you: (i) have to feed or it will eat you alive; (ii) cannot feel or touch; and, (iii) cannot liquidate in one week.