Raised With Manners and Money Smarts

by Jada, May 08, 2015

With the economy going down the drain the way it has been lately I am thankful everyday that my parents have always been budget conscious, savings prone and above all money smart. They opened a bank account for me within the first month of my birth, they never indulged my ‘I want it now’ tantrums – they taught me to shop around, compare prices and be absolutely sure I was getting exactly what I wanted.
They made sure I understood the value of money - £10 CAN buy this, £100 CAN buy this and when things got tough they included me in discussions about how where and how we were going to cut back - which included teaching me about finding and using coupons. Obviously, they were the kind of coupons you'd cut out from a newspaper but these days its easier looking online for promo codes at Discountrue or other frugal lifestyle websites.
Thanks to my parents I have always made sure that I have enough money to pay my bills before I spend a single penny, I am a life-time saver and I not only know how to draw up a budget but I know how to stick to it. Here are the things my parents did to raise a money smart child, who's now an adult!
Money doesn't grow on trees From as early as I can remember my parents always told me “Money doesn't grow on trees – you have to WORK for it!” and we always had a work for your allowance system. When I was very young I earned my allowance with chores, homework and of course for tidying up my room! Whenever I saw something that I really wanted my parents made me understand how much it cost by telling me ‘that’s gonna cost at least five completed homework assignments and three lots of tidying your room.” I always remember wanting a bright pink barbie car, just like one I spotted in John Lewis a few weeks ago, I then changed my mind as soon as I had enough money for it and spent it on another toy!
I want it now!” - NO! Every parent is guilty of helping promote the concept of instant gratification - me included, however whenever I threw a tantrum my parents would flat out ignore me and I had to do my chores to get my pocket money anyway. They made me shop around for my Christmas list by telling me that Santa was very busy and I had to tell him exactly where to get the thing I wanted, but I must remember that he has a lot of children to shop for so I must make sure he’s getting the best deal. Apparently one year I sent Santa all the coupons that I’d found for toys, cookies and milk because I quote ‘Wasn't sure if he got newspapers in the North Pole and I know he has to buy like a gazillion presents!.’
If you break it, you buy it I learned that my actions have consequences and EVERYTHING has a price. My parents never replaced a toy just because I had broken it and I was devastated. I had to replace it out of my own pocket, or if I wanted help fixing it I had to work for the repair. If they knew I was saving for something but had spent the money that was supposed to pay for it on something else, they never ‘subsidized’ my efforts, or let me rather say they never let me know that they was subsidizing my efforts! When I spent that money they always reminded me that if I buy this thing, then I'm not going to have enough money to buy that thing but they never stopped me.
Just three things that they never deviated from – whether we were struggling to pay our bills or we were doing well financially and today I can honestly say I’m not well off, but I am happy!
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