In my case, I never really had a regular allowance, but my parents were willing to pay me for jobs around the house beyond the usual chores — heavy yard work, for example. And I started baby-sitting from a young age, which gave my parents the opportunity to stop paying for my special purchases. If I wanted a pair of designer jeans, well, I had my baby-sitting money, was the refrain.
I was thinking about this after reading this piece in the Bismarck Tribune about financial literacy — and how more and more people operate on credit as their day-to-day spending survival. As the piece says, many people don’t know any better because they were raised without any financial or budgeting knowledge. And, in many cases, people want to learn more about money management because they’ve wiped out their savings and simply don’t know how to live within their means.
I thought it was unfair at the time, of course, but my parents’ not having a lot of money growing up benefited me in the long run. I learned how to budget, and save, and think about long-term wants over short-term. I got a thrill seeing that $1.32 in interest and knowing that I didn’t have to do a thing to make it. Nowadays, I have a mortgage payment, sure, but I don’t carry credit card debt, and I’ve made some investments that are looking to start paying off.
What are some of the skills you learned as a child or young adult that have paid off in your business career? Did you learn to pay yourself first? Or to spend money to make money? Or, have you had to learn your financial lessons later in life?
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