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Have you overcome the bad habits...
... your parents taught you?


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#1 The Cat's Me-Wow

Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:50 PM

My parents were really not good financial role models for me. They earnt enough money, we never went without. There was always food, and clothes and a roof over our head. I know they had tight periods, and I remember some nasty money-related arguments occurring when I was young, but once my mum started full-time work when I was in my teens, things got a lot easier.

Without providing too many details though, they didn't manage their money very well. A lot of take away food, ironing/cleaning ladies, and in general, if money was there, they'd spend it. A lot of that incidental spending, that's never a lot of money at the time, but when you add it up over a week, or a month, your jaw starts to drop.

As much as I can see the mistakes they made when I was growing up, I'm finding myself doing the same stuff. Getting disorganised and lazy, so ordering Thai food delivered, spending close to a quarter of our weekly food budget on one meal. Buying chocolate bars and other 'treats' because I've had a 'bad day' and 'I've worked hard for it' (The second being a frequent sentiment expressed by mum when showing me one of her latest purchases)

I'm not trying to criticise my parents here, but I see myself doing the same 'little' things all the time, that add up to a lot. I know the value of saving now, but I can't seem to stop the 'instant gratification' thing in my head whenever I check the account to see if we've got enough for takeaway.

We've also done other things like redrawing on the mortgage in tight times, something I really don't like doing, but when mortgage redraw became the 'next big thing', I was sort of told that it was a great thing to be able to access. Now that I have a mortgage though, all I can see is that it adds about year or two to the amount of time it's going to pay off. This again, is something my parents consider an option in times of 'need' and openly talk about redrawing on theirs for different things.

More than anything, I want to set a better example for MY kids.

We're on a single income at the moment. I want to get back to work to get our income up a bit, but I can just see it getting sucked into the vortex that our current income seems to be.

Has anyone had a bad example set for them by their parents, grown up to fall into the same patterns, and managed to change those patterns?

Where did you start?

Does anyone have any tips for where I can start to unravel my silly spending habits? (My budgetting skills are good, and we pay our bills. I just know that I'm still wasting money, and I want to stop.)


#2 libbylu

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

Transfer all the money from your account as soon as you get paid, except for your weekly budgeted spending amount.  This way the best way I was able to save.  I got an internet savings account and had it automatically draw from my everyday spending account the day after payday.  I could then only spend what was left.  If we had an unusual or big expense we would transfer money out of the internet savings account and it came back into the spending account after 24 hours, but we BOTH had to agree on it and we didn't do it lightly.

#3 The Cat's Me-Wow

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

See though, we still do those things because we can. It's hard to explain. Once we'd gotten ourselves out of a tight spot by redrawing on the mortgage, suddenly it made it's way onto the 'list of options for tight spots'.

I have an account for the kid's clothes, and the other day it got spent because it 'was only $45 and I'll put it back on Tuesday when we get FTB'. It's so easy with internet banking. Maybe that's the option. LESS accessibility to funds for stuff like Christmas or clothes. So that I have to head to a branch to get it (which I'd have to do anyway if I was going shopping)...

#4 MsDemeanor

Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

No not yet. I was spoilt and indulged and not taught how to manage money and still can't manage it well.

#5 GreenCabbage

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

I always thought my parents were pretty tight with their money but now looking at it they were probably pretty smart. They raised five children, althrough private religious schools and now own three houses outright after selling one last yr.

I think I have got some of their habits in regards to putting some money away but also small treats along the way.

#6 Therin

Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

I'll just say that I am so proud of my mother and the job she did with next to no money.  Looking back I can see all of the corners we had to cut (no car, no phone, no movies, no take out, no new clothes, no new anything...) but at the time I didn't feel things were tight.

Now I do sometimes fritter - particularly chocolate :-) but I also save and scrimp on other things so I feel like it balances out - like a diet for my wallet.  I can see I am getting ahead and I know that if things got tight (which they currently are not knock on wood) the skills my mother taught me are there to save me.

In defence of your parents, I think maybe it's not all bad, money is for spending and making life easier, as long as you are saving enough to satisfy the Ant in you, a little bit of grasshopper keeps us sane.

#7 PinkyBlue

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

My Mum was shocking with money. We went without food, or well I should say, does vegimite and finger bun count? Clothes were made, or stolen. Im not sure exactly, but I remember once my mum being caught for stealing clothes.

Before I go on, I should say mum was a single parent of 3 kids with no Centrelink support back in the day. And a non-supportive dad who was not on the scene and no financial support.

I remember our electricity always being cut off and hidding behind the couch from debt collectors.

We were homeless at one stage. I had rich grandparents. Mum wouldnt go to them, but they were always her last resort. They brought a house for us to live in.

I have always been good with money from this experience. Making my $1 stretch.

Times have been tough lately since. Due to my daughter I cant commit to a employed job, so working for myself is all I can do at the moment and the $$$ is shocking!!!! I am probably on 4 times less then what I was when working for someone.

Anyways, I did slip into some habits, I wanted to feel good again, and was taking some of my mums bad habits. Hiding shopping from my DH, lying about how much it costs. Not sticking to the budget...like you....takeaway and those treats are my down fall.

I've started to take one step at a time. No more running out the house for the chocolate junk food run to the shopping centre and no more buying icecreams from the service station after filling up my car with petrol. Eating before I go out.

Little steps and little promises, makes it easier. These are just my starters. Once I get out of these habbits I will try and break others.

Ive started having ready made meals in the freezer so the tempation of takeaway on the way home is gone as I know I have something waiting at home.

It is hard.

We go without the fancy car, or the fancy accessories/clothes. I stretch my hairdresser appointments out as far as I can go now. I want my kids to have the best childhood, being able to afford those swimming lessons. I would be feeling so guilty if my bad habbits or my wants would over rule my children. This has been a good incentive.

Good luck.

#8 suzy-c

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

I realised, as an adult, that my parents were not happy with the way their lives turned out, but were still (maybe subconciously) advising me down a path that would end up just like theirs. Therefore I realised I probably shouldn'tve modelled after them as much as I did. My parents taught me nothing about finances, but I'm an avid self-taught armchair economist now.

My main frugal mentor was my Aunty, the nun. She never went without, she just never wanted in the first place. wink.gif

#9 Leafprincess

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:45 PM

Money was tight in our house when I was a kid, not due to over spending but due to circumstance. Mum and dad worked their guts out to give us a better life and an education.

They taught us kids about money from an early age. How everything costs something and how hard it was to earn. I would follow them to work, and polish glasses. A whole tray of glasses was worth 20cents (I have a feeling it wasn't the going rate) biggrin.gif

to this day, when I can save money I will. I treat savings like a game. I get a real kick every time I can add an extra $100 to the savings account & watch my savings account grow with interest. I also don't feel the need to equate happiness with purchases.

I used to work in banking and would see people who couldn't control their finances. Here we're my suggestions:

Get rid of the credit card

If you can't get rid of it in one hit, pay it down & call up to reduce the limit keep doing it until its gone

Never redraw unless it's an emergency

Set up payment plans with providers instead of getings same day cash loans or credit cards or redraw

Use cash and only cash to pay for weekly expenses- if there is no cash you don't buy it

Any loose change goes into a large glass jar- bank it at the end of the month

Never lie about how much you have spent- it only leads to guilt, shame, bad feelings= more buying

Address real issues instead of compensating through shopping

#10 Castrophic

Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:53 PM

Unfortunately I'm not the best and have kept purchases from DH previously due to my guilt. We have joint accounts however I manage the money. Is your DP better with money? Can he do the budgets and you change the online details? Not that that's ideal
I'm trying to get better so have a rule about leaving a purchase idea for 24 hours before buying. Also I started taking my money out in cash as I was doing a lot of online shopping. Maybe leaving it in the bank or vice versa would work better for you?
In regards to food we take the money out in cash and this is left at home unless you know that you have to pick up milk and bread. Stops some of the impulse spending if I don't have cash on me.

Sorry it's not much help but when you find the magical solution let me know!

#11 hawkchick

Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:46 PM

My parents have no assets, no money and my Dad's company is in administration so his pay days are numbered and as he's the only Director, he won't be entitled to any redundancy type pay outs or long service leave. They pay rent and quite frankly, the pension is not enough to cover private rental, even in a crappy run down place.
DH and I own our own home outright - seeing my parents squander almost a million dollars in one shonky business deal after another made me determined to not end up in the same boat they're now in. People always suggest that we borrow against our house to invest in other property but I'll never risk losing my home. Not for anything. If you don't own your own home when you're in your 70's and you have to rent...you're screwed. And the public housing waiting lists are 10 years long.

#12 AnotherFeral

Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

My parents' example wasn't *really* terrible, but at the same time they didn't actually teach me about money management, so I didn't pick up what skills they did have.
I'm nearly 35 and still bad at money management. I used to think I was good at it because I don't run up credit card debts or other 'bad' debts, but I'm not efficient with my spending and saving. Never been able to stick to a budget.
Now I am a single parent, and while XH is paying more CS than the minimum, good financial habits will make a massive difference to my situation a few years from now. There is now a much greater incentive to learn: the possibility of buying a house on my own and providing for the kids on my own. (I hope to be in a situation where CS is just the 'cream' rather than having to rely on it for basics). So this year a goal of mine is to become more disciplined with money.




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