Growing up, it seemed every family discussion was about money or religion. Saving money, spending money or wasting money, was our father’s favorite topic of discussion. I have said before, that given 3 minutes our mother would change any topic to religion. Well my father would change that topic to money within 1 minute following. As we grew into adulthood, our wasteful spending of his money evolved into our irresponsible spending of our own money.
What should be noted here is that my father was born in the ladder depression era. His father experienced the depression first hand and raised a family through it. They existed in dire poverty which was considered fortunate for them during that time. For my father, matters of finance are intimately tied to his sense of safety and security. It never seemed to matter if we were doing well or struggling, my father’s outlook was that one could never have enough financial security. He also firmly believed that no man could ever achieve financial security working for another. “You have to make your own mark in this world. Let that man make his own.”
So, my brothers and I walked a narrow path of approval in our father’s eyes. If we were employed, we should have been working toward self employment. When we were self employed, we should have been saving our money. What I know now is that caring about money was how my father cared about everything else. This concern for our financial security was how he showed he cared about us. It mattered deeply to him that we take matters of personal finance to heart.
Often our parents will nag us about money. We come into a small windfall and perhaps we splurge a little. We treat ourselves for a job well done. Our parents may frown on this. But we should remember this is how they show they love us. How will we show our children we love them when they are out into the world? Perhaps you sometimes find yourself nagging your own grown children over matters of finance. You may want to include that you only do so because you care deeply for their security and that you love them.