I wanted to share this article from the Financial Post, Dec. 13, 2014 pg FP5 to provide wisdom from others when it comes to personal finance. We operate at our belief level which means that if you hold a belief, positive or negative, good or bad, it will drive your behaviour. Many times we hold outdated and no longer relevant thoughts which can limit us, especially financially. Other times we have forgotten the wisdom passed onto us from our elders…

Here are the thoughts of a few:

Scott Griffin, businessman, philanthropist and founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize:
My father often said: “In a business deal, negotiate as hard as possible, but always leave the last nickel on the table for your opponent, especially if you have the upper hand. He will thank you for it and remain a friend for life.”

Brenda Canning, musician, founding member of Broken Social Scene:
My mom used to monitor my bank account to see if I was saving money from my paper route and dish-washing job and not spending it frivolously. I remember her being dismayed at the low sum which prompted her to ask, “Are you selling drugs?” My response was, “Mom, doesn’t it stand to reason if I were actually selling drugs, wouldn’t I have MORE money in the bank?” Anyway, from that point on I became more careful with my spending habits and that little talk kept me focused on making sure I saved enough paycheque to paycheque. Both my parents continued instilling in me the importance of saving money which I am thankful for because one never wants to feel under the gun financially especially when he is a self-employed artist.

Rick Mercer, host of The Rick Mercer Report on CBC:
My parents were all about spending within your means- they still are.

When we were growing up there were no trips to Florida; we went camping. There was no paved driveway (there still isn’t) and my father drove a succession of pick ups purchased at auction after they were essentially abandoned by the light and power company. For my father being frugal is a high art. He used to paint his truck with a brush and the colour was whatever was on sale. Even to this day, if I mention to my father on the phone that I went to Canadian Tire and bought a lawn mower, I now he’s shaking his head on the other end as if I announced the purchase of a giant gold hat.

My parents had clear priorities about spending. They didn’t buy a TV for the house until they had a piano. There certainly wasn’t mad money but there was always money for music lessons, for drum kits, guitars and whatever activity my brother and sisters were interested in. There was money for those us who availed of post-secondary education.

The idea of living beyond our means is an anathema to me. Going into debt unless absolutely necessary is hard for me to fathom. There are lessons I learned from watching them. They led by example.

WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM THIS INCLUDING OUR GOVERNMENT!

Christine Magee, co-founder of Sleep Country Canada:
A story often shared at home was how my parents grew up during the Depression: the war, molasses sandwiches, having to quit school at 16 to earn money to contribute to the family. When my parents got married, they only had 75 cents left in their bank account after paying for the wedding. May parents both had to work and “saving for the rainy day” was drummed into us. We came to appreciate the importance of savings and making sure that we had a safety net to protect us just in case.

Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance) who is responsible for the federal financial literacy file:
Much to my dismay when I was a teenager, my father always insisted that I put some of the paycheque from my joy at the Home Hardware store into my RRSP. It didn’t matter that it was only a small amount, maybe 20%. It simply mattered that I did. Decades later, I continue to do so and I have passed that lesson onto my own children. I’m grateful to my Dad for teaching me the value of money early on and instilling in me the discipline needed to save for the future.

I wonder what are the lessons being taught today? I have done my best and I too was taught not to spend more than you have. Unfortunately with my divorce and some things outside of my control I was put in a bad financial way this year. It taught me to take full financial responsibility for me and my children. I am empowered as a woman, single mother and know that even if I have tremendous abundance around me and given to me I always need to be able to take care of me and my children, no matter what. Life takes funny turns and I never ever want to be put in that position again. I am on the right track for changing this.

I teach my children to work in a budget. Until they earn their own money they likely will not understand this and feel the impact of it. I think when it comes to larger items and they want my contribution I will do a financial matching: If my son wants a car then I will match him $ for $ on what he earns this way the more he wants the more he will have to work.

This also brings to light the idea that the millennial and Gen Z are a group that is not necessarily driven by the $ however they can still learn to be financially repsonsible. That is our job as parents. Unfortunately many parents live well beyond their means.

Maybe the children will actually teach the parents!

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