Dollars and Sense

Apples & Trees: Unlearning Life Lessons

It’s okay to “live for today” even if that means being reckless with my money; I want to enjoy life before I’m gone.  I’m not getting any younger! Might as well spend it while I have it.

Charity begins at home- I only give to my immediate family. You can’t trust so-called “charitable organizations” with your hard-earned money.  

I deserve __________, no matter what it costs. 

I’m intimidated by investments and financial planning, so I ignore it and put it off. 

Budgeting is a pain, and it’s just not feasible for me to stick to one. 

I’ll just put it on my credit card and deal with it later. 

It’s okay to have outstanding debts, but keep buying things. I’ll pay them off eventually- 

Have you ever heard a parent/parental figure say or model one of these ideas? Do you find one of their philosophies popping up in your own thoughts and actions sometimes? Have you ever looked at yourself and thought, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”?

If so, you’re not alone. Our parent(s) and other influential authority figures in our lives can have a huge impact on our habits. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the messages coming into our lives through them and weigh their validity.

While they can certainly be a source of wisdom, we will likely repeat the damaging habits/ideas that we get from those who have influence over us about money and finances (or anything else), unless we make a conscious effort to do and be different. (But this is not to say that others are automatically the cause of the troubles we may find ourselves in).

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, parents included. However:

Sometimes the opinions of those who have influence over us can carry such a weight and authority that we don’t stop to assess if what they are saying is wise, true, or healthy.

As an adult, I’ve had to sift through the things I’ve heard authority figures say and ask myself: is this really true? Is it really wise?

This week, I challenge you to think about the following questions:

  • What ideas (around money or anything else) from my parent/parental figure have I accepted as true and wise? Do I need to let go of any of these?
  • What has my parent/parental figure done well that I want to teach/model to my own children? What do I need to thank them for teaching me?

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4 thoughts on “Apples & Trees: Unlearning Life Lessons”

  1. This is a great topic and really made me think about my upbringing! My families finances were always a mystery growing up but I did pick up on the way my parents were frugal and careful with their spend, even if they didn’t discuss it outright. They set the tone of not overspending on a daily basis. I appreciate that but I do wish I had more instruction as I started to earn my own money and make financial decisions. If I have children I will try to guide by example when they are young and as they grow older involve them more in budgeting and saving.

    Liked by 1 person

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