July 14, 2024
6 Money Lessons I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me

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There’s no doubt that being born with a silver spoon in your mouth gives you a leg up in the world — but it can also have its downsides, financially speaking.

Growing up rich has many perks, but it can also hinder a person from learning essential money lessons.

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GOBankingRates spoke with people who come from privilege but recognize their upbringing didn’t equip them with the necessary financial skills to set them up for long-term success. Read below for their insights on money lessons they wish they had learned.

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Appreciating the Value of Money

“Having grown up in a wealthy family and now working for my own business, I have unique insights into the financial lessons often missed when money is readily available,” said Ben Hilton, founder and managing director of Switch Jam Digital.

“I never felt the need to worry about money as a child, and therefore, I failed to understand its real value. I now wish that someone had inculcated in me an appreciation of the actual work that goes into making money,” he said. “For instance, why did someone waste hours in the pursuit of a better deal or draw up a stringent budget? If I had known better the value of money, perhaps I would have been more enlightened about money management and spending habits.”

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Budgeting Skills and Money Management

“I didn’t have to budget because it wasn’t expected or required in my home, and I’m still unaware of how to properly maintain a budget,” Hilton said. “When I first left home and lived alone, I struggled to balance my expenses and income.”

He noted that making sure a person knows how to set up and maintain a budget is a rather important skill that prevents overspending and helps to uphold and support personal financial stability.

Nischay Rawal, CPA, founder and managing partner of NR Tax & Consulting, shared a similar experience.

“Growing up with wealthy parents, I never learned the value of a dollar or what it meant to budget,” he said. “Money was always there for whatever I needed or wanted. As a result, I didn’t develop key financial skills that most people gain from an early age.

“When I started my own business, I had no idea how to forecast expenses, set financial goals or manage cash flow,” Rawal explained. “The first few years were a crash course in Finance 101. I made many mistakes that could have been avoided if I had a better grasp of basic money management.”

Investing Wisely

“While I had the money, I never learned how to invest early. I lost the basis for generating wealth through investment,” Hilton said. “A clear illustration of this is the fact that I was unaware of compound interest when I was 20 years old, a knowledge that could have significantly increased my financial worth.”

Learning investment principles and how to build wealth is crucial, according to Hilton. “How to invest wisely is a critical lesson for long-term financial growth,” he said.

Financial Independence

“Financial security during childhood is typically already wealth-dependent,” Hilton said. “I wish somebody had taught me about financial independence very early. For instance, in the early days of my career, it became easy to reach out to family for money and support instead of struggling and fighting to succeed financially independently.”

He added that knowing the importance of financial independence teaches a person the value of hard work and personal development.

Finding Purpose and Meaning Outside of Money

Rawal noted that another key lesson he didn’t learn was to find purpose and meaning outside of money.

“My parents’ wealth afforded me opportunities but didn’t give me a sense of direction or fulfillment. I had to discover my own passions and work toward building something meaningful,” he said. “The satisfaction of accomplishing goals through hard work was completely new to me.”

Rawal added that he wasn’t set up for long-term success. “While being raised in an affluent family provided privileges, it didn’t set me up for long-term success,” he said. “The skills I lacked — like budgeting, financial discipline and finding purpose — were much harder to develop as an adult. But going through that process gave me a much healthier perspective on money and a deeper appreciation for what really matters.”

For Rawal and others in his situation, it’s key to gain perspective about what money can and can’t provide. “For those raised in wealth, the biggest lesson is often learning that money alone does not solve life’s challenges or buy happiness. True success comes from within,” he said.

Financial Literacy Based on Modeling

“I grew up in a fairly wealthy family. My father and mother own their own businesses, real estate and were heavily invested in the stock market,” said Jordan Grumet, hospice doctor and author of The Purpose Code.

“What I generally found is that my parents modeled great behavior. They acted like rich people and thus as I got older, I tried to do the same things,” he said. “They saved and invested, so I saved and invested. They owned real estate, so I purchased real estate. They ran their own businesses, so I ran my own business.”

Grumet did see how his parents successfully managed their money but often lacked an understanding of how they did it. “While I think my parents modeled great behavior, they often didn’t tell me the exact how. I knew that investing in the stock market was important, but had no idea what stocks to pick,” he said.

It wasn’t until later that Grumet realized the lessons he didn’t learn. “Once I started buying property and being a landlord, I realized my parents had never really taught me the details needed to be a property owner,” he said. “The same goes for owning a business. My parents provided me with the path but never really taught me how to traverse it.”

Now that Grumet is a parent, he’s trying to teach his children these essential money lessons.

“As a parent myself, I try to teach my kids about money in three important ways,” he said. “Modeling: They see me earning, investing and creating wealth.”

Grumet said teaching is equally important. “I use didactic methods to sit them down and explain exactly what I am doing and why.”

And finally, he noted that experiential learning is vital to teach kids.

“I give them opportunities to manage money, invest and handle debt but in a safe way in which the consequences are minimal,” he said. “A good example is that when they were young we used to give them a yearly allowance and then let them self-budget.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I Grew Up Rich: 6 Money Lessons I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me

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