Growing up, we don’t often realize the benefits that certain lessons taught by our parents have on us. I for one can clearly recall believing that doing the dishes after Sunday dinner was the epitome of torment. What I didn’t realize, was that the lessons that were instilled in me early on by my parents gave me huge advantages as I grew into adulthood.
These lessons helped to shape me into a self-sufficient individual early on in life. They made me confident in my ability to look after myself and consequently gave me a head-start on my journey toward financial independence. Here are three ways my parents taught me financial independence.
From about the age of 12 I was held to the same responsibilities that most grown-ups live by. While it may seem a bit punitive, this truly was a blessing in disguise. I was taught that things needed to be taken care of – and that I shouldn’t rely on anyone but myself to get things done for me. This meant that if I made a commitment or set goals for myself, my parents would hold me to it at all reasonable costs. This also meant that if I slept in and was late for school, got in trouble with a teacher, or missed soccer practice because I was behind on homework, my parents wouldn’t make excuses for me. It meant growing up and learning to own responsibility.
Growing up, my parents would cover the cost of basic necessities for us to live a happy, comfortable life. But anything extra wasn’t going to come from “The Bank of Mum and Dad.” If I wanted to buy anything that was considered dispensable, I would have to work for the money and buy it myself. Our parents encouraged us to earn our own money so that we would become self-reliant. In high school I was earning about $50-60 a week as a cashier at my local grocery store. With my weekly paycheck I was able to afford the rudimentary costs of being a 15-year-old. Earning my own money made me more cautious about how I spent it. It also taught me that if I wanted anything in life, there was no entitlement or financial help readily available.
It wasn’t until I reached my mid-twenties that I realized a large portion of people my age didn’t know how to cook a proper meal. Largely due in part to not having been taught to cook growing up. As a teenager my mom took me to the supermarket often and taught me how to cook nutritious meals for myself and the family. Learning how to cook gave me financial independence as a teen, as I didn’t rely on take-out and delivery to satisfy my hunger. And knowing when I’m getting a good deal on certain ingredients has most certainly helped me financially as a young adult.
These are three lessons I learned from my parents – among many more. We can all find lessons in our youth to draw on – and we learn new things every day that we can share with others. At Quad-Fi we care about your journey to financial freedom. That’s why we offer students loans at a low rate. Check us out here to learn more!