Does your attitude to money come from your parents?
26 March 19  /  Insights

We all have an intrinsic attitude towards money and, for most people, it comes from our parents. From an early age, we’re aware how parents deal with their money, whether they are disciplined savers and budget their spending, or whether they’re spendthrift or sceptical of the stock market, giving us a more positive or negative belief system.

To see where your attitudes towards saving, spending and money were engendered, it pays to take a look at your financial upbringing. You can then decide which of these beliefs you’d like to pass on to your own children and which may be holding you back from getting the most out of life. There are four basic areas to examine:

Your childhood experience of money

What was your experience of money as you were growing up? Did you compare your household to others, drawing your own conclusions as to your level of wealth? Did you have frequent holidays? Did your parents buy a new car every couple of years? What were Christmases and birthdays like?

Your childhood experiences all help to shape your adult attitudes. Did your mother plan menus for the week and budget her household expenses? Did your parents make sure there was always enough in the pot? Did they save? Perhaps a major life event, such as job loss, illness or death, had a major impact on the family’s finances.

Your parents’ experience of money

In turn, your parents were influenced by their parents. For example, baby boomers brought up by parents who were young in the Great Depression and Second World War would have known hardship and the importance of work and regular saving. These values may have been passed on to you. If your parents are still living, it might be interesting to find out more about their childhood experience of money. You may learn something of interest and how it has affected you today  

Influences you’ve carried into adulthood

If you grew up in a working class home, there may have been suspicion or resentment of more affluent people, giving you a negative attitude towards wealth. Perhaps your parents were envious of those who had money, not realising how much hard work it takes to build wealth. On the other hand, maybe your parents showed you that life experience was more important than money. Perhaps they did charity work, earned a modest salary in a job they loved, or made financial sacrifices so you could attend a good school.

The key thing you’ve learned about money

When you were young, you probably got fed up of hearing parents reminisce about a childhood when money was scarce, or being given excuses why you couldn’t have a new bike or go on holiday. But now you’re in charge of your family finances, many of the early maxims probably ring true: ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’, ‘Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’ ‘Only spend what you can afford’ and so on. What was hard to hear then may well have created an attitude that benefits you today, giving you a healthy respect for money that you want to pass on to your children.

It’s these early experiences that form the blueprint of your financial thinking today, and it this we want to build on when formulating a life-centred financial plan that establishes a sound foundation for your family’s financial future. It’s also why our Lifestyle Financial Planner will spend time with you, discovering your attitude to money, what you want to do in life and how you’d like to spend your time, so they can help you live the lifestyle of your choosing.

To find out more about how Lifestyle Financial Planning can help, speak to a member of the Mathews Comfort team on 01865 208000 or email

Source: ROLA: Did You Inherit Your Beliefs About Money From Your Parents?