Below is an excerpt from the first chapter, Mother’s Truth from my book, Power of the Purse: Fear-Free Finances for Baby Boomer Women.
[quotes style=”classic” align=”left” author=””]⇒ What my mother would say: If you need money for something, go ask your father.[/quotes]
The denial of allowances was often used as severe punishment for violations too horrid to be put into words: bad mouthing a teacher, failure to be home at a predetermined time, forgetting to do your Saturday chores, for example. There was a cause and effect for many actions that resulted in the deprivation of money. And that’s where we learned that money could be used to control or manage behavior.
If you had parents who denied you nothing, then money took on a totally different meaning: it was simply a means to an end and there was plenty of it. Need a car? Mom and Dad bought it for you. Need a new dress for a social engagement? Mom and Dad bought it for you. Whatever you wanted, you got it. And in many cases, the money never crossed your palms.
You learned that the supply of money was endless, and you could spend it on whatever you wanted. There was no relationship between earning money or saving it and the immediate availability of what you wanted. You learned that asking for something material and getting it was a way your parents showed how much they loved you.
Both of these are extremes, but they provide us with a significant basis for what “stories” we make up about money. Those who learned about money in the “save for what you want” category versus those who learned about “money as a never-ending means to whatever you wanted” came into adulthood with quite different attitudes toward the meaning of money.
If you were of the former camp, the first job out of college was a great learning experience in many ways. You had to learn to figure out how much rent you could afford, the car payment that would fit in the budget, and how much food really cost. These survival skills and how you dealt with them form the basis of how you now spend money as an adult.
[quotes style=”classic” align=”left” author=””]⇒ We say: Earning your own money and saving or investing some of it can give you freedom and choice.[/quotes]
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