CFP®, Krista Cavalieri shares her money experience first as a daughter and now as a mother of three children!
I grew up in a household and culture where talking about money was considered bad luck. This superstition had a profound effect on how I was raised in regards to money. My parents rarely talked about money, and when they did, it tended to be in negative terms, such as not having enough, or not being able to afford something.
The lack of clear communication from my parents translated differently for my brother and me. I would save all the money I received for my birthday and holidays.
I would stash it away in a blue velcro wallet, then bury that wallet under the stack of stuffed animals in my closet.
My brother would spend his money almost as quickly as he received it.
Don’t get me wrong; just because I stashed mine away didn’t mean I didn’t spend it on trivial items when I did spend it. It was just harder for me to let go.
Building the foundation for smart spending has been a long road, one which still proves difficult despite my training as a Certified Financial Planner. I continue to find moments where I will not spend money for things that might be useful because of my desire to hang on to money. I also find I will impulse buy if it seems there is a good value.
Now that I have children, I strive to be more in tune with where and why I spend. I am ever cognizant of the never ending stream of Amazon boxes arriving weekly. My husband and I work to be transparent with our children about money. We assure them we have enough to live a comfortable life, but that does not mean we will buy every adorable stuffed animal we pass at the store.
Thankfully, this ongoing conversation seems to be getting through, and we are able to pass up most of the toys and other temptations without incident.
While they are still young (6, 4, and 2), they are very curious. We aim to answer their money questions in an open way at a level they will understand. This means when our six year old heard us talking about our taxes, we took the time to explain what taxes are and why we pay them. We have also spoken to them about needs versus wants and about giving to those who are less fortunate than us.
We hope through an open dialog about money, when and why we spend, the different ways we spend, our children will have a healthy relationship with money. We hope it allows them to make good choices about their own spending and borrowing.
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