Have you ever wondered where you got your financial habits from? In most cases we learn them from our parents. If your parents have good habits, saving regularly and not getting into debt, the chances are good that they will have passed the same good habits on to you. If on the other hand they have weak financial habits, piling up debt, making bad financial decisions and failing to save, you may recognize those same habits in your own financial life.
The good news is that you can change your own financial habits if you recognize you have them. Even if you learned the worst habits from your parents you can still turn them around. The first step is to recognize you have those bad habits and to admit that you are not responsible for them. The one thing you ARE responsible for is to change those habits so you can head into a stronger financial future.
How to work out what your bad habits are
Perhaps the best way to do this is to take a critical look at how your parents handle things. You don’t have to ask them: you should have a good idea of how they handle money simply by considering your parents’ stance. Did they argue about money a lot when you were young? Did they educate you about money? Did they discuss money matters and think about how to solve problems when they arose?
As you find answers to these questions you will start to realize whether your parents gave you good or bad habits. You will also start to identify your own money habits and where they came from. This is the first step to resolving any bad habits you may have.
Will you have exactly the same habits as your parents?
Not necessarily. Sometimes we can do the exact opposite to what our parents do. For example if you have a parent who spends too much and gets into debt, you may remember saying to yourself you would never get into that same situation. This could lead to habitual savings, to the extent that you forget to enjoy yourself and save too much rather than spending anything.
Conversely you might see your parents as being too conservative with money. In this case you might decide to go all out and enjoy it in your own life, rather than planning for the future. So you can see that either way you can be affected by your parents’ habits.
How to change for the better
Identifying the problems goes a long way towards starting to resolve them. Once you know what you are up against you can begin to consider how you will resolve any money issues you have.
Tackle one at a time and come up with ways in which you can resolve each issue. It may take time to conquer bad habits that were formed in your childhood. However you can be sure you will be able to conquer them if you persevere.
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