Money attitudes are formed at home

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All our attitudes, perceptions and experiences about money are usually formed at home. How our parents or guardians treat different money situations form a lasting impression that we may adopt or discard during adulthood.

Some are lucky to have money savvy parents who impart these skills, while other parents lack the basics for handling money.

Irrespective of the level of financial literacy, your parents or guardians’ behaviour around money or what they repeatedly say about money could greatly affect how you view money at a later date.

For example, Marvis, a young administrator grew up in a middle-class environment, where all the perks of life were in plenty. His parents gave him more than he desired and there was never a period of lack. This, he believes, has impacted on how he views money and has been translated in his money habits.

He spends money knowing that once his account is in the red, he can dash to his parents to bail him out. On the contrary, his brother manages his finances prudently.

His ambition is to set up a business empire that rivals that of their parents so that he has something that he can count as his own and not belonging to the legacy that the parents have cultivated.

There are many people who had a privileged background but because of misfortune or an adversity, their lives were turned upside down. Depending on their circumstances, some have failed to handle such situations and courted financial ruin, while such scenarios have compelled others to turn around this adversity to achieve financial success.

On the other hand, some households that were characterised by lack of basics have inevitably turned their financial lives around. Such experiences have compelled people to do whatever it takes to set up a business or get a career that has turned around their fortunes so that they never experience lack again.

With this in mind, look back at the varying money situations and assess whether your attitude or the way you reacted has a lot to do with your upbringing. Are you positive on making unfortunate situations work out or are you eyeing that inheritance, a pay rise or a miracle to solve your financial situation.

Have you given in to the temptation of indiscriminate spending after growing up in a home where prudent financial management was not the order of the day?

Unfortunately, some people need hard lessons to be able to recognise the importance of the habits that prevailed in your household. Some of your money habits could stem from your background.

Depending on the state of your finances, you can choose to discard those that set you back and maintain those that advance your financial status.

Irrespective of our life stages, we face different challenges in our financial lifecycles and our response could largely depend on our level of financial literacy.

If your financial health is not where you want it to be, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. With financial knowledge and a robust plan, you can do a lot to turn your financial fortunes around.

The most important thing is to acknowledge that you have some financial management challenges that you need to address.

In line with the different states, I will attempt to discuss how to cope with the challenges that require prudent money management as one matures with varying obligations during the different stages of our lifetime.

The two previous columns addressed introducing money at an early stage (children) and management of your financial status as an undergraduate or a postgraduate.

What money lessons are you passing on through your day-to-day life?

The writer works with Bank of Uganda

This article first ran in the Lifestyle in the New Vision