Money Matters

My parents did a generally great job raising me, but one area in which they failed utterly was teaching me anything about how to manage money, primarily because they were overly hesitant about telling me how much they make. I still have very little idea, actually.

As a result of having neither their hourly rates nor yearly averages to compare to, I've really never had the faintest idea about what percentages of the total go towards various expense categories, nor how much work any given purchase or payment represents for them. It's decidedly NOT enough knowing only that “some” money is for necessities, some for luxuries, some for investments, some for emergencies, and some for charity without ever having a concrete understanding of how each amount relates back to the work that earned it and how long it took to accrue; which requires at least ballpark figures in real numbers.

Without that kind of real-home-economics education, their attempts to teach me about money with chore payments and allowance, as well as forcing me to get a credit card at 16( even though I hated signing things) to build credit, and to make their mortgage payments on my condo unit from my checking account to build equity, proved completely fruitless. Among other financial woes, I have decade-old debt which( now that they've spent 2½ years nickel-and-diming me out of all my value in the shared asset after agreeing to a buyout arrangement and then reneging) will likely result in (a )significant lien(s) against my condo unit( since I can't pay off all my debt first in one fell swoop as I'd planned back in 2016) the instant I move out and thus forfeit my automatic homestead protection( a fact that I've tried to impress on my folks repeatedly, with no result).( My father did recently assert that we all have a shared interest in getting the best sale price for the property, prompting me to realize that I can and probably should sue them if they continue to ignore that issue, or otherwise disregard any of my input about the condo unit, and the market value is in any way diminished as a result.) Er, sorry; tangent. Back on topic, the point is that because they refused to let me attach actual numerical values to the financial “values” my father claims they taught me, most of what they tried to teach me about money was in fact meaningless, and having opportunities to handle money myself was no substitute.

I strongly encourage any parents out there who read this to avoid making the same mistake; it's a costly one and could prove VERY harmful to your kids in the long run. Instead, talk to them honestly about your income and home/family finances once they're adolescent and can grasp what the numbers mean.