Straight Talk on Debt: The Psychology of Personal Finance and Childhood

A Straight Talk on Debt

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Straight Talk on Debt: The Psychology of Personal Finance and Childhood

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I read an article this week, How The '90s Set Us Up to Fail Financially written by @add_vodka; after I finished laughing hysterically and came to the realization that I "grew up" in the 80's I sat back and reflected on the environment I grew up in. The author's question, "How did your decade set you up to fail" really made me stop and think, not about stirrup pants and leg warmers but the things I was exposed to as a kid.

The Barbie dream house and my Masters of the Universe collection led me to believe the world was perfect -after all who didn't have a spa and isn't everyone just like She Ra Princess of Power?

Straight Talk on Debt: The Psychology of Personal Finance and Childhood

The things we played with as kids, the household items we coveted; a VCR and cable TV (with MTV) for me helped shape the way we live our lives today. Looking back I understand why my brother and I were sheltered from cable and were the last ones on the block to own a VCR, my parents were frugal. They didn't care about keeping up with the Jones's, and didn't want to spend money on things we could live without.

This week I challenge you to think back to your childhood and see how the lessons learned either from your generational influence, parental guidance or tough lessons learned shaped the way you relate to money matters. 

Think about it...

The Danger in Comparing Yourself to Others @ManVsDebt "Have you heard of "keeping up with the Joneses"? This is a phrase that describes people who attempt to make their house as nice as the neighbors, or who try to buy all the same things that their friends and neighbors are buying. Don't get caught up comparing yourself to others when it comes to your home, clothes, cars, the latest gadgets, and the latest iPad 3 that they just bought. You have to make financial decisions based on your own situation, and not as a result of comparing yourself to others."

There Is Being Frugal And Then There Is Being CHEAP @Dollarversity "What I have found in my research sometimes shocks me: the extent that some people go to in order to save money, even in very small increments, just blows my mind. I have no problem doing comparison shopping, using coupons, timing my purchases, and other things in order to reduce my expenses, but some of the people out there absolutely refuse anything that isn't free!"

Can You Afford Your Lifestyle? @MoneyMatters "We didn't have a big enough emergency fund. We did have an emergency fund of about 3 months of living expenses. In an era where "fewer than four of 10 American adults have an emergency fund to fall back on in the event of some financial disaster, according to a nationwide poll" (Bankrate), we were doing good, but we stopped saving when we hit 3 months of saving. We should have kept saving until we reached 6 to 12 months, but we didn't."

If You Think You Need It Right Now, You Don't @outofdebtagain "Guess what? When you get that urge that you've got to have something RIGHT THIS SECOND? I'm almost certain you really don't need it at all."

Develop a plan...

The Household CFO: Home Financial Taskmaster @TheDigeratiLife "We're late thirtysomething Generation X-ers in the middle of the financial grind right now, with our hands full raising a couple of kids and like everyone else, trying to build a bright future for our family. Here's the kind of stuff I deal with to operate our finances:

S.H.I.E.L.D Your Finances From Total Destruction @ontargetcoach "You can protect your finances by learning how to S.H.I.E.L.D. them from harmful elements. Unless you act, you'll be banished to debt slavery, interest rate annihilation, and the scariest of all-government dependence."

Dealing With Debt Collectors: Be Their Friends @HuffPostMoney "It's frustrating when you're receiving multiple phone calls a day from debt collection agencies. It doesn't have to be that way. Debt collection agencies are used to being yelled and cursed at, so why not take the opposite approach and try to be their friends?"

How Bartering and Trading Helps You Make Money and Help the Environment @JeremyVoh "So many useable items are discarded long before they're worn out. You can take the things that no longer fit or flatter and give them to someone that can use them. With upcycling being so popular, even the dullest attire can be repurposed into other useable goods."

Is Social Security Really a Retirement Plan? @freefrombroke "When it was established in the 1930s it was set up to be primarily an anti-poverty program-or "social insurance"-dealing with old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. Strictly speaking, it was never intended to be a retirement plan as much as a supplement for lost wages."

Suzanne CramerSuzanne Cramer  

Suzanne is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Suzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and A Straight Talk on Debt. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneCramer1 and @AskCareOne  where she shares her insights on divorce and managing your finances

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  • Thank you for the mention and I'm glad my post got you thinking. It was sort of tongue in cheek but it really made me consider the influences that children experience with regard to "stuff" and financials.

  • @Daisy Your post was hysterical and it absolutely got me thinking! I read several other of your posts--love your stuff!

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