Through most of my years of high school, my family took the “we don’t talk about money” approach. I never really asked why either. One of the qualities I hated about myself. I never asked why enough, or at all. My parents fought about money like most husband and wife do. They tried to hide it behind closed doors, but I knew. Mom blamed Dad; Dad blamed Mom the usual merry-go-round. When that stopped though, the facts remained, my parents were poor managing money. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but this is an important piece of how I got to where I am. I also want to be transparent with this group, and I can’t do that with half truths.
So when I got a job in high school, guess what I did? That’s right!! I did the same crap my parents did. I made some, I spent some. I made more, I spent more. I made a lot more, I spent all of it. A study from PBS shows kids have their money habits by age 7. AGE 7!!!!
It was the same routine my parents went through. I had exactly the amount I needed every month to party and have fun. Funny how that works, right? Again, I didn’t ask why. I just knew what I was doing was working for me at the moment. I saved precisely $0.
I made more than enough to live for my age. I just couldn’t handle money. You couldn’t tell me that though. I had enough to go out to the bars and clubs every night and spent every dollar I made. To me, that was managing money well. The ladies loved it though!
“Free drinks on some random guy who apparently doesn’t like his money? Yes please!”
After I got my first job, my parents took me to open a checking account. Outside of that, I had very little financial education. I was shooting in the dark. Trial and error. That’s all I had to go on. To be quite honest with you, I didn’t even think about money that much. I just know you go out and get a job, make money, and pay bills. Spending everything else was what I did. The end.
I’m sure you can see how this financial mindset was going to serve me well going into college…..