The #1 Money Myth Every Parent Needs To Stop Believing
Raise your hand if you are missing “the good old days” when you didn’t feel a gut punch after spending money on healthy groceries for your kids? You aren’t alone! For some reason, it hurts even more now because the money you are using to buy milk is the same money you needed to pay towards your debt — credit cards, student loans, and car payments. Unfortunately, we can’t cancel our debt like an unnecessary subscription. The bills will keep coming no matter how expensive gas gets, and how you move forward is the difference between getting by from month to month and financial freedom for your family.
So where do you start? Well, let me first tell you where not to start! Do not fall into the trap of feeling like you should have known better. The shame, guilt, or regret you have about your current debt load isn’t necessary, it isn’t fair to yourself, and it won’t make you the financial role model you want for your kids.
This is where the majority of parents go wrong. Most parents are stuck in the habit of feeling bad about debt. They get used to the same ending every month. But what if you looked at the financial journey you’re on as an Underdog Story?
You were set up for failure. In America, we don’t talk about money. We don’t learn about money. And we are expected to believe that racking up debt is the way to succeed. But that’s not how money actually works.
It’s Time To Talk About Money
There’s a taboo in our society. We are taught not to talk about money. It’s not polite. It’s easy to talk about how you’re going to pay a fortune in gas just to haul your kids to soccer and softball practice all summer. Talking about all those monthly bills? Now that’s another story!
Personal Finance 101 Is Not A Real Class
It wasn’t just our generation. Personal Finance 101 has just not been offered. The last time I looked, Econ, Stats, and Accounting do not teach personal budgeting or debt management. So how could you know all of the reasons why high-interest rate credit card balances might not be a good idea?
Parents Don’t Know Everything
I don’t know about you, but my parents were just like all the other parents when it came to money. They were not good role models when it came to the family budget because they never learned about personal finance either. They argued, they placed blame, and they stressed about the cost of bills that they knew were coming.
Be The Future By Not Repeating The Past
The biggest myth that parents get wrong is believing that you should have known better. It’s just not true.
What is true is that you can change your financial future. And even better? You can change your children’s financial future by being their role models. Show them how to pay off debt instead of modeling how to stress out and argue every month. Show them how to work as a family team to set priorities and organize your finances.
Be the parent who talks openly and honestly about money. Remember, your children are not learning this at school, so they are learning it from you.
America Loves An Underdog Story
When it comes to your debt, you can’t change the past. What you can give yourself grace, accept it and move on to paying it off so you can live debt-free.
I can’t wait to hear your new story – the one with the happy ending!
About the Author
Suzanne Ryan is on a mission to empower families to achieve financial freedom. She has been guiding individuals and couples to organize their money, strengthen relationships, and build wealth since she founded T&H Financial Coaching in 2015. Suzanne loves living in West Des Moines and enjoys spending time with family and friends.