4 Memories That Impacted My Finances the Most

One of the beauties of running Rockstar Finance is that I get to see a ton of cool ways to talk about money that doesn’t sound like the same thing over and over again, even though it is ;) Unfortunately that also means I have to sift through hundreds of articles every day that DO actually sound the same (the point of Rockstar is to feature only the “gems” I come across), but it’s a small price to pay so my readers don’t have to – hah.

Anyways, this post was inspired by Jon who coincidentally had one of my same financial memories growing up too. Though he chose a different path in the end (you’ll have to click to see! ;))

Here are the four memories that impacted my finances the most:

“There’s nothing wrong with used stuff!” – Momma $

If my mother had a blog, it would be called Used Stuff is Sexy (though considering she still doesn’t know what I do for a living, I doubt that would ever come to be ;)). I’ve never met a person who loves getting a good deal so much, and she instilled in us children early on the power of being thrifty. Mainly for the savings it brought (she raised us on a meager Military salary as a stay-at-home mom), but also for the “thrill of the hunt.” So it’s no surprise where I got my love of yard sales and thrift shops from. Or my hankering for antiques – which by nature MUST be old and used!

Here are all the areas we now save on immensely because of my mom:

  • Clothes for myself
  • Clothes for my kids
  • Toys for my kids
  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Music (think records – mmmm…)
  • Cars (the most savings!)

Stuff we never bought used were food and underwear – I wonder why?

“You can buy anything you want… If you go out and earn it.” – Momma $

This was another of my mother’s favorite sayings, and one that taught me the best lesson of all: how to appreciate money. Nothing puts things in better perspective than having to go out and earn all those dollars yourself! Especially when your allowance is only $1.00/week – hah! But time and time again my mother continued repeating it until it finally sunk in and I quit pestering her.

old game boy

This occurred when I wanted my very first Nintendo Game Boy. You can click the link for the full story, but in a nutshell I wanted a Game Boy bad – the old bulky tan ones before they got colored and shrunk – and of course my mother said I could have it as long as I saved up all the money ($90.00). I was adamant that I just had to have it, so I saved and saved and saved, and finally – what seemed like an eternity later – I had amassed a whopping $80.00. It wasn’t enough to pick up the golden toy, but it was at that point I realized that it wasn’t worth trading my hard earned money for anymore. Something I’m sure my parents knew was gonna happen :)

(I did end up getting my hands on one a little later when I implemented the “used is good!” lesson from mom and found one for $30 + games at a yard sale – score!)

I still slip up every now and then and waste my money (*ahem* $40.00 Bling H20), but that game boy totally changed my perspective. And as you have witnessed with my Challenge Everything Savings Account, it’s quite powerful to watch those pennies add up over time when you let it ride and never touch! I guarantee I’m going to appreciate whatever I end up doing with it more so than my “paycheck” money. I’ve been hustling for over 6 months on that bad boy – it better get me something GOOD! :)

“Don’t ever put anything on a credit card you can’t pay off at the end of the month” – Poppa $

As I got older, my father started stepping in more and laying down the law on money (fun fact – my father does NOT like used things, except for cars/motorcycles. Which gets confusing when you him dropping $100+ on a pair of running shoes when you’re only allowed to get a pair for $20 or less.) And one of the first things he told me when I got to college – outside of “make sure to have fun, kid – you have to go into the real world after this!” – was to never put anything stupid on my (co-signed) credit card that I can’t pay off in 30 days.

A) because my parents would have to do so,
but mainly B) So I didn’t end up screwing myself for years and years to come.

Something I’m very much aware of now seeing all the emails and comments come in from some of y’all :( Credit cards are no joke. And I’m beyond thankful I had parents who were on my ass about it! (Another fun fact – I once put a chocolate bar on it thinking I could slip it by my parents ‘cuz how would they see?? The next month when the statement came (oops) I got a firm talking to.)

“If you only do one thing, invest up to your company’s 401(k) match” – Poppa $

This was by far the best thing that ever happened to my finances. It took me years (and one pretty embarrassing trip to HR) to finally catch on, but once I did I quickly learned how rapidly your money grows. And even more so when YOUR COMPANY DOUBLES YOUR MONEY FOR YOU FOR FREE!!

Now I don’t have a 401(k) anymore or free matches, *tear* (downside to working for yourself), but I’ve maxed out at least one retirement account every single year for the past 6-7 which I owe my father every last bit of credit for it. Without him harping on my back to get it started I’d have continued on wasting it away through dumb lifestyle increases. It was hard to really see the benefits at first – all you notice is your money flying out of your paycheck every two weeks! – but once your $100 becomes $1,000, and then $5,000 and $10,000 and so on, it’s hard to ignore the momentum.

not investing 401k funny

The only reason my net worth is flirting with half a million dollars right now is because I kept fueling it every single year and letting the power of time and markets do its thing. It probably took me 5 years to reach my first $17,000, yet last month alone it increased by $17,000! And I didn’t even contribute to it!

So make sure you’re investing at least up to your company’s match, and if you really want to be a baller try maxing the whole thing out. If $18,000 is just way too much, shoot for maxing a Roth IRA @ $5,500 or/in addition to other things you’re already working on (paying off debt, saving for home, etc). Maxing out one retirement account every month will make you a millionaire over time.

Needless to say, I owe everything to my parents :) Including my life!

And of course, there were other tips they mentioned over the years too which I promptly ignored:

  • “Don’t get an apartment when you don’t have a job.” (I did it anyways, and quickly learned how fast you can burn through money. Was moved back into my parents’ place within three weeks – to the dismay of the landlord (oops).)
  • “Don’t move to New York City without having a place lined up.” (This time I had a job, but I didn’t have a place to stay outside of friends’ couches – I survived for almost two years :))
  • “Don’t hang out with troublemakers” (Why does this just make us want to do it more??)
  • “Don’t ever buy a gas guzzler.” (Meet FrankenCaddy!)

We gotta do some things our own way though, eh? :)

What were some of your earliest money memories? What affected your finances the most?

[Game Boy photo by Naíra Dias]

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  1. Ricky @ The Skint Dad Blog March 30, 2015 at 5:56 AM

    One of my earliest memories of money was when I must have been 10 or 11. Cable TV had just launched in the UK and I asked my parents if we could get it installed. My dad automatically said no as we couldn’t afford it but I went on and on at them.

    Eventually my parents said that if I could come up with the initial costs which were around £200 GBP then we could get it and they would pay the monthly subscription costs.

    Well up to that point I’d never had £10 let alone £200 but I was determined. The next week I managed to land a paper round and for the next few months I got up at 6am each morning and delivered papers. I was only paid £8 per week but added with tips and odd jobs, 16 weeks later I raised £200.

    The look on my parents face when I presented them with the money was a moment I will never forget.

    That was my first money memory and it taught me that if you want something that bad, you need to work your butt off!

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 9:47 PM

      Damn! You were one motivated kid, haha… Killer story!

  2. Dee @ Color Me Frugal March 30, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    Watching my single mother struggle financially for years helped me realize that she was not going to be able to help me pay for college. Thus, I worked my butt off to be a good student, got straight As, and won a bunch of scholarships. I never even considered asking her for money. I knew she didn’t have it.

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 9:50 PM

      Good for you, Dee!

  3. Free Money Minute March 30, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Our family grew up poor and uneducated. I knew I must educate myself and save, save, save. Glad I did as we are now doing very well and I make it a point to learn something new as often as possible.

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 10:06 PM

      Awesome! And hopefully your family is learning now along side you! :)

  4. MyMoneyDesign March 30, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    The biggest money lesson that still sticks with me today came from my Dad. It was back when I used to collect baseball cards. I’d read the price guides and think that I was rich! But he would always remind me: “Son, those cards are only worth what someone will pay you for them.” And he was right. Despite what the price guides said, no one ever carried through on an offer that was anywhere close to what the card was technically worth. It’s funny how many other things that now applies to in my adult life.

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 9:52 PM

      YES! And that was before the bubble burst and most of all the cards back then (80’s/90s) just plummeted. Sure was fun to collect though and dream :)

  5. Kemkem March 30, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    My biggest lesson was from my mum. Basically, she said “whatever money me and your dad have is ours, not yours, so don’t count on it”. She had a bunch more.. Used clothes etc? ..oh yeah, l was the 6th girl down..I only got used ones, and wore them happily, even years after bell bottoms went out of style :-). Polyester bell bottoms too, so they stretched to my size!!! You are right about the 401k compounding. The gain last year without me adding a cent was just shy of 5 figures!

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      HAH! I’d get a long with your mum well :)

      1. Kemkem March 31, 2015 at 3:58 AM

        Shy of 6 figures.. ;-)

  6. S L March 30, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Buy Now Pay Later – I am one of those thousands of kids that prompted the “must be 18 to buy — with parental permission” tags on the commercials. I saw this purse I knew my Mom would just LOVE to have (no she didn’t) and I knew I could get the money (no I couldn’t – not at eight and with my allowance and no idea how to get money) in the forever (6-8 weeks shipping) –(I forgot about ordering it, too) so, I called and ordered it. no asking how old I was, nothing… THey shipped the monogramed purse with 8000 pockets and zippers and accessories, Mom refused to accept, and I got a huge talking to about 1) buying from the TV 2) buy now/pay later traps and 3) calling on the phone without permission. (My brother could — he was over 10 – the cut off age *grin*

    They didn’t ground me because it was one of those loophole mistakes that no one expected. If I’d done it again…. [dum dum dummmmm] I was told when I was older that Mom had been very touched that of all the things for sale on TV, what I wanted to buy was something for her. I think that also saved me from grounding.

    I learned a LOT from that episode.

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      Awwww, that’s such a cool one!! And now you have the story to pass down through the generations :) Loved reading it.

  7. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents March 30, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Seeing my parents get divorced over money issues when I was in middle school changed my outlook on finances substantially. I decided I wanted to have enough money not to be dependent on anybody, including my employer and my spouse. And, if I could, I wanted enough to support my whole family, mother and brother and all, so we’d never have to worry about money again.

    1. Crystal H March 30, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      LOVE this! “I decided I wanted to have enough money not to be dependent on anybody, including my employer and my spouse.” I don’t have a spouse but I’m a fellow engineer and I don’t want to depend on them anymore! Thanks for sharing!!!

      1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 10:04 PM

        YES! empowerment!!! sexy!!

  8. Kim @ Money Under the Cushions March 30, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    There are so many but I can’t even think of one right now because my head is so clogged from a cold. But thanks taking me down memory lane because I’m can relate to each of your points. I think I will call my parents a little later today and reminisce about some fun money stuff. Then wipe the phone down with a disinfectant wipe. lol

  9. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar March 30, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Awesome! I love the gameboy one. It just hits home. Us 80’s kids had a lot of good games to play in the 90s!

    For me it was Zelda Ocarina of Time Collector’s edition (the gold cartridge). I saved all of my birthday money and was able to get it at Toys R Us right when it came out. It was fantastic! I ended up re-selling it back on eBay about 3 years ago for ~$50. Crazy how well it held its value (ignoring inflation of course). Complete in box is over $100 easy now!

    1. J. Money March 30, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      wowww I used to love (and have) that game – I could never beat it!!

  10. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer March 30, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    LOL, what a hoot! Speaking of underwear, when I was back in the city friends and I would team up to hold garage sales at least once a year, and one of the first thing to go every time was kids’ used underwear. Call me a snob, but I just can’t bring myself to buy used underwear. :-) Seriously, though, SO glad to hear your parents’ wisdom impacted you so much. We are working hard to instill these same financial ideals in our kids. Here’s hoping it works.

  11. Brian @ Debt Discipline March 30, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    I remember getting my first pay check from a part time job and spending it all the first night. Never a good sign for things to come.

    Just helped my son with his first online hustle to raise some cash for a new video games system he wanted. He sold his old stuff on e-bay to turn it into a new system he wanted.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      paycheck gone on 1st night! wowwww hardcore! haha..

  12. Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 30, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    I think the greatest money lesson I got from my mom was the value of hard work and paying for the life you want. I grew up in a home with 5 kids where my mom worked 3 jobs at one point and if I wanted clothes or spending money she told me I had to get a job, so at 14 I got my first “real” job at a bagel store working 6am to 2pm. I worked that job through college and I worked 30+ hours a week while in college as well. The last few years I have worked on cutting back our families expenses but I never really get too concerned because I know I have the capacity to make more money because I am not afraid of hard work since I have been well trained in it for 22 years.

  13. Carissa March 30, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Your article says so much about good money practices, but so much more about your parents! I hope they were great to you in every way, but they definitely nailed the money advice. I’ve tried to follow guidance system much like your parents’ and you’re the evidence that it really works!
    My 11-yr-old got $80 on his birthday and has (in 1 month) managed to grow that to $190 via windfalls and extra chores [even though I pay slave wages.]
    He held on to his $80 despite spending hours windowshopping the Lego store and now he wants a 3DS (I believe that’s the grandbaby of your Game Boy.)
    It’s hard for me to watch him spend that kind of cash on something I don’t see the value in, but it’s better for him that I step back and let him make decisions about his money now, when the stakes are low.
    He’s comparison shopped, considered buying used, polled his friends on whether they like their 3DSs, accounted for sales tax, and thought of a way to get an extra $13 spending power — by having me buy an Amazon gift card at the grocery store to get fuel points and giving him the money I save on gas! He’s also selling his old toys so he can earn money for the [used] games he’ll need.
    It’s sinking in! (And I don’t have to find room for another Lego set!)

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:52 AM

      Your son is a hustler! Love it :)

      And yes – more than any piece of $$ advice, my parents have shown me immense love and support over the years and I will forever be grateful and do my best to pass on to my kids as well. I hear so many stories of how AWFUL some parents are to their children and it makes me want to vomit. Love trumps everything!!

  14. Rebecca@TheFamilyFinder March 30, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    My parents thought that the kids should not be involved in the money talks to shield us from worry. They never imparted great wisdoms like these, however the one thing I did learn from them was to make decisions together with my husband. Even though they never talked to us about money they always talked to each other.

  15. Fervent Finance March 30, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    My earliest money memory was the fact I wasn’t going to get the new pair of basketball sneakers or video game unless I earned it (or for Christmas). But if I wanted something in April, Christmas is a long ways away! Therefore I started helping my grandparents on their farm for a couple bucks ever since I was a child, then babysitting beginning at 14, and real job beginning at 15 with side gigs on my days off. I had to pay for my first car myself, and I wasn’t not going to have one living in rural New England!

  16. Done by Forty March 30, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    One of my most vivid dreams as a child was of a GameBoy. I was nine and I wanted one so bad: I remember looking over kids’ shoulders at recess, watching them play Excite Bike and working up the courage to ask if I could play a turn.

    One night I dreamed that I not only had a GameBoy, but all the games, too. All of them. I was the king of the recess playground. When I woke up and realized it was not true, I cried into my pillow.

    I wish I could say that I saved up and bought one with my own money. The truth is that I wore my mom down and she bought it for me. I didn’t care: it was still fun.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      Hahahaha… I’m just picturing you, at your current age, crying into your pillow :) even though I have no idea what you look like, haha…

  17. jenlarson79 March 30, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    It sounds like you have some pretty awesome parents!!
    I learned how to budget from my mom. Money was pretty tight growing up, so she’d pay the bills, then figure out how much money we had left for groceries that week. I’d go grocery shopping with her, and we’d add everything up on a calculator as we went. It reinforced at a young age, the difference between needs and wants. I loved that she would also set a tiny bit aside each week, so we could go on a family vacation to a rented cabin each summer. I babysat and did chores to earn my spending money, and started paying for most of my own things when I was 10-11.
    Now our two kids are very good at saving up their allowance/birthday money if there’s something they really want. Our 8 year old son just bought himself an electric guitar yesterday – and he was so excited to pay for it himself! I think it also makes our kids more appreciative for anything they get as gifts, because they realize how much money/work it would take them to get it for themselves.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:54 AM

      Oooooh maybe he’ll become a rock star when he gets older!! I think I’m going to have a soft spot for anything musical w/ my kids growing up because it’s SUCH a great thing to learn and spend time doing.

  18. Mark@BareBudgetGuy March 30, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    I mowed lawns at 12, and my dad would deposit my money and bring me home the deposit slips. I liked seeing the balance increase over time, so I just never took anything out…until I blew a bunch of it on a paintball gun. Totally worth it though.

  19. Emma | Money Can Buy Me Happiness March 30, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    I was obsessed with this Pioneer home stereo system but I knew it would be epic for listening to Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and Radiohead (I was a total grunger). My parents belonged firmly to the working poor so they encouraged me to earn my own money to pay for it. A lot of other parents wouldn’t allow their children to work after school but I was always eager to earn money. At 12 years old I got a job after school delivering prescriptions for the local pharmacy. I would cycle the length of my city from rest homes to private residences delivering all sorts of drugs. A lot of the time I got invited in for a piece of home-made cake and a chat – a lot of the customers were elderly living alone. Not only did I eventually get the money together for the stereo but I learnt a lot about humanity and having respect for my elders. It’s one of those experiences that shaped the way I live my life, so I’m ever thankful for my parents for allowing me (and trusting me) the opportunity to earn my own money from such a young age.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:55 AM

      beautiful story!!! and you can say you were a drug dealer! :)

  20. Dividend Mantra March 30, 2015 at 2:47 PM


    Good stuff. That’s awesome that your parents instilled solid financial values in you at a young age! :)

    I grew up incredibly poor in a veritable crack house in Detroit. My clothes didn’t fit and I never had supplies for school, so I was constantly picked on at school. And then we didn’t really have food at home, so I had to go out and mow lawns (in the summer) or shovel snow (in the winter) for food money. I suppose it was a great lesson on poverty and perspective, because I’m incredibly grateful for the position I’m now in. I vowed to never end up like that, and I haven’t.

    Best regards!

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      holy $hit man! here we are talking about saving and investing all the *extra* we had, and you didn’t even have enough to eat :( I’m so sorry man… what a sad way to grow up, geez… I would have never guessed – you are so ON POINT these days! Way to completely come out on top!

  21. Sukina March 30, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Love this article! My earliest memories was at the age of 13. My old middle school gave me my first summer job! I grew up on welfare so I was accustomed to going to the currency exchange with my mom the 1st of the month and seeing her stretch the little check all month. We were american poor for real. Anywho, I recieved my first check for about 300 bucks and realized that I would get another one in two more weeks! Man, welfare did NOT have to worry about me even looking that way! I had more money than my mom. My love affair with work began and has not stopped. All through college I had two jobs and I have 3 jobs now. The only thing better than several checks is learning how to invest money! I learned that in my 20’s and am still learning it at 31. I own real estate and stock now and I am so thankful for my middle school principal for offering me a job tutoring kids my age. My aunt told me that being smart and poor was money and so far it has helped earn me scholarship money, value money and learning to put it to work!

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      I’m so glad to hear that, Sukina :) You and Dividend Mantra above are so inspirational.

  22. Financial Underdog March 30, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    Don’t play lottery, the house always wins – My dad

  23. Kate @ Money Propeller March 30, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    My parents didn’t tell us about financial matters. We were spoiled before by material things so I think it’s just so easy to buy all the things that I wanted. Now that I have a daughter, I always tell her that you need to work hard for

  24. Mrs. Frugalwoods March 30, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Your mom sounds a lot like mine! My mom is the thrift store/garage sale/trash find maven. I have great memories of us driving around in Frugalwoods-mobile (back when I was in high school and Frugalwoods-mobile was just my parents’ minivan) looking for free stuff by side of the road. It was definitely the thrill of the hunt for my mom–she would often pick things up from the roadside and then take them to Goodwill. She hates to see things wasted or thrown out, which is absolutely a trait I’ve inherited from her.

    And, my parents taught me to buy used whenever possible (though I’m pretty sure they now think I’ve taken that to the extreme what with all my used furniture ;) ).

  25. Dawn March 30, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    My $ memory was desperately wanting a cabbage patch kid, all my friends had one! Eighties kid here. Mom was single then and worked hard to pay basic living so of course she said no unless I earned the $$. Took me the whole summer doing extra chores for family members to buy it. My friend’s mom worked at Bradlees. So we went with my wad of cash and I got the joy of picking out my doll. Sad part is after I lost interest in the doll. Happy part is I wanted to earn more ‘my $’!

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 12:02 PM

      Haha, sounds about right :)

  26. Zee March 31, 2015 at 2:10 AM

    Money related…. Nothing immediately pops out… Work related, I have two in particular. The first was when my dad was working at a start up. I was in elementary school and it was my birthday. I wasn’t allowed to open birthday presents until my dad got home, but that year he was constantly working. I would go weeks without seeing him yet we lived in the same house. In theory I know he slept there but he just worked all the time. Anyways, my mom kept calling him to come home so we could do my birthday stuff, eventually at about 10 at night my mom gave up on him because I just wanted to go to bed. I think that was the first time I knew I never wanted work to consume my life. What was the point you know?

    Later that year my dad ended up having a heart attack in his 40’s, I’m almost certain it was because of stress and working so hard. The company eventually let him go because he couldn’t work as much (he sued them and won for discrimination). But once again, I never wanted work to take over my life. What’s the point of life if all you do is work and don’t get to enjoy anything.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 12:04 PM

      That makes me so sad :( I was definitely going down that route myself a few years ago which completely changed once I had kids. Now I work at least 50% less, and actually make a lot less too, but I’m now *living* again. And my kids now see me ever hour they’re awake and not at daycare :)

      Great takeaways man, thanks for sharing (and hope your dad is okay now!)

      1. Zee April 1, 2015 at 11:51 AM

        Oh yeah, my dad is fine now. He actually just retired back in January so now he’s got a lot of free time to do…. whatever he feels like, he’s still figuring that part out. :)

  27. Gen Y Finance Guy March 31, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    I was not as fortunate as you to have parents instill good money lessons. Until about 8th grade I lived with my mom and grandma in a two bedroom apartment with my 4 brothers. We slept on the floor in the living room, while my mom and grandma shared a room, and my uncle took the other one. My mom never had a job and we lived on welfare. Lets just say I would never had listened to any advice that came out of my drug addict mother…I know it’s sad, it bums me out too.

    My dad wasn’t around because he was serving time in prison for messing around with meth labs. So again not a good source of knowledge or advice.

    However, I was fortunate to find mentors and eventually move in with my grandfather in the 8th grade. They taught me the value of saving and investing. Like you I was able to buy anything I wanted, as long as I could pay for it myself. So I did every odd job I could though high school.

    I think my most memorable moment was when my grandfather took me to Washington Mutual to open up my first savings account, it was in the year 1999.


    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 12:05 PM

      Oh man, such a hard upbringing :( I cant even comprehend what that’s about since mine was so different, but all I know is I admire the crap out of you guys who came out of such sad circumstances. Thanks so much for being so open and sharing it with us!

  28. Amy @ DebtGal March 31, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    Wow – your parents sound pretty wise! Mine imparted a number of the same lessons, many of which I absorbed but deviated from a bit (ahem, credit card debt, I’m looking at you!). Another important concept my father repeated often is that having money and spending money are not the same thing. One can buy lots of fancy things to give the impression of having money, but really they’ve just spent a lot of money and may not have much at all.

  29. Hannah March 31, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    It’s important to learn to be an entrepreneur because then you will never run out of work. You might run out of money, but work makes you happier than money anyhow. My Grandpa J (He’s over 85 and just started a new business last week- he’s also spent about 2 years just trying to decide how to best give his money to charitable causes).

    If you think you are going to own expensive things, you won’t after you have children- My dad (I’m one of five, and now that I have my own son I can see what he means).

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 12:06 PM

      Go Grandpa J! A true hustler at heart!

  30. andy March 31, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    i’m grateful to my parents for teaching me about money from a young age.

    Grocery shopping with mom (have a list, clip coupons, have an amount budgeted in mind, don’t shop hungry, avoid the junk food aisle)

    money tips from dad (Dad managed the finances, pay off credit cards each month, don’t pay ATM fees, put as much into your 401k as you can, at least up to the company match (i’ve contributed to my 401k for years and the company just started matching this year, yay!) don’t buy food/drink at gas stations (super overpriced), eat before/after the movie (don’t buy snacks for during) etc.

    1. J. Money March 31, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      “Don’t shop hungry” – best advice EVER!

  31. Anne @ Money Propeller March 31, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    Those are some good quotes from Momma and Poppa $
    It’s amazing the random turns of phrase that stick with us, and how much we find ourselves repeating annoying things our parents said to us when we were kids! ;-)
    As a tangent, I have also adopted pet peeves of my parents, that I hated doing when I was a kid. Where is the justice?!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 10:59 PM


  32. Jon @ Money Smart Guides April 1, 2015 at 8:59 AM

    Great stuff!! It’s interesting how reading other peoples memories bring back so many of our own. Just reading your post I could write a follow up post of some more memories!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:00 PM

      Inspiration breeding inspiration breeding MORE inspiration!

  33. Kayla @ Hello Pre Nurse April 1, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    I got some good lessons from my parents about money too, but unfortunately I didn’t soak them all up and now I’m paying for it by working my way out of credit card debt.

  34. Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels April 2, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    First of all, awesome post! Thanks for sharing.

    My memories are little different. Mostly because I was told what to do and what not to do with my money by the government. I remember we had lots of money when I was a kid. I mean literally lots of cash at home. But there was nothing to do with it. My dad didn’t get the permit to buy a car, and there was nothing to buy from the stores either. So after gaining back our freedom, we lost lots of money due to the economic situation. However, we also gained the freedom to start our own business. I learnt the value of money in a very young age. And now, being part of EU, things have changed again.

    To make a long story short, for me, financial success and money lessons have been completely different than for most people. Financial success is something I learnt from my childhood while being able to gain the freedom to decide what to do with my money. Now I am grateful for having all the options out there (investments, mortgage, retirement, grants etc). I believe it is crucial to learn from the past and to apply the positive into the future!

    1. J. Money April 3, 2015 at 11:03 PM

      Interesting! Especially hearing from others all around the world. I sometimes forget the world is connected here and we’re coming from all over :) Thanks so much for stopping by today – going over to check out your site now!

      (and kick-ass name btw – can’t say I’ve heard of Reelika before! :))

  35. Rachel March 1, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Remember BMG music club? I signed up at 17 years old and happily collected all of my free cassette tapes. Then I promptly forgot (not on purpose, honestly) about my obligation to buy the full-priced music. They auto-shipped each one and sent me the bills. I didn’t pay them. They sent me to collections. I still didn’t pay them (I swore I would take care of it next month, so on and so on). Several years later I wanted to get my first apartment and no one would rent to me. BMG had let the credit bureaus know that I was a bum, and the credit bureaus let all potential creditors know that I was a bum. I didn’t realize the consequences of my actions (or inactions) until it was too late.

    1. J. Money March 2, 2016 at 9:37 AM

      Yikes! I definitely remember BMG because my parents were all on our case to not sign up, and once I did anyways and they were not too pleased haha… They told me it was a scam and looking back it kinda did seem like one eh? Even though a clever/fun one? Hopefully you’re all nice and situated now! Better to learn earlier than later!