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What do you wish you'd been taught about money as a kid?

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#13
Yes... I remember so much financial secrecy in our household too. I could never work out whether we were as poor as my parents claimed or whether I was being lied to.


Cool :)

Can you describe more of what you mean?

I live rurally now, so I buy a lot of my purchases online. I used to buy stuff on line because I got panic attacks in shops, so that combined with living rurally means online purchases are super practical.



But it sounds like you're talking about something more emotionally negative?
I buy online only too.

Ok - my preference - and I am going to give a fake example for ease of my soul .
Say my favourite drink was Champagne- cannot afford to drink champagne all day every day ( for this example let’s pretend there is no other issue with drinking champagne exclusively 😂).

Rather than drinking say - a moderate wine as a compromise every day - I Would choose to drink only water all day every day then champagne when I a- can afford it and b have earned it

Theoretically this sounds kinda cool right? Virtuous even?

But it’s got lots of problems. ( not helped by my impractical example of choosing an alcoholic beverage).
1. I give myself an implied monetary value. I am worth no expenditure unless I have fulfilled an arbitrary requirement I set myself - my worth is not implicit but performative. I actually struggle to see how worth is not related to performance/ value at some level which challenges the idea we have implicit worth.

2. This in it self creates a shame and self hate cycle- because if you have no implicit self worth..... you have some self contempt , which makes it more difficult to have faith in your self or take yourself seriously. If one believes worth is performance related at some level yet no longer is etff SF okay economically active / that is a constant negative . Chronic illness takes away non economic activity ability ? More attack on worth. Increasingly the champagne Entitlement days ( regardless of economic ability to afford) dwindle to water days. Because the gratification must be delayed until earned.

3 these messages are culturally enforced- ( as is the opposite ‘aquire to have worth’ )
think of advertising tag lines - a really obvious one is ‘because I’m worth it’ but there are lots.

I’m not sure the obscure example I Used to keep it not personal works to clarify :/. I might think about giving a more real example . Just feeling a bit vulnerable today 😳
 
Thread starter #14
Hey @Mee :)

That makes perfect sense! No need to go into detail.

And yes, superficially it sounds "virtuous" but I can understand the barbs that keep hooking into your sense of self-worth and deserving.

It's suchhhh a tricky issue, isn't it?

So, I just read the first 20 pages of Kate Northrup's book @blackemerald1 and omg it's every bit as good as I remember it. I'm getting goosebumps as I read each page and it's addressing every single emotion I've ever had about money and the book's approach is so healing and loving...

She talks a lot about the issue of self-worth too @Mee

I'll try and keep y'all updated about the book as I read it, but I could probly write a whole essay on the 20 pages I've just read... so full of wisdom, gutsiness, healing, humour...

So anyone who's intetested in the book is probly much better of reading Kate's eloquent words, rather than my stumbling summary.

But yeah, the tenor is very much "What do you want from life? What is your self-worth?" And then just seeing money as an expression of and a tool for that. And viewing good financial habits as a form of self-care and self-love. And viewing you and money as a *relationship*.

Edit to add: @Mee would it be a good idea to make one purchase a month just because of your inherent worth? To practise feeling it?
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#15
Edit to add: @Mee would it be a good idea to make one purchase a month just because of your inherent worth? To practise feeling it?
that’s so much a good idea that’s I’m on my fourth month of trying it and feeling super itchy about it . It feels wasteful, silly and hoarderish ( even though I chose something useful).
I agreed to give it two more months this week 😁.
 
Thread starter #16
that’s so much a good idea that’s I’m on my fourth month of trying it and feeling super itchy about it . It feels wasteful, silly and hoarderish ( even though I chose something useful).
I agreed to give it two more months this week 😁.
Yay! :)
Well, I'm sending you positive vibes for this investment in and expression of your self-worth from the other side of the planet (Europe). 💛

Editing to add:

So something very strange that I've noticed about handling my own finances since I was 18 (so 25 years now)... Is that 2 + 2 does not = 4

Which I know is a very odd statement.
Especially about something like money, which can be expressed in numbers, so should wholly underly basic mathematical rules, right?

I dunno how to express it quite right... But money is "stretchy"... It's very much a "yin" thing and not a "yang" thing.
The tighter you grasp it, the more elusive it can be.
And sometimes, when you let go of the obsessive worry, things sort them selves out... Money flows more like water and reaches the places it needs to reach and evens out overall.

You can have a budget, with everything mapped out minutely... And then you get PTSD symptoms and can't work and have no income and have to work out how to apply for Disability... And all those plans you made are simply "out of the window".

Likewise, money can act like a magnet and attract more money... If you have money, it frees you up from worrying, so you are better able to earn more money than when you're worrying and tense, because you need money desperately.

When I was 18 and moved out, I had to learn basic financial skills all on my own... So using the logic that 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 - 2 = 0 seemed a sensible place to start.

Except, confusingly, I found it almost never worked out that way.

For the last 25 years, I've interacted with money like it's a living being... Like it's some kind of force... Which sounds very woowoo and new-agey :P

And while I do believe that we can learn how to deal with our finances much better, I don't think money is something you can "control".

My financial situation at the start of the year was really good. Thanks to some bizarre experiences, including a pandemic :P my finances 6 months later are "scraping by".

So I think there's some stuff we can control (to a degree) like having savings for a rainy day, and there's other things we can't control (like the rainy days).

But it's also more than that... For example, my therapist had nearly all of his old age pension fund wiped out in the 2008 - 2010 financial crisis. And he's retiring in December.

So even tho he'd saved for retirement/ a rainy day, those savings turned into thin air, and it took him a long time and a lot of strength to feel a sense of optimisim about his retirement and old age again and to re-claim the mindset that he will "manage with the money he has".

So yeah, that's something I need to look at... At virtuous and admirable as it is to "control" our money and finances as well as we can, I know there's a weird level on which it's fundamentally not-controlable in a way that makes my brain all OCD jittery.

All we can really do is "do our best" and trust that most of the time, that will be "enough".
 
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Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#19
Heh... I thought you were in the US...
Well, from the same side of the planet then 😊
I’m FROM all over ( mixed culture married to a petdon of different dual heritage) but we live in UK. :) ( now). My word use can be confusing be cause I use US, UK and other parts of the English speaking world words on the internet - so hard to place - though at least it’s all in English. I’ve given up keeping track and while I try and use the right ones in the right country I just use the ones that come out in English first online😁.
 
#20
I was not taught but could see for myself that without money and without human other resources there would be homelessness, and crisis. My parents tried to give us everything they could, and spent very little on themselves. Both always had to work, and were very hard workers, I think they only got even a car when they already had 3 kids. At one point they were one payment away from paying all their furniture (as a young couple), and lost everything. I asked my mom, "What did you do?" She said, "What could we do, we started over". Neither one had relatives much to help and my dad's parents had died and they had been poor.

my mom was widowed in her 40's and in the long run none of the family received pensions (Old Age or otherwise), as they didn't live long enough or did not have one with their work, including but not limited to self-employment.

My dad wanted me 'to be a kid' and not work, but I started at 14 and kept up straight A's in school. Wasted the most on being a (cig) smoker. I am a saver, and yet not really, as their is always somewhere it needs to go. So technically I am predominantly a non-spender who budgets to the penny for bills, needs, or what I want to purchase. I have a hard time spending on anything but nevessities.

A lack of investment knowledge, some natural disasters, no belief I would live very long (fore-shortened future), no ability to ask for help or guidance, fear of disclosure, all contributed to choices that aren't in my best interest. I always feel one step away from bonafied homelessness, whether that be by catastrophy or fear of not being able to work. Yet work as it is now contributes a lot to my Si. But I also know if I quit beyond the fear of not working (not possible), I will lose my pension as well. So it's lose your life, or end up a way that's unlivable.

Because of my experiences I wouldn't see it as abusive that a parent would expect their 16 year old to pay for (or at least contribute to) their own phone plan, etc. (I would see a lack of food as abusive if withheld). In general I expected and wanted to contribute, and was aware of 'realities' , financial or otherwise, as early as 5 yrs old. However, I also regret I did not give more when I was younger and was more self-absorbed.

So I suppose, to have learned self-advocacy, self-worth and lack of ptsd would have been helpful.

Fwiw my parents never begrudged anything I spent, and themselves were joyful. They did not talk of money pblms, but everyone knew survival had to trump personal wants, for them as well (such as working away). My mom used to say, "With a million dollars I could change the world". And with her budgeting skills and ability to stretch a buck, and do without without complaint and with sacrifice, I think she likely could have.
 
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#21
Especially for everyone who struggled with childhood trauma, but also for others who received no or harmful education about money and finances... What do you wish you'd been taught about money as a kid?

During childhood trauma, I was "taught" some really unhelpful stuff about finances.

Things like:

- It's impossible to live on a small income
- Poverty = doom
- Finances are a scary, nightmarish issue and it's best to avoid the issue completely
- It's okay for (abusive) parents to buy random items they want, rather than feed and clothe their children
- Having a budget that covers everyone's basic needs is impossible
- Living within your means is impossible
- Having savings for emergencies is impossible
- Lack of money is a valid reason/ excuse to neglect and abuse children

I've struggled with my finances all my life, but have always somehow muddled through.

I think the "success" I've had with finances has all been fear based.

For example, I've always paid rent and bills as soon as I've gotten my monthly income, for fear of becoming homeless.

I've also been able to save some money for emergencies in the past, by completely ignoring my own needs for basic things like food, clothing, heating, etc, because that's what I was taught to do in childhood anyway.

I'm currently trying to get to a more rational, helpful headspace about money, finances, budgeting, saving.

But I'm finding that 95% of my "issues" with money and finances are from childhood trauma and are stuck in the "kid brain" part of my brain.

So I'm trying to use "teach your kids about money" websites to try and tap into the kid-brain core beliefs and behavioural patterns I have about money, like:

15 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

The 5 Most Important Money Lessons To Teach Your Kids

Anyway, I'm also wondering what others who experienced childhood trauma wish they'd been taught about money and finances?

Or if you want to vent about it, what unhelpful and abusive crap you *were* taught about money and finances?

Or, for those who didn't experience childhood trauma, what were the most helpful things you were taught about money? Can you explain these in a way that makes sense to people who learned only negative or useless messages about money during childhood?
What was imparted to me by my father: I was told...go get a college education if you are smart enough; make sure you have medical coverage on the job because you'll always need that with your medical situation, and make sure your job has retirement so you can live comfortably when you are old. My father told me that.....all his words of wisdom in 1 sentence about two year before I got married.
And I did. However, I knew nothing about finances, bills, credit score, loans, etc. I didn't know how to balance a checkbook, I knew nothing about saving except what I learned, I paid the important bills like rent, car pmt, and electric in advance for fear of being without...though I do recall forgetting to pay a few light bills ....consequence of nonpayment were learned via crappy credit score and no TV/electric-oops.

When I grew up, I thought my family didn't have much money.....and they hoarded lots of stuff (depression era mentality), rarely bought anything new except a car. They didn't throw away money and when I got a date for the prom with 2 weeks to spare, there wasn't enough time for my mother to sew me a dress and oohhh and ahhhh over her fashion design in two weeks....and buying one was out of the question so because I got asked too late for her liking.... I couldn't go. The money was there......not accessible to me....I had no idea what people did with money. I guess I learned through the lessons of hard knocks.
 
Thread starter #22
Kay... deep breath...

I've done some work on my finances this morning...

I've transferred money from my bank account to pay my current credit card debt down to zero.
So that's done, it's zero, which is a relief.

Next, I set up a savings plan... Stuff that I want to save for so I don't feel panicky.
I've always had money saved up for a rainy day in the past, but currently is the first time in my life that I haven't.
I spent all my savings and took up a loan to move to a farm, which has been great but scary.
And being in a state of "not having savings" and "having to pay off a loan" has felt like a nightmare for me.
But the farm loans are paid back too now. So I can start setting up savings again.

I've set up a few different "emergency funds" that I'm going to put savings into.
One for me, one for vet bills, one for car repairs, one for house repairs.
I've also set up a savings fund for projects that I want to save for.
And I've decided to allow myself $50 of "pocket money" / discretionary spending per month.
At least, at the moment.
I can afford it this year, but I dunno what my finances will be next year.
But right now, I can afford some discretionary spending and that feels important to me, so that the process of sorting out my finances doesn't feel completely "horrible" and "punitive".

So, I'm putting aside a total of $200 in savings in the various funds per month and $50 as pocket money/ discretionary spending.

And I had $1,400 of money put aside as emergency funds already so I've divvied that up into those different areas.

So that's debt, loans, savings and discretionary spending dealt with.

Next, I'll try and work out the rest of my monthly budget re rent, bills, food, petrol, etc.

Hopefully it'll fit with the estimates I've made for my savings plan. If not, I'll have to adjust it.

It feels really good to have a savings plan back in place.

One other area that's bothering me a bit is that I have a small company (I've worked freelance the past few years) and cos of the pandemic, I'm planning to close it down. I'm not sure how that's going to go... I'm worried that when I shut it down, there will be bills left over to pay. So I also set up a savings fund for the bills that may be left over so that I can pay those, if need be.

So that all feels a lot less scary right now.

Tho, all I've done so far is set it up... I have no idea how well or badly I'll cope with it from month to month.

I should probably expect hurdles, bumps, mishaps, messiness... instead of naively assuming it will be smooth sailing from here on in.

I'm certain that I'm going to run into some problems that floor me totally... And that trauma kid-brain will be absolutely overwhelmed and panicked with.

But I guess every bit of work I invest in this, will be making it a bit less scary and overwhelming overall.
 
#23
Because of my experiences I wouldn't see it as abusive that a parent would expect their 16 year old to pay for (or at least contribute to) their own phone plan, etc. (I would see a lack of food as abusive if withheld).
In the context of good parenting,no that wouldn't be. That would be teaching life skills. But in my context, which I'm assuming you are referring to, it was. Food was not witheld from me (although I paid for my own), my basic needs of food and shelter were not denied. But the context for me was as I wrote in my post. So overall: it was an abdication of parenting becuase they needed me to be an adult to sort out their problems.

I've transferred money from my bank account to pay my current credit card debt down to zero.
So that's done, it's zero, which is a relief
That's amazing @Sophy (in lockdown) ! Congrats! That's a massive step(all the things you write in your post). Really really huge. I think you have just jumped over 10 hurdles in one and landed perfectly.
 
#24
It feels really good to have a savings plan back in place.
^Being organised with what you know at this time is much better than wishing into the wind. Well done!

So that's done, it's zero, which is a relief.
^Good job. I got rid of my credit card/debt a few years ago. I know that there's a place for them but yeah it feels so much lighter knowing that the end of the month doesn't have yet another bill to be paid.

So that all feels a lot less scary right now.
^Since I have a really scared attitude towards money overall, I can understand why it feels less scary.

I have no idea how well or badly I'll cope with it from month to month.
^My thinking is once you've established the structure of the plan, moving around parts (funds) from one month to the next is a conscious and positive action to accommodate and be flexible. Far better than being panicked and not having a method.

I should probably expect hurdles, bumps, mishaps, messiness... i
^Yeah.. but none of them are going to be so random and your response to all of these events may be less knee-jerk and anxiety provoking. I mean hurdles, bumps, mishaps and messiness is life... but makes one appreciate the quiet times that go smoothly?

But I guess every bit of work I invest in this, will be making it a bit less scary and overwhelming over
^I commend your initiative. Too many people throw their hands up and indulge in helplessness. It is a really scary thing to take on and work through and yes it's a work in progress that will probably need tweaking as you progress but that's far easier than starting from scratch, declaring it's all to hard or handing over the responsibility and risk to somebody else. So well done Sophy.

I've got a budget and a plan sort of similar to your approach and it's a relief to know that the necessities and things I need can be covered if I follow it through. I wish I didn't feel such apprehension every time there's a bill but I still do, even when I know I've saved for it.
 
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