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

And removed my credit cards from my purse and put them in a drawer.

^Good for you Sophy but don't leave them in a drawer. If you're only going to be using them in an emergency and not for everyday transactions then you'll not be wanting them much nor looking at them frequently. So if you've got a safe place that nobody knows about - probably a good idea to secure their location.


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?

Pay god so to speak first. I guess that turned out in reality that healthcare came second.


I learned about money as a kid but the hard way as I had pretty much left home at 14. First thing-work equals money equals food and rent. Easy money was the best, hard earned money was steady but made everything else less available. I hit the streets in the mid seventies and it was what we now call a "gig" economy for unskilled labor. Minimum wage work was everywhere, my biggest choices I had to make were indoors (kitchen, custodian) or outdoors (construction, farm labor) and full time or part time. There was no benifits, unheard of.
Money came easy and saving was pointless, there was always work. People were flexible about debt if you were reliable about paying it even when late. I worked dozens of jobs and lived with dozens of roomates. It was fun, money kept it that way.

Thats what I still think, and even after 32 years in one job (lots of positions but at one employer) I don't have much more than I would need to get by until I was working again. 401K is adequate, bills are paid, but I spend the rest on "wine and song" but in reality thats been good restaurants and bars and travelling to concerts and indulging hobbies.

I feel sorry for people that either let money rule their life or let lack of money rule their life. Work rules my life and it's been a good run because money makes it fun.


I’m pretty grateful my parents didn’t teach me about money, when I was a kid... because I reeeeeeeeeally don’t like how they handle money!!! They’re great people and all (in no way part of my trauma history, but being great people doesn’t mean they know everything about everything, nor handle things in some kind of idyllic way); but their decisions about money I have to take a great big huge giant step back from and repeat -rather often- it’s not my choice how other people spend their money.

My accountant taught me how to handle money. Far better source for it, IMO.
My accountant taught me how to handle money. Far better source for it, IMO.
Any particularly helpful insights your accountant gave you?

I'm still plodding along with the new approach to my finances.

Just put the different amounts into my savings categories for this month, which was a positive feeling.

I'm using the spending tracker app daily. My brain is still kinda "hmm" about it, but it does seem to be helping to make me more conscious and aware of what I spend and to think twice about whether I need something or whether I should defer buying it or not. I'm not sure this is working "perfectly" yet, but it's certainly a big improvement on before.

I noticed that I have similar patterns regarding money/ spending to what seems like "eating disorder thought patterns". The sort of dichotomy between binge/ starve. My brain seems to either think that spending doesn't matter - so I can buy whatever I need - or that spending is "bad" and that ideally I should be spending "nothing". Both are obviously not healthy. While I'm able to find a natural, healthy balance re food and calories, my brain seems to have no healthy spending/ not spending patterns to fall back on, which is rather confusing.

But I'm continuing to muddle through and consolidate stuff. I'm currently switching to a cheaper phone plan and continuing to work on monthly budget stuff.

What I have totally neglected the past week is reading/ listening to Kate Northrup's (audio) book. I've had a million other things on my mind, but I should try and find some headspace for that each day.


My family was actually a good influence on me as far as saving and not living beyond my means. My ex was the one that always told me that I was too stingy, so I loosened up and it has snowballed out of co trol. Now, I use spending as a way to deal with anxiety and depression 🤦🏻‍♀️. I have managed to build a nice retirement and some investments, but I need more cash and ways to distract myself from shopping. Sucks because I am a sucker for a deal. It’s hard for me to stop. I actually like the Dave Ramsey books and when I stick to those, I do well.


the biggest point about money I tried to get to my kids- buy things based on their worth, not their cost. Get the tool that will last through this job and someday your grandkid's job. Spend the extra 20% on a better garden hose that will last 200% longer. If the cost of a boat is the difference between what you pay for it and what it will sell for, get the 30K boat and sell it for 25, not the 15K boat that will sell for 10 in the same time.
there is a limit of course, but don't just think about the max you will pay, think about the minimum quality you are willing to accept before laying down a dime.
I have probably saved more money by just buying things once and not 3 or 4 or 5 times like some consumers do. false economy is everywhere


I have probably saved more money by just buying things once and not 3 or 4 or 5 times like some consumers do. false economy is everywhere
Yep. My sister-in-law & I had a decade long argument about shoes.

She didn’t see the point on spending good money on shoes the kids were just going to outgrow, anyway... so she bought el cheapo $20 shoes for her kids. Meanwhile I went out and spent $125 on striderite.

So her kids had whole closets full of shoes, and my kid “only” had one pair. (He ALSO had sandals, soccer boots, snow boots, etc.)

She used to give me hella grief on how I was both spending too much AND depriving my kid. Whilst at the same time? She was having to buy 2 new pairs of shoes for her kids every month because the el cheapo shoes kept falling apart, and causing the whole host of problems cheap shoes do.

$125-$250 a year
$40 a month

Math??? How the hell am *I* the one spending too much, when you’re spending at least twice as much as I am on shoes??? All before the bandaid & peroxide & athletes foot & shoe bombs & air freshener. And my kid is deprived of what, exactly? Blisters, plastic gouges, cuts/scrapes, fungal infections, shoving feet into too small shoes because squashed hurts less than the new plastic, stinky feet & being known as “the stinky kid” at school, digging through piles of uncomfortable/holy/ripped up “bargains” trying to find their missing shoe whilst you scream at them to hurry up? Yeah. He’s missing out, alright.

Seriously... a decade long argument becuase she found MY shoe buying practices lacking. 🙄