Why parents shout financial advice at their kids

In 2013 there are blogs, books, forums, social media threads and parents that just won’t shut up about how to handle your personal finances. Yet, as a young adult you probably don’t even have any money to handle. So what’s the point? Why are all of these adults using a full court press and shouting personal finance advice at you when, again, you don’t have any money…yet.

I am one of those adults and I will tell you why we use a megaphone to shout about personal finance the way we do. megaphoneAll these shouting adults made mistakes. BIG, HUGE, financial mistakes. We bought cars we couldn’t afford. We bought houses we couldn’t afford. We maxed our credit cards. We took out loans. We bought everything with credit. We paid huge interest payments. We didn’t save nearly enough. We spent like drunken sailors in port for the weekend. We exchanged our financial freedom for the newest shiniest thing sitting on the store shelf. When I was your age, I received no financial advice. None. No one said take 10% of your earnings and put it away as an emergency fund. No one explained compound interest or annual percentage rates. No one said those credit card bills will eat you alive. Not one person ever told me that financial freedom is as easy as spending less than you earn. At college graduation (and high school graduation, too) I got a pat on the back and a hug. “I’m so proud of you! Good luck!” That was it. That was my financial advice.   

As parents, we shout financial advice at you because we care about you. It’s cliche’, but I will say it anyway. “We don’t want you to make the same mistakes we made.” Do we overdo it with the message? Yes. Do we care if we overdo it? No. We as adults, as parents, are not naive. We know most of you will also make financial mistakes. It’s called being human. If only some of the advice sticks we are happy with that. We just want you to have the basic knowledge to make good financial decisions because many of us didn’t and we paid the price…literally. Someday you will appreciate us shouting at you about personal finance. That advice can change your life. It can keep you from the pain of debt and maybe even make you rich. And we, the shouting adults, are not asking for thanks or recognition. We just ask that when the time comes, you pick up the megaphone and shout personal finance advice at your kids too.

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