Personal finance things my grandma taught me

22-10-2013 | Dojo |

My grandmother was my first personal finance ‘guru’ and she’s been my real mother for almost 4 decades. Since she raised me (together with her husband, my grandpa, and her son, my father), she’s been very close to me and I got the chance to learn a lot from her.

Here are the 7 personal finance lessons she taught me during this time.

Recent Comments

  • http://Martin

    October 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve just moved house due to trouble in my neighborhood where I used to live. It cost me a lot of money that I did not have. I don’t earn that much but what I earn goes straight to bills and debt clearance and then buying the things I need and nothing more.

    I choose to pay my bills to keep the house and for that reason I don’t even have carpets at this stage. Your grandparents gave you great advice!

    • http://Dojo

      October 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      If it’s the trouble you talked about months ago, I am happy you made the move. It will be easier to live in this new area. You will slowly fill up the house and get your finances in order. Keeping my fingers crossed πŸ˜‰

  • October 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, your grandparents are young! My maternal grandfather gambled and drank a lot but managed to save enough to support himself in retirement. While I’m not looking to him as an example of how to manage my money, I do commend his ability to save.

    Your grandparents taught you wonderful lessons that I’m sure you’ll pass on to your baby and future grandchildren (if there is any).

    • http://Dojo

      October 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Well, I’m 35 now, so they aren’t young anymore. My grandfather died 10 years ago and my grandmother is 82 right now πŸ™‚

      As long as your grandpa didn’t leave you with debt or having to support him, he still did OK.

  • October 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Your grandma taught you some great lessons. I especially like the last 4…fixing things, not buying crap, not keeping up with the Joneses, and not replacing things that work. Sounds like my parents as well as my grandparents. I think this mindset is missing in this new generation. Very needs to upgrade to the latest and greatest thing every year or two.

    • http://Dojo

      October 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      We have lost quite some of these ideas with all this marketing and consumerism. We’re being ‘herded’ to buy the latest stuff, because it’s cool to own it, instead of buying what we really need/afford and only when it makes sense.

  • October 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I really like the point about not replacing things until they break. We just replaced our TV that finally went out after 8+ years, as bad as I wanted a modern Smart TV I just couldn’t justify it until ours conked out. Where did I learn that frugal trait? My parents. I hope my kids get it from me as well…

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:53 am

      I also replaced their TV few years ago. The old one hung on for quite a while, when it broke and I knew it’s not fixable anymore, I purchased a new flat screen one. Nothing fancy, just a good decent TV. Same with all the other appliances, except for the fridge. It was 20 years old and working PERFECTLY, but I was just sick of it, so I got them a new taller one πŸ˜€

  • October 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I LOVE this post! This is great advice – your grandma was obviously one smart and financially savvy lady! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:54 am

      I think that we should all have a chat with some of our oldest relatives. They’re a wealth of knowledge and common-sense ideas. Sure, they’re not ‘cool’ in our terms, but they really did A LOT with very little.

  • October 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    There are a lot of lessons to be learned from how the older (pre-baby boomer) generation did things. My grandma never learned to drive, walked to the store when needed, dried her clothes outside and rarely bought anything new. So many things we can learn from them.

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:55 am

      Same with my folks. I’m actually the first in the family to own a car and know how to drive it. Even my father, who’s just 21 years older than I am, doesn’t know how to drive. He’s not passionate about it though, so never considered it.

  • October 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I was so emotionally while reading your post, I remember my late father he was a very simple person. He always told us that “we are poor” even if he was a chief-mate and even if we have a decent house.

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:56 am

      I think not giving us huge expectations and teaching us to ‘know our place’ is a great thing both your father and my grandparents did. I was never feeling any ‘complexes’ for not being rich, I just know ‘this is as much as we can do’ and always knew how to appreciate what we got. Even if we’re not millionaires, we’re actually very happy/content people πŸ™‚

  • October 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I basically learned the same things from my parents/grandparents. My mom always reminds me that she grew up in a two bedroom house with six brothers and sisters. She shared a bed with her two sisters and had a drawer in a dresser to herself.

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:57 am

      Yeah, many had small apartments/houses and had to share even the bed. We’re the first or second generation to have ‘our own room’, for them that was impossible to fathom, the entire family space was usually 2-3 rooms the most. Maybe this is why most are so pleased with how their lives are and don’t struggle for not having ‘more’.

  • October 23, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Is it just my imagination or did people have a lot more financial good sense in the past? It certainly seems like it

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:58 am

      They sure did. I mean my grandmother would have NEVER gotten into the mess many of us got just for a ‘status’. They knew how to appreciate their hard work and always make good choices for the family and themselves.

  • October 23, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Very nice article! My grandmother also kept a budget and used to write down all the expenses daily, but that was a habit I hadn’t picked up from her. You were really lucky to have such a financially responsible grandmother and indeed there are a lot of things we all can learn from her.

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      I have started writing down my expenses only this year and my first budget was this month. I surely didn’t apply all her teachings myself πŸ˜€

  • October 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Indeed, there are many valuable lessons grandparents can teach us. I know because I learned many practical lessons from my grandfather especially about not keeping up with the Joneses. He always said that a friend is a friend, no matter what even if you can’t keep up with their style, the way they spend, etc. Those who don’t stay because you can’t keep up aren’t real friends.

    • http://Dojo

      October 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      He’s so right. We both have great friends who never care if we have money or not. People are good or bad based on their actions, not their bank accounts.

  • http://Travis%20@debtchronicles

    October 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

    #3 was our biggest problem…and it got us over $100K in debt. We learned our lesson, have almost paid all of it off and now we have budget discussions twice a week. It isn’t fun…but it feels SO good when we’re done and on the same page. πŸ™‚

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  • November 11, 2013 at 5:26 am

    These are all great tips and many of these tips were passed on to me from my Grandmother as well. She grew up during the depression so, during her life, she saw both ends of the spectrum and it taught her a lot about saving and planning for the future. Thanks for sharing this post and for reminding me of the lessons my grandmother taught me :).

  • December 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

    […] I’m not the only one who’s learned from their grandparents.Β Others have, too.Β I’m grateful, though, that I was old enough to begin to ask the right questions, before […]

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