It is said that the sins of the parents are inherited by their offspring. Likewise, the good fortune of parents can also be inherited by their offspring. These hold true because the way children are nurtured as well as the habits, behaviours, and way of life they learn by observing their parents play a huge role in their adult lives.
Thus, if parents live the right way, their kids learn from them and go on to enjoy a bright future. However, if parents are not living the right way, their children most times suffer the same consequences when they grow up.
This article discusses attitudes that parents knowingly or unknowingly impart to their kids, which influence how financially successful they become.
Note: ‘The poor’, as used in this article, does not necessarily refer to people that live on minimum wage or can’t afford new clothes or three square meals. It could be you if you can’t live comfortably for up to six months (or a year) should your monthly income cease.
Also, exceptions can always exist for the ideas presented here.
- In a wealthy home, parents often do not shy away from discussing money openly with their kids. They know it’s important that, as early as possible, the kids learn the right ways to make and grow money.
On the other hand, kids from poor homes might start from a young age to have negative attitudes towards money. Why? Because the few times their parents talk to them about money are when they complain about how hard it is to make.
- Since lower and middle-class parents most times fail to differentiate assets from liabilities, their kids may take up the same habit. Most of these grownups consider their cars, TV sets, iPhones, and other such items that depreciate in value over time as assets.
To be clear, liabilities are possessions that do not yield value. Instead, they take money away from your pocket in the long run. That’s why poor people often never grow financially or even get poorer over time.
Comparatively, rich parents spend a huge part of their income on the acquisition of assets rather than liabilities. For example, they build houses and collect rent, invest in stocks, start and acquire businesses, etc. Their kids grow up witnessing this beneficial way of life and it becomes second nature to them.
Note: You may say: “What about the lavish lifestyle rich people live? They drive expensive cars, wear fancy clothes, and whatnot.” Well, one thing you should realize is that rich people fund their lifestyle with the accumulated profits generated from their many assets. So even if they blow a million naira in one night, they do so with the awareness that they will certainly make the money back in less than a few days. And they don’t make it back by the sweat of their brows, unlike lower and middle-class families, but through the profits generated from their assets (referred to as passive income).
- When you step into a rich home, you are bound to discover a well-built library. Rich people are enlightened and always try to gain new knowledge, stay motivated, or find solutions to problems. It is through books that you can rub minds with brilliant authors from all over the world, benefiting from their research and personal experiences. Kids who have reading parents learn the same habit and it takes them far in life.
Poor parents, since they have other things to worry about, hardly find time to read, and their kids end up following in their footsteps.
- A common thing with all rich people is that they think long term. Poor people, most of the time, are concerned with what they can enjoy today or this month. Thus, we may find (there are exceptions of course) that kids from lower and middle-class homes grow up with the same short-sightedness. No matter how well-paying their job is, they will live from paycheck to paycheck.
The attitude of lacking patience and long-term plans is also why many fall prey to quick-money making schemes. They feel that investing in stable ventures that yield interest overtime is not worth the wait.
- The rich are more concerned about increasing their income rather than lowering their expenses. Therefore, since they are not willing to live below a certain standard, they must find new ways to create wealth. Poor people, on the other hand, are barely innovative. Thus, as a poor kid learns to succumb to their circumstance and manage what they get, rich kids learn how to solve problems that enable them to increase their earnings so that they don’t have to go below the standard of living they are used to.
- The rich let money work for them while the poor work for money. What this means is that the rich are concerned about freeing up their time. They, therefore, employ the wealth they have to create more wealth.
The poor on the other hand spend all their time actively working for money. And when they are paid, they use up all their earnings to settle bills and have fun. They then continue working to make some more money to spend.
On the contrary, since the rich are more concerned about freeing up their time, they know the importance of saving and investing. They focus on generating passive income and therefore strive towards becoming entrepreneurs (job creators) rather than job seekers.
- The rich, most often, do not worry more about making money than solving problems and creating value. For them, it’s all about the passion for what they do. Money then becomes the inevitable aftermath.
The poor on the other hand are more concerned about the money they need to make rather than creating value and making people’s lives better through their activities.
Note: There are exceptions to the above argument. Some people get rich through dubious means and selfish pursuits. Yet, such riches don’t last long, or the individuals involved hardly have peace of mind in the long run and often end up in unsavoury situations. The few that manage to see old age without losing their money try to appease their conscience by giving to charity. And other times are exposed when they least expect (Sometimes when reputation is their greatest asset).
- The rich avoid bad debt and embrace good debt. For the poor, the opposite is the case. So, what’s the difference? It’s all about the purpose the debt serves.
Good debt is when you borrow money for investment purposes. You may not always have the money you need to key into ventures that yield long-term income. Therefore, rich people understand that being debt-free is not always a smart decision. They know how to use other people’s money to make even more money.
Bad debt, on the other hand, is when you borrow money to pay bills or spend on things that don’t yield income or that depreciate in value over time.
Being a parent is a duty that must never be taken lightly. You are responsible for the fate of this separate individual (your son or daughter). It is therefore of the utmost importance that you perform a thorough self-examination and try to shed certain bad habits and attitudes which you may knowingly or unknowingly transfer to your children.
At the same time, reinforce those good attitudes that will help your kids become financially successful individuals when they grow up. You owe them that much.