“Who left the lights on in the bathroom?” My brother and I heard this question and similar ones quite often from our Dad during our younger years. And he was one of the best at following the, “waste not, want not”, attitude. Our family would have fit into the “middle, middle class” in those days so there really wasn’t a lot of discretionary income to spend. Our parents lived by some financial principles which became priorities for them. Here are a few of their priorities:
* They always lived within their means.
* They were generous in their giving.
* They saved and invested wisely over many years.
* They helped their sons get an education and expected us to work and do our part, too.
* They had a long-term goal of being financially independent their entire lives.
Their life-long goal of financial independence became a reality. If you knew the reality of their monetary resources, you would be amazed by the overall results.
Yes, watching my parents live by those priorities greatly influenced my attitude and financial decisions.
“You can stop praying and get up now. I’m gonna buy those gloves.” I was probably 7 to 9 years old when I heard a lady say that to my paternal grandmother. But I remember it as clearly as if it had happened last week. She and my granddad owned a clothing store on a small town square for 38 years. In reality, “Mom” was not on her knees to pray for a sale. She was down on the floor because the gloves her customer wanted to see were on the lower shelf. She went to the trouble to get down there so she could help the lady select the pair of gloves that would make her happy. These days, of course, stores have “Customer Service Departments” to handle complaints and refunds. That seems a little backwards to me.
No wonder I enjoy being the owner of an independent business. And, yes, I was influenced by the “on your knees”, incident and I have experienced opportunities to help clients and customers make purchases and decisions that would most likely make them happy.
Tell us what financial lessons you learned from your family. How has that helped you?