Do Parental Cliches Still Hold Value?

During these past weeks, we honored our moms and dads on their special holidays – whether celebrating together or reflecting on fond memories. What parents say (and do) shape our own biases and habits regarding life, relationships, and money. We often catch ourselves sharing the same bits of wisdom with our own offspring:

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” Besides a good reminder to digest your food properly, this axiom teaches us to only take on what we can handle: in our jobs and our hobbies, and with our time management and our possessions. Even too much of a good thing can be too much. That’s a good lesson, Dad.

“Look both ways before you cross the street.” A cautionary tale that kept us from accidentally stepping into oncoming traffic, but also a philosophical outlook to always be cautious. Being skeptical in risky situations or pausing before rushing into impactful decisions was another good lesson, Mom.

“Don’t spend what you don’t have.” In our American consumerism, cash isn’t king – credit cards are. While taking on good debt can be a smart decision, as in a mortgage or starting a business, too many people fall victim to their desire for instant gratification. I’m glad my parents taught this lesson and I hope I have handed that down to my kids, too.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” When we heard this, it meant no new sneakers/quarters for the arcade/etc. We were supposed to accept that cash is limited and nothing in life is free. We learned you must work hard for money and plan its use carefully. And, actually, with smart investing, money can grow.* Maybe that’s an expression to re-evaluate, but the core point was to teach us to spend wisely.

“Money doesn’t buy happiness.” While we can all agree with this statement, we must also acknowledge that proper management of money can buy peace of mind. Living within your means and preparing for emergencies can lessen stress and keep us happier and healthier. And behind all these lessons, that’s really what our parents want for us.

So, thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the guidance you gave regarding relationships, health, and money management. We can choose to follow the example you set, or we can strike out on our own with what makes sense to us. There’s plenty of advice out there, but it’s worth reflecting on whether the same old clichés still apply.

Give Asset Advisors a call at 706-650-9900 for a deeper discussion. Our team of dedicated advisors will help unpack your biases and experiences with investing to form a plan that is in your best interest for your unique situation.

*Author Tara Struyk turns some well-known phrases upside down in this tongue-in-cheek review of what mom and dad shouldn’t have taught us. Read on for a humorous look at other truisms that aren’t that true.