I’m a sucker for tradition. Actually, I am a fan of nostalgia – things that make you warm and gooey and bring you back to the days of your youth. When it comes to issues of personal finance, however, nothing I was taught (even the more “traditional” lessons) really panned out for me. While I’m a big believer in balancing the budget, following the law, and doing your share, I won’t teach my kids money lessons that are popular simply because they are old. Here are a few examples of lessons that are still being handed down from generation to generation – but that really needs to stop.
“Be a Company Man”
There are two problems with this lesson. First, there is no company “men”. Just as many women are pulling down a fair wage in today’s economy, and the occasional guy who spouts this lesson may also still think “women shouldn’t be in the workplace”. The second issue I have with this is becoming more obvious in this current economy. Companies try to take care of workers, but they can only do so much. Be a family man. Be a man of truth. Be a funny man. But don’t ever base your identity solely on the corporation that signs your checks.
“Always Pay with Cash”
This can be a terrible piece of advice that assumes we live in a one-size-fits-all world. It is also nearly impossible to abide by. If you use water, gas, or electricity that costs more per month than the deposit you put down when you opened your account, you are using credit. Unless you waltz in with a wad of cash and tell your utility manager that you would like…
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