9 parents reveal the money habits they refuse to pass on to their kids

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Not all financial habits are worth sharing.
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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

From when to say “please” and “thank you” to how to drive a car, we learn a lot from our parents.

Oftentimes, that includes picking up on their money habits as well.

And while some of that financial wisdom consists of worthwhile advice that we’ll turn around and pass along to our own kids, other habits are better off forgotten.

Business Insider asked parents with children of all ages to weigh in on the financial side of having kids, and several respondents shared the habits and beliefs they learned from their own parents that they don’t plan to pass down.

Below, we’ve anonymously included nine money lessons real parents don’t plan to instill in the next generation. (Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)


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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

“My parents had more kids than they could afford and had a ‘trust it will all work out’ attitude. I would like to teach my kids to be more practical about their life decisions and weigh the financial side of everything, including becoming a parent and choosing to grow their families.”


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Mike Nudelman/Samantha Lee/Business Insider

From a purely financial perspective, fast food is deceptively expensive. Not exactly a smart way to feed a family on the cheap, health concerns aside.


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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

“My parents didn’t emphasize investing at all. I didn’t learn about it until I was well into my 20s. My son already has an IRA (funded with earnings from work he does for my home business) and he follows its performance.”


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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

There are other strategies for becoming a successful parent.


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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

“Pay off everything. Because my parents were very conservative savers, they were never willing to invest in anything until all their debt was paid off (such as mortgage). It is okay to have certain debts, as long as you are using this debt to help you obtain revenue elsewhere.”


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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

It can be tempting to not plan and put away money for the unknown, but it’s a habit that could come back to bite you. “So many of us feel invincible, particularly as we are younger. But whether it’s a child or parent’s illness or other adversity, it can take a HUGE toll on your finances that can add decades to your working life”


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Mike Nudelman/Samantha Lee/Business Insider

“Not being transparent about family finances. Knowledge is power!”


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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

If you weren’t going to buy the item anyway, you’re not really saving money.


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Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

“My parents did not save all that well. They are working through their retirement years. My wife and I live on less today so that we can prioritize savings.”