My Parents’ Financial Personalities

by Kristina on April 12, 2011 · 3 comments

The older I get and the more I analyze the different personality traits of my two parents, I start to understand more and more why they got divorced.  Just as in many other ways, my parent’s financial personalities are very different.

As we know, my family has several different personalities such as my Uncle, the unhappy money lover and my sister, the super saver minimalist.  My parents have two completely different financial personalities, but joined together they could create one perfect financial couple.

My Dad is a saver without a budget.  His only savings were made through his employer via automatic payroll deductions.  He has a little bit of non registered savings, but the vast majority of his money is in retirement savings.  My Dad is currently 57 years old, he retired at the age of 55 in July 2009.

My Dads savings were taken off of his pay check every week, he spent every other dollar down to the last penny.  I guess you could say that my Dad lived pay check to pay check, except that his now has a steady pension income as well as a massive wealth of personal retirement savings.

My Dad’s savings were forced.  He made the choice to save, but he didn’t make the contributions himself.  My Dad would never set up a Pre Authorized Contribution plan to contribute “his own” money to his employer pension fund, or his personal retirement savings plan.  He feels that he isn’t really saving “his own” money if he doesn’t make the contributions himself.

My Dad is a spender; he spends all of his money every week.  He pays his bills on the due date by mailing a cheque, which makes the payments late with the mailing delay.  Paying bills are not my Dad’s priority, his priority is enjoying life. He buys the food he wants to eat, he takes vacations to the places that he wants to visit, and he goes to restaurants with his favourite chefs.

My Mother is the total opposite of my Father.  She pays her bills online as soon as she receives the e-bill in her email inbox.  My Mother only spends money when she needs to, and it is usually on sale items.  My parents have this in common, they could each find a deal from a mile away.  The difference is that my Dad finds great deals on everyday items such as groceries and household necessities, while my Mother finds deals on art, furniture, and name brand clothing.

My Mother handles the finances in her household, including the bookkeeping for my Step Fathers business.  My Dad hands a lump sum of $900 over to my Step Mother every month for their joint monthly household bills.  My Dad’s lack of financial irresponsibility is partially due to his lack of interest in money management; but it is mostly due to my psycho Step Mother’s controlling personality (but that is a totally different post).

My Mother always seems to have money; she must pick it off of the money tree in the backyard that I heard so much about as a child.  The truth is that she is careful when and where she spends her money. She makes sure the cost is worth the price, and she rarely pays the original price for any item that she buys.  My Dad on the other hand, lives to spend his money. Whether it is at the grocery store or the discount store, he is always spending money.

My Dad also keeps a reserve of everything.  He has a storage room and an extra freezer full of food; however he continues to go grocery shopping every week. My Mother only has food in her kitchen cupboards and nowhere else.

My Mother is 54 and she loves working, she likes to keep busy.  My Mother is on the Board of Directors for the Airport, as well as the Small Business Bureau, and the Travel and Tourism Chamber.  My Dad spends his days playing poker and golf with his other retired friends.  Their opposite spending and saving habits are the basis of my parent’s different financial personalities.

Photo by MagBag

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dave@50plusfinance April 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

It’s interesting that when your parents married financial habits weren’t apparent or important enough to talk about. I’m about their age and realize from your story that both times I married financial subjects just never came up. It seems both women I married had the complete opposite financial habits as me which I didn’t realize till it was to late. They say, and I think it is true, marriages end mostly because of money fights. I hope you and Nick are on the same page financially, but I have a feeling you have that covered already.

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