Do You Manage Money Differently Than Your Parents?

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Do you manage money like your parents did, or you you go your own path? Here's why it's important to take an active role in managing your money.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chase. The opinions and text are all mine.

As I look back over the past few decades, it’s amazing to see how much our society has changed. Family life, the traditional job market and money management strategies have all shifted. Few things have escaped that change, which is a good thing in a lot of cases. I believe one of the biggest changes we’ve seen has to do with money. As a child, money was not discussed much in my home, but now, as a parent, money is a regular part of conversation.

I don’t think I’m alone either, as a new study from Chase shows.

Managing Finances As A Couple


Managing money as a couple can be tricky. If you’re not financially “naked” with each other, it can lead to significant stress.

I saw this as a child with my parents. They’d mismanage their money, saying that if they had $50 left in their bank account at the end of the month they’d wonder who they forgot to pay. This often led to fights and caused me to swear early on that I would not repeat my parents’ money mistakes when I grew up. Findings by Chase bear out this tension further; 75 percent of Millennials and 72 percent percent of Gen-X-ers have money-related conflicts with their spouses, compared to 62 percent of Boomers.

We’re not perfect, but my wife and I rarely argue about money. We view ourselves as a team, working toward mutual goals we’ve established. That requires sacrifice for both of us at times, but the success we see as a result of it is worth it.

You too can a similar dynamic with your partner by simply being honest. Open up about your thoughts, desires and goals in terms of finances and ask them to do the same. That will do a lot to get you both on the same page.

Breaking the Taboo


I’ve heard more times than I can remember that money is a taboo subject. Heck, it was taboo in my family. We didn’t discuss it because it was “personal” and was lumped with religion and politics on the list of things NOT to discuss. “Boomers were raised in an era in which talk about dollars and cents was taboo. Parents rarely discussed money with their children: only 34 percent of boomers reported that their parents had the ‘money talk’ with them,” says Chase – and I saw that as a child.

Thankfully, I believe we’ve seen change in that area. We’ve seen younger individuals actively take more responsibility with their finances. In the latest Chase study, they found that 71 percent of Millennials claim to be the person responsible for financial decisions vs. 53 percent of Boomers.

This may be because some sort of societal change or not wanting to repeat mistakes by their parents, or both. As someone who was taught to be passive when it comes to money, this is an encouraging development to see.

Do you manage money like your parents did, or you you go your own path? Here's why it's important to take an active role in managing your money.

Managing Money is as Simple as Ever


I think the societal changes we’ve experienced have brought about something good with personal finance, as managing money has become simpler than ever. We have at our fingertips a wealth of resources, often free, that allow us to manage our money effectively. Whether you need to pay off debt, save for retirement or have a specific financial goal you want to meet, there’s almost certainly a bevy of technological tools to help you.

While managing money has become simpler, that doesn’t mean we should be passive. Managing our money requires work, responsibility, education and communication.

You may have noticed something I didn’t say. I didn’t say you have to be an expert to manage your money. You simply need to step forward, take responsibility and open up to those around you – whether that be a partner, a child or a parent. You’ll notice in time that you’ll be on the financial course you want.

Use Chase’s research findings to start a new money conversation with your partner!

What’s one way you’ve noticed change in managing money today? Did your family talk about money when you were a child? What are some tools you use to manage your money more effectively?


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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

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  • Brian says:

    I certainly have more tools and conveniences to managing money today, compare to my parents.

    They basically has a checking and saving account only for years. Always making trips to their bank. Over time the added a debit and credit card.

    Today you don’t even need to step foot into a bank to bank, in fact many just have online accounts,

    We have more access to our money than ever before which can be a good or bad thing depending how how well you mange your money.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m much the same way Brian. I grew up seeing my parents doing very little to manage their money and, thus, run into problems due to lack of communication. Like you said, having that access can be good or bad – it’s really up to you.

  • Josh says:

    Both our parents had “the talk” with my wife & I. The internet has helped tremendously, plus being able to see their experience as they don’t have pension retirement plans to rely on for retirement. We learned to save us much as possible in our younger years.

    Having low-cost investment advice & the ability to research has also made money management less stressful as well.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Seeing those before us can definitely be a motivator given the right situation. That’s much of why we teach our kids as much as possible to help that learning curve.

  • FIscovery says:

    geez, growing up, you nailed it, money was taboo – – never spoken about in front of the kids, NEVER!!! — not even discussing the value of a dollar, shoot, writing a check, nothing — all was learned in the street and self taught (and many expensive lessons a long the way) – i look back now and just want to unload on my parents – sure it may have been the norm at the time, but then, they may not have known really themselves, or felt they were in any position to impart knowledge – IDK, just a shame and pisses me off.

    i don’t talk salary with the kids, but they do get a whopping dose of money talk, whether they want to hear it or not – – i am hoping that with our frequent discussions and examples, that they are comfortable with money and don’t make many of the mistakes i made – – sure they will have a few, but their money foundation will be solid.

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