How your Childhood affects your personal finance

How your Childhood affects your personal finance

My current financial situation and my concluding the “smart money woman” series spurred this discussion. I had a moment of reflection on what my relationship with money over the past year has been. 

Here is one side of my relationship.

Childhood and personal finance

Whether we realize it or not, our upbringing reflects on how we make decisions as adults. Sometimes to the positive, other times, they are detrimental to our well-being. Specifically, with regards to our financial health. If you grew up in an indigent family, or your family was financially stable, but your parents chose to be frugal with money, whatever the case may be, it can affect your attitude towards money. 

Some folks from rich homes, grow up feeling entitled to have a luxurious lifestyle and sometimes their income does not commensurate with that lifestyle. For the ones with charitable parents, they grow up and end up giving all their money as gifts and end up with little or nothing.

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Quite different from Zuri, I have had to save up and be financial conscious all my life as such was not necessarily living above my means. To put it in perspective, my parents were very frugal. Since I was a kid, I have learnt to keep a tight budget, specifically due to the financials of the family while growing up. From writing a list of provisions as a boarding school student to learning to do the barest minimum for me to save cost. For example, while in Babcock, I learn to make the simplest of hairstyles (crotchet) to save up the 10k I got as a monthly allowance. 

The influence that had on me when I started earning for myself was, I overspend to compensate myself. I find myself binge spending which was in response to feeling deprived as a child. 

For clarity, let me explain with this short story.

I remembered a time after church service, I bought ice cream. If you went to orthodox, you are aware of those ice-cream kiosks that strategically wait for kids at the gate at the close of the church.  It occurred to me that the act of buying ice cream was a bad habit I had developed over time. And in fact, thinking in retrospect, I remembered always rewarding myself with ice cream for meeting up with my law school reading goals.

The Ice cream bicycle


To put it in context, buying ice cream isn’t a bad thing to do but my motive is what I think is wrong. 

I figured that ice cream was a luxury for me as a child and the inner child in me wanted to satisfy all my cravings as a child.

How your parent's affects your financial decision
After a Sunday service.

This particular scenario and many more have shaped my habit as an adult. I want to get things my childhood self and a teenage girl never got. Because I didn’t have them when I was young, I want to spoil my adult self with these things. Not just ice cream at this time, clothes shoes, and the likes are within the range.

 With this in mind, I began to reconsider my financial decision. I realized that half of what I spent my money on was like an act of revenge for my childhood on missing out on all of those things.

 I then realized that the real revenge for my childhood deprivation is financial prosperity. Rather than binge spending, I am choosing to channel that inner rebel as best to save instead of to spend. Most importantly revisit the reasons for my actions as honest as I can be- ensuring my spending are for genuine reasons. 

Having understood my why, I choose to re-channel my financial habit to a more suitable one that is in line with my financial goals.

“One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is to prepare them to be responsible, empowered adults around money’.



What was your upbringing like and how has it affected your financial health? 

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PS: I decided to go on a fast for Icecream for a while and I have been faithful with it. I take random fast when I notice that thing is reoccurring too much




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