Last weekend, Kim and I flew to Utah for a reunion with friends from the 2016 chautauqua in Ecuador. While in Salt Lake City, we met up with Jesse Mecham (the founder of You Need a Budget), visited Utah Olympic Park, and attended a Sunday morning performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Our group also spent an entire afternoon at the Mormon Family History Library, where we explored our genealogy. Not everyone was enthused about researching their family tree at first, but eventually even those who thought the exercise would be lame found themselves wrapped in it. It's fun — and enlightening — to unravel the threads of time and discover who your ancestors were and where they came from.
Flying home from Salt Lake City, I got to thinking about how our family trees don't just influence our genetics. We inherit more than physical features from those who came before us. We also inherit culture and psychology and values. And yes, we inherit financial habits from our parents and grandparents.
Each of us has a financial family tree.
My Financial Family Tree
I write often about our money blueprints, the set of subconscious “scripts” that define our behaviors and attitudes toward money. Society at large — our friends, co-workers, the mass media — plays a role in writing these scripts, but most of our money blueprints are inherited from our family — especially our parents.
In a way, it's as if our money blueprints are a product of our financial family trees. Our grandparents passed their feelings about money to their children, and these children instilled their habits and attitudes into us.
When I look at my own relationship with money, it's easy to see how my present actions and attitudes — even at nearly fifty years old! — were inherited from my parents. [Read more…]