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Does it sometimes seem that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to hold on to your cash? Well, maybe it’s your parents’ fault that you’re no good at saving money or finding great deals. If nothing else, it’s fun to blame others for your mishaps! So if you want to feel better about your inability to save, take a look at 40 savings lessons your parents never taught you.
1. You shouldn’t have everything you want: While your parents probably taught this lesson often, you were able to wear them down in the candy aisle and now you don’t know how to tell yourself no.
2. Credit cards are not cash: If you didn’t know that credit cards are not free cash and balances must be paid back with interest, you’ve probably received a rude awakening in adulthood.
3. Eating out regularly is expensive: Your family may have been big on eating out every week. But as you know, this is an expensive habit, so why not learn to cook instead?
4. Money is important: Money isn’t everything, but if you haven’t learned that earning some is needed for independence then you’re probably still getting parental advice from your bedroom in their home.
5. Saving money in a mattress is a no-no: You’ve probably heard about family members who saved money in a mattress. But obviously, having your money insured in a bank is a smarter idea.
6. Don’t go into business with family: Your parents may want you to go into business with your lovable yet irresponsible sibling. But just because you’re siblings doesn’t mean you have to risk losing your money.
7. Money doesn’t grow on trees: Sometimes it seems that money magically appears when necessary—parents have a way of making that happen. But often times, it’s not relayed to kids that emergency funds were tapped in the process.
8. Your parents bought those Christmas gifts: When you saw the gifts under your Christmas tree, you thought Santa brought them, right? Nope! Your parents saved for possibly an entire year to make it happen.
9. Your career choice matters: Parents always want their children to be happy and therefore will promote seeking a career that makes you happy. But if your happiness comes in the form of sitting on the beach, you’d better find a way to turn that passion into income!
10. Smoking is bad for your wallet: You may have been told that smoking is bad for your health. But if you knew that smoking was crazy expensive, you may have never picked up the habit in the first place.
11. Bundle packages are amazing: How cable, Internet and phone entered your home may not have been a topic of discussion. But now that you’re grown, just know it was a bundle package!
12. Factor insurance into car purchases: Before you buy a car, see how much it will cost to insure it to save big bucks. This is one that could have easily slipped under your parents’ radar.
13. A mortgage isn’t always a great idea: Parents often want to see their children purchase their own homes, but they come with great financial responsibility. If you’re not ready, don’t go broke trying.
14. Kids aren’t always a great idea either: Of course, your parents are crossing their fingers in hopes of having some lovely grandchildren. Just remind them that having children is great when you’re financially prepared to provide for them.
15. Prepaid cell phones are great: If your parents bought you a cell phone, it’s likely you were given the prepaid phone, leaving you to yearn for a “real” plan. Little did you know that the prepaid plan is actually the cheapest route to take!
16. Checking accounts should always be free: Though many banks are getting rid of free checking accounts, there are still small banks and credit unions willing to give you free accounts.
17. Going to the movies is pricey: The family may have loved movie nights at the theater when you were young, but now you can use Netflix or another movie rental service to save big bucks.
18. Carpooling makes a difference: Because gas prices were probably not scary when you were a child, saving on gas probably wasn’t an issue. But now, if you want to save, carpooling is the way to go.
19. The landline isn’t necessary: Who would think that the landline would be unnecessary? Certainly not your parents. So since they couldn’t foresee this fate, it’s up to you to ax the line and start saving money.
20. Increase your insurance deductibles: Did you know your insurance deductible impacts your premium? Your parents knew but didn’t think to tell you that raising the deductible can lower your premium.
21. Experiment with a no-spend weekend: This is really cool idea your parents may have never thought of. Take one weekend out of the month and don’t spend as a family to save big.
22. Under-inflated tires can cost you: Did you know that under-inflated tires can increase your gas costs? Check your pressure and fill up your tires properly then watch your gas mileage increase.
23. Charity donations should be affordable: Charity may have been a big deal in your home, but now that you’re grown, keep in mind that giving is great as long as you keep some for bills.
24. Live within your means: If your parents spent money when they said they didn’t have, they probably had cash stashed away. Don’t let this be an excuse for you to live outside of your means.
25. Generic drugs work well: When you were sick, your parents gave you some yucky medicine then put you to bed. Little did you know they were secretly smiling because they saved $50 by buying generic drugs.
26. Coupons are your friend: Since your time in the grocery store was focused on begging for treats, you didn’t notice your mom whipping out coupons. Go back and ask her about it now and you’ll learn some valuable money-saving lessons.
27. Tap water won’t kill you: Your parents probably had bottles of water in the house and now you want your own. But really, tap water won’t kill you and will save a ton of money.
28. You can wash your own car: Remember that washing the car was fun when you were a kid? Your parents forgot to tell you that by continuing to wash your own car, you can save big.
29. Manager’s meat specials save a ton: Many grocery stores offer major discounts called manager’s specials on meat that they want to get rid of. Yep, that’s how your parents stocked up for barbeques.
30. Cloth napkins are better: Did you grow up using paper towels or paper napkins? Your parents forgot to tell you that cloth napkins are better because they save a ton of money.
31. Don’t overlook farmer’s markets: You probably had some great memories running around farmer’s markets as a child. Little did you know your parents were saving on fresh produce each week.
32. Home insulation saves money: While your home was probably always well insulated, your parents forgot to tell you that doing the same to your home will save on utility costs.
33. You should still visit your library: You didn’t know why your parents took you to the library every week. Now you know that doing so is cheaper than buying books.
34. Hold on to your silver coins: With each purchase you make, take time to save your silver coins. You may not have known it growing up, but doing so will add up significantly in the long run.
35. Automatic payments are cheaper: Automatic payments may not have been available when you were young, but now that you’re all grown up, it’s good to set up bill payments that are automatically pulled from your checking account to save money.
36. Create shopping lists: You probably saw your parents marking off items on lists as they walked through the grocery store, but did you know that doing so actually stops you from buying unnecessary items?
37. Exercise at home: It probably never occurred to your parents to tell you that a gym membership is an unnecessary expense. Well now you know that exercising at home instead is a great money saver.
38. Shop at yard sales and thrift stores: You can always find some great deals on just about anything at yard sales and thrift stores. If you didn’t know before, you do now!
39. Household recycling works: Recycling items in your house saves a ton of cash. For instance, you can use old pickle jars to mix your own fresh salad dressing, etc.
40. Find free stuff on Craigslist: Okay, this is one your parents probably couldn’t tell you about. If you look in the free section on Craigslist, you might score some free items in your area. Don’t miss out!