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Drop these bad financial habits inherited from mum & dad



We have just completed the third quarter. This mere passage of time has separated thinkers from the doors from perpetual thinker group. While people living in the “I wish mode” have not made any progress, the action group has results to show – both good and not so good too.

They have also acquired some learning from each risk undertaken. I congratulate those who have taken a look at their spending behaviours during the year, and in particular those that undertook small behavioural change that resulted in some savings actions. One switch-off in the mindset is enough to bring back wealth, if taken early enough.

Perhaps I should also emphasise that anybody above the age of 19, has no recourse to blame parents or poor parenting for their present and possible future financial difficulties. Once the mantle has been handed over, the responsibility to correct previous, current and subsisting issues lie squarely on the holder of authority. Your parents stopped controlling you, but they have not stopped influencing your finances through the strong emotional connection in the mind. Stop them or they will slow you down.


Most parents hand over decision making to their children once they join college, without a physical operating manual for handling money. However, a soft copy of the manual was built in your mind as you grew up under their cover. One of the presumed responsibilities handed over is the ability to seek guidance from them or indeed anyone else whenever you feel inadequate or incompetent especially on life critical decisions. Money decisions are life critical just like other events that mark transitions like marriage.

I thank my mother for specifically reminding me in September 1990 Proverbs (12:15) which says that, “Ways of a fool seem right to him, but a wise man listens to advise.”
An amazing reality today is how many young people, informed and brainwashed by the middle class spend thrift social environment influence, would defend their spending weakness with facts but never consider people like Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson’s and other public financial flops  good enough example for changing orthodox money behaviours.

One Key weakness of the average poor community is the non-existent savings and investing behaviour passed forward from great grandparents to their children who are the parents of today. So although parents of today know that they should save and even invest, this is not the case on the ground. Country level difference in savings level is a mark of individual community savings habits differences.

The consumer behaviour passed forward always takes precedence at each payday. They see the bills and pressure that come with it, but never the possibility to eliminate the same through creating more cake. In fact, for most middle class and poor people, savings is a mere temporary storage of funds in a back account which is conveniently raided when the desire to consume exceeds the will to keep.

I am encouraged to remind young adults especially those who have just crossed into the age band of 22 -28 years and have begun making some money by whatever means, that this money may never enter into a wealth creating machine for you unless you take on a deliberate effort to discover one. I say so because most of you were born to parents who did not and do not know money.

So poor financial behaviours is by design, in the mind frame, and more particularly for the majority of you who were brought up where conspicuous spending is the authentic measure of success.

Patrick Wameyo, has practised commercial and investment banking for over 19 years in Kenyas Financial System. He is currently practising as a Financial Literacy Educator and coach, and Small Business Consulting on finance and business strategy. He holds a double speciality MBA in Finance and  Strategic Management from University of Nairobi.  Email [email protected] for a personalised personal finance management coaching plan.

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