When my mum was alive, we used to blame her for making us spend the whole day in the kitchen on festive days. We would wake early, begin cooking and be on our feet dicing, cutting, mixing and tasting stuff non-stop till like 4 pm – every year!
Then my mum passed, however, my siblings and I continued this cycle. We would cook all day on festive days and then be so tired to even eat the food when it was done. Just that this time, there was no “Mummy” to blame.
Patterns are so obvious, they are hard to see
We continued this pattern year after year till one of my siblings highlighted it and made us commit to changing how we spent festive days together. Thankfully, we broke the “jinx” in December 2021 when we decided to order food instead of spending the whole day in the kitchen.
This time, food was ready in the morning and we were able to spend quality time with one another as a family. This was so eye-opening that we have decided to never go back to how we prepared food for festivities in the past.
I now understand cycles better and how easy it is to become what you promised you’ll never be.
You really start your life thinking you’re going to be drastically different from your parents. Uno unique identity and all that. Then you’re 28 and drinking tea twice a day like your father 😭😭😭Olabinjo – @binjoadeniran (Tweeted on Mar 21, 2022)
It’s the same with finances.
It is easy to blame parents for bad financial decisions and how that might have affected you while growing up, but without a conscious effort to become better, there’s a high probability to end up the same way.
The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. The task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time. – James Clear, Atomic Habits
Breaking a bad habit and building a new one is not always easy but is a profound way to break the cycle of bad financial habits.
If you notice that you’re currently making the same financial mistakes your parents or guardians made while raising you, here are 3 tips that can help you break that cycle.
Improve your financial literacy skills
Financial literacy is the act of acquiring a set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. – Nairametrics
One of the reasons we’re so committed to financial literacy at Cowrywise is that we understand how empowering it is to go from someone who knows little to nothing about money to someone who now understands how money works. Going from ignorance to knowing how to make, manage and multiply money legitimately is a superpower in itself.
They say, when you know better, you do better.
So if you want to break free from the cycle of poverty, take the time to improve your financial literacy skills. This alone is a major step ahead and there’s so much you can learn right now on the Cowrywise Blog. From savings and investment to making money from your 9 to 5 or lessons on how to start a business, you’ll find a useful guide on the blog.
Highlight and change limiting mindsets/beliefs
The reason my siblings and I were able to stop cooking from morning to evening during festive days was that one of us highlighted it and the fact that we did not have to continue that way.
However, it’s not enough to highlight these things because if they’re not backed with action, they will remain wishful thinking.
Some limiting beliefs when it comes to money are:
- I have to hustle from sunrise till sunset to make any money at all
- If I don’t cut corners, I can’t “make it” in certain countries
- I don’t have enough to begin saving or investing
- Investment is only for really rich people
- People like me can’t take vacations because we will never be able to afford it
Be truthful about money mindsets you hold dear that are not healthy, then put systems in place to ensure you replace unhealthy mindsets with good ones.
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. – James Clear, Atomic Habits
Network and get a coach if necessary
Networking and getting a coach can significantly help with thinking better about money and doing better too.
When I became friends with women who were actively investing while still ensuring they enjoyed life, I realized that I could do the same.
If you feel like you need more accountability, getting a finance coach might also help.
It is easy to answer no when you’re asked “Will you financially end up like your parents?” But when it comes to breaking a bad habit, it takes more than wishful thinking.
Want to truly break free from the cycle of poverty and limiting beliefs? Then implement the 3 tips shared above. 👌🏽