Are Your Parents Rich-Small Town Life

Growing up I lived in a small town, I mean our school had like 6 towns combined and we were still referred to as a bunch of farm kids most of the time.  One thing came to my mind the other day when a couple of friends and I happened to stop by in our old hometown to pick up some golf clubs for a chance to see each other and see how everyone was doing.  What did we ever do in this town?  No wonder we played sports or watched movies, the only businesses were a grocery store and 2 restaurants.  It’s was unbelievable to me, I currently live in Chicago so that might have something to do with it, but I was almost taken back, and then I started to think about the people who live here and about who is rich or wealthy in this town and area, it was definitely not my parents despite the title.

So I started thinking how do any of us know how to be wealthy?  Do we take what are parents have done and mimic them on the road to wealth?  I don’t see any of my friends and old classmates, running a hedge fund or owning a multi-million dollar business, so how do we get there, who teaches us what we need to do to become wealthy?

Let me back track this a little, there are many of my old classmates and friends who have great jobs and professions who make a good or even great salary.  I have friends who are doctors, lawyers, nurses, construction workers, bankers, and I know they will do well, but will they be wealthy?  Do they have student loans, mortgage debt, are they debt free? What are they doing to become wealthy?  What did your parents tell you to do?  Did they show you the path?

Growing up I feel like very few friends or classmates had wealthy parents.   Some of the professions of people I thought were doing well included:  Insurance agent, Judge, Railroad worker, Restaurant owner, Business owner, these are the names that pop in my head that seemed to be doing above average compared to other families in our area.  What do I see with almost all of these?  They had their own business in some way, these are the people who did well.  Yes there are certainly out liars and many people who work at a solid company and appeared to be doing well, but the appearance that shows the strongest is small business, this is the way to wealth, there are other ways, but this sticks out.

My parents have not taught me how to become wealthy, they have taught me many things that I am indebted to them for life, the list would be too long to even mention, but the education of becoming wealthy was not one of them.  This is my goal, become wealthy and reach financial independence.  I do not own my own business (not as a full-time occupation), strike 1 for me, I am in debt, strike 2 for me, however one topic that I did not cover, real estate, this is start in the right direction for me and feel like this maybe the home run of wealth.  I know there is many question and many answers out there, but there is a reason I blog and have started my own eBay business, I am on the road to financial independence and wealth, are you coming along?

I know this may be a sensitive subject for many of us as it relates to our parents, but I think about how we are taught to deal with money, debt, and wealth has shaped many of us to who we are today, whether good or bad.  We are ultimately responsible, the person in the mirror, but I would love to hear your story.

 

20 Responses to “Are Your Parents Rich-Small Town Life

  • We are living in a small province and our neighbors are almost our relatives. We are not wealthy, but my father had a good job, he was our bread winner that’s why when he passed away we had a very difficult time especially on financial status. Thankfully, we survived and I know we still have a lot of trials to come in our way, but one thing I’m sure “I won’t give up for my family”.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I’m sorry for your loss. It’s great to hear your final words that you will not give up for your family, thanks for sharing.

  • My parents are both very successful, but I feel they got there through a recipe that doesn’t necessarily work any more. They’re both incredibly hard working and smart which, for them, translated into high level executive jobs. That path is a lot trickier now, even for them. They were both laid off in their 50s and are now struggling to figure out what the new success equation is.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      So it sounds like they lead you in the right direction and have now provided a cautionary tail, I’m sure that will impact how you handle money.

  • My parents definitely influenced the way I deal with money. They were always frugal and showed me the value of a dollar. My dad was also interested in investing, and opened a mutual fund for me when I was young. He showed me the returns which was awesome back in the 90s. That’s how I first learned about investing. And once I graduated from college, he encouraged me to participate in my employer retirement plan and to open an IRA account.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s great sounds like you were given the tools at an early age.

  • I grew up in a similar small town – and I got out of there as soon as I could! I know now that my parents weren’t wealthy, but were borrowing to keep up with the Joneses (or maybe that large debt was from paying my undergrad degree!). But, we lived next door to the mayor of the town on one side and the president of the local bank on the other. In our neighborhood was the owner of the construction company that practically built the whole town, the school principal, and one of the larger real estate tycoons in the area. I *thought* we were wealthy until my dad passed away and I helped my mom deal with all of the financial “stuff”. I learned a lot from my dad though – mostly about doing my own taxes and saving money – which I was pretty good with until I went to graduate school. I didn’t get a great education in delayed gratification though, and now I wish I had.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s crazy you don’t really realize who everyone is until you have left. Learning about taxes and saving money is definitely going to help your money situation.

  • I did not grow up in a small town, but I think this is applicable to many situations. I learned at a relatively young age that owning income-producing assets was the way to wealth. Will I become wealthy? Right now I’m in debt and working at a corporation, so the odds are against me…but only if you look at this point in time. I am very conscious of what needs to be done to become wealthy and it’s often on my mind. I am being picky about what side venture I pursue, and I definitely plan on adding some real estate to the mix to get some solid rental properties that (hopefully) will help fast-track my financial independence.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s odd to read that working at a corporation isn’t the way to wealth and I agree with your statement completely. Work a 9-5 and you will be average, kinda scary.

  • This may be a big time stereotype, but I always imagined that people from rural communities that are primarily farming towns, grow up with very strong work ethics. That, to me, translates well into the business world.

    My parents taught me everything I know about wealth and money. Mostly being examples of living well-below your means to amass wealth for the future. I grew up in a very privileged environment and had two parents that focused on keeping us grounded and didn’t try to “keep up with the Joneses” — for which I am truly grateful.
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s great to have such a strong background from your parents. I always associate the Midwest with strong work ethics, so your stereotype probably isn’t too far off.

  • Interesting post! I also grew up by a small town. My parents were self employed and were terrible with money. I learned exactly what not to do. I am a W-2 employee and I prefer it that way. My way to wealth will come from saving and not taking on a lot of debt.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s interesting that you saw what your parents did and are now focused on a W-2 job. I agree with your statement of building wealth is from not having debt, this way you can use your income to save even more.

  • My family is not rich and we live in a small province. But my parents had a great job, my mother was a teacher and my father was a captain of the barangay. When my mom decided to go abroad even my father didn’t allowed her,she still went abroad for our future with my 1 older sis, that’s the time my father got really sad and because of his depression he always drunk and he also had a mistress. My mom and dad broke up and years passed my sister got early pregnancy. That was the most terrible trials in our family. For now, even I had broken family, thankfully I had continued my studies and I am in college now. Hoping to graduate soon and when I worked I would still share my salary to my parents because without them, I no longer exists. I got stronger and matured early because of that happenings in the past. I learned a lot of lesson and I am thankful I have my significant other who is very understanding and supportive. I promise to myself that when I got married soon, I won’t ever allow my family to be broken.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s really powerful Hannah. I think whatever examples your parents have given, whether good or bad, the fact that you are getting stronger and learning from lessons of their past, not repeating the history of failures and learning from their successes is the right path. Thanks for sharing.

  • My parents live in a small town and Ive noticed that coming from a bigger city, lots of people in smaller towns don’t value material things nearly as much. There isn’t much of a competition to keep up with the Joneses because, well, there are less Joneses living there. In the city its a much different vibe – people are more concerned about what others think and are constantly trying to impress. I grew up in a small town so I can see the difference and given the choice between the two, Id choose a smaller town mentality
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    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I agree with that small town people tend to be less concerned about material things. I remember a friend of the family moving to an expensive area in the suburbs, the house was great, neighborhood was great, but they simply didn’t have the money for that lifestyle, they remind me of the Jones’ and they ended up losing the house on top of it. I think personally I’m more big city, but I’m probably that little old lady carrying her groceries by cart, while she has millions of dollars in the bank, well I hope the 2nd part will happen at least.

  • Great question here Steven & good on you for bringing up one of the tough questions :)!
    My parents have definitely influenced and given me money values.. Parents got divorced when I was 5 & Mum being a single stay at home parent was quite frugal, which taught me the importance of saving for things & appreciating them.. My dad on the other hand spent reasonably frivolously however there are lessons & opportunities in both sides..

    One thing that I didn’t get taught was to invest, which is something I’ve picked up through curiosity & others plus working in finance myself..

    gone on for a while there haha, thanks for asking us to share!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      10 months ago

      It’s always interesting to me how we as “grown ups” take the lessons of our parents. Do we decide to take the good and run with it or take the bad and learn from it or does it just go on deaf ear until a bucket of cold water is thrown in our face clearing out what we thought was right or wrong.

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