4. Private school is better than public school.
Education is important— I had a great community and a lot of attention from teachers by being in a private school, but I also think I was a lot more sheltered from reality in my Catholic school upbringing. I also think that because my school wasn’t an elite, Ivy League feeder, I didn’t have a big advantage come college time compared to my public-school attending peers, and the “investment” may not have been necessary given the options for schools in the suburban neighborhood we lived in. Should I make future schooling decisions for future nuggets, I will not default to private school, and will instead consider all the options.
5. It is stupid to pay an annual fee for your credit card.
My mom always instilled caution into me when it came to credit cards. She never paid annual fees for her cards, viewing them as a corporate scheme to make money off of her. While I do follow her advice about always paying off the balance, I disregarded her advice about cards with an annual fee. While some annual fees are steep, getting a card with an annual fee can have some helpful benefits that reward you for your usage, which paying with cash or a debit card just doesn’t provide. If you use credit cards with annual fees wisely, you can build your credit and reap benefits like cash back on your purchases or free/discounted travel.
6. You don’t need to be investing. You need to be saving.
In my family, investing was always perceived as something incredibly risky, complicated, and just not guaranteed. Why put your hard-earned money somewhere when you’re not sure you’ll get it back? While it is important to save, and investing comes with the risk that you can lose money, if you have secured a rainy day fund and are able to make ends meet, why shouldn’t you try to learn more about what to do with your money, to make it grow at a faster rate than in your savings account?
7. PPO is best.
When I first started my job, I asked my parents about what health insurance plan I should choose, and I just selected what they recommended — a PPO. This past year, I reevaluated my selections with some of my colleagues, and I came to realize that there were tax advantages to opening up an HSA, and made the switch.
While I have learned a lot of good money habits from my parents, I have learned that it is important to challenge the beliefs you’ve grown up with and how they’ve impacted your own approach to money to try to create a better financial future for yourself. When it comes to making financial decisions, I still may ask for my parents’ input, but I’ve tried not to just blindly trust that they know best. I’m becoming more comfortable taking ownership of my own financial future, doing research on my own, and challenging their financial practices.