This weekend we will be celebrating Heritage Day in South Africa. It is a day to reflect on the various cultures and traditions that make up our vibrant nation. In light of this we thought it interesting to research whether or not we inherit our money habits from our parents too. And interesting enough we do.
According to a study done on 15 000 sets of Swedish twins, our DNA indicates whether we will be a born saver or a born spender. The study, conducted by Stephan Siegel from the University of Washington and Henrik Cronqvist from Claremont McKenna College unveiled that the spending and saving habits indicated similar patterns, even in those who have lost contact with each other, the Times reported.
Another study conducted in February 2014 by the Social Science Research Network went as far as to highlight a specific gene, Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) associated with higher credit card borrowing behaviour.
It’s not just in the genes
But just like with traditions and customs that form part of our heritage, we also inherit financial behaviour that has less to do with our genes and more to do with money habits picked up by one’s parents.
Research lead by Money Advice Service on teenagers found that youngsters whose parents struggle with debt are less likely to budget effectively themselves, compared to those whose parents have their finances under control.
Does this mean that every South African with financial trouble should just give up trying? No, not at all. At least there is comfort in knowing why your finances are a constant battle whereas a best friend or even your spouse always seems to make savvy money decisions.
Know your bad money habits and work on them
Genetics and history cannot and should never rule your life and rob you from the dreams you have for your future. Instead, get to know all your bad habits and work relentlessly at cultivating new, good habits.
In our blog post entitled 4 Bad Money Habits And How To Overcome Them you can find advice on how to get started.
If it has become time to get professional help in, Debt Rescue’s expert debt counsellors are always here for you.