Grandparents' Best Money Advice

Posted on 09/06/2012

For more than three decades the US has celebrated Grandparents Day, the first Sunday after Labor Day. The founder started the holiday to educate younger generations about the important contributions senior citizens have made to society. One of those offerings would definitely be sound financial advice like this.

Help Your Family First According to a recent AARP poll, two in five grandparents say they’ve spent more than $500 on their grandchildren in the last year. More than half say they’re contributing to education costs, about one-third help with living expenses and roughly one-fourth pay medical or dental bills. But they’re not giving begrudgingly—most grandparents say they would rather make sacrifices in their own lives than let their grandchildren suffer.

Avoid Trendiness
There’s a reason retailers push trends. They go out of style and then you’re left wanting the next big thing. But your grandparents likely aren’t big on chasing trends, which is a great way to save money. Instead, stick to classic items that never go out of style.

Invest in Well-Made Items
Your grandma may be using the same ironing board she bought in 1956 or your grandpa’s hammer might have a few decades of wear, but that’s only because they made quality purchases. If you have the choice between saving a few bucks on a shoddier item or spending more on something that will last, do what your grandparents would do. Spend a little extra and invest in well-made items. It will pay off in the long run.

Gifts Don’t Have to be Expensive
If your grandparents are like most, they’re probably not extravagant gift givers. Instead, they focus on meaningful gifts that come from the heart. Even in today’s consumer-driven world friends and family members still appreciate something handmade and thoughtful.

Know the Difference Between Wants and Needs
Older generations can very easily distinguish between wants and needs in a way that younger people sometimes have trouble with. Being able to indentify—and budget for—needs over wants will help you set proper priorities, just like your grandparents have probably been doing for years.

By Alison Storm

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