I would love to say it was econ class, but that would be lying. My lessons around money didn’t occur until well into adulthood. As a child, my parents provided for everything. I was offered a university scholarship and given spending money. While my parents didn’t offer any explicit lessons in money management, I must have internalised their work ethic because as graduation neared, I applied and was accepted into a competitive analyst program at an investment bank. It paid very well and I continued not having to worry about money. To top it off, I married a partner who was a higher earner than I was.
While in our corporate jobs, we weren’t conscious about expenses. We made all the yuppie mistakes of buying “nothing but the best” for our first child. Looking back, I regret our lavish ways. We had another son so there was a tiny bit of recycling but our third child (a girl) received a small fraction compared to the oldest. By then I was going through a de-cluttering phase, where less was more and time was the precious commodity. I took time off to raise our three children and my husband left the corporate world to start a new business.
That, as well as our decision to send our children to boarding school, has truly framed our thoughts around money. Currently the oldest incurs £30k per year in school fees. It will be £100k/year once all the children are of school age. Ouch. But we consciously committed to investing in our children's education. And we excel-modeled a worst-case scenario analysis before going ahead: even with zero future income we determined it was still manageable with our assets alone.
I mainly wanted to come back to work as my oldest was no longer going to be around and it gave me something to do (back to the work ethic I guess). Another motivation is to maximize my pension, so we can cushion our retirement. It’s also great to set that example for my kids, especially my daughter. I always had a working mother and although I resented that as a teenager, I understand now that all the choices I had came from her hard work and I plan to pass that on to my daughter.