Posted by Frugal on August 15th, 2006
My biggest financial blunder is not using my parental gifts wisely. Most people don’t use their parental gifts wisely and spend through it. I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum. I didn’t use it wisely, because I did NOT use it.
If you have read the composition of my 1st million dollar, the money given by my parents was definitely not a small amount. But I did not considered it as mine for a long time. In fact, after my parents gave me the money, I simply left it under the control of my parents for probably 5 years before I had it transfered to under my control for the purpose of investing, but not spending. I have not spent a dime from that amount of money my parents have given me. I have always treasured the gift and vowed to pass it on to their grand children. I guess maybe the reason that my parents were willing to give me a significant sum of money to me is precisely because that they know me that I will NOT use the money on unworthy purposes.
But it did not occur to me much later that not using the money is NOT equal to using the money wisely. When I bought my current residence, I could have bought a bigger home, more commensurate to my networth. However, my consideration for home was more of an usage or spending, rather than an asset or as an investment. Because I treated buying a home more as a spending, I did not consider using the gift money from my parents at all. Certainly, with $90K less in my pocket, my choice for home was quite different than what it could have been, especially when my networth was much smaller at that time. With housing market gone up crazily, cash was certainly not a good investment. Eventually, I transferred those cash over for putting them into better investment. But I cannot go back to fix my financial blunder.
You may think that I may be the very few persons who don’t take the parental gifts into the pocket right away. Actually, I married another such person. My parents-in-law also gave my wife and I some $30K cash as a wedding gift (at the same time as the $90K from my parents for our wedding gift too). She never took it. She asked me whether I am okay with it, and I told her that I had no problem at all. My wife is very filial, and she thinks that her parents can use those money better than we do. In fact, I also told my wife that her parents can always count on my financial help anytime as long as they may need it and within what I can afford to help. Of course, my wife did not deny her parents’ gift, but rather left the money under her parents’ control. Till this day, I’ve never counted that $30K as part of my networth even though my parents-in-law still have it available for us.
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