Don’t Yuck My Yum
My career and financial planning skills improved exponentially once I had children. I never realized how similar the lessons I try to impart to my children are to the financial lessons I try to guide my clients through.
I often say to my children, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” In elementary school, my mother would pack lunch for me, just like many of us do for our children now. Instead of a traditional PB&J like most kids had, my mother would send me to school with leftover Indian food from the dinner the night before, so I was responsible for the lunchroom smelling like Chicken Tikka.
In 4th grade, this isn’t the best look, and I remember asking my mother to stop sending me to school with Indian food. That was the first time I heard her say, “Don’t let anyone yuck your yum.”
No One Is Crazy
Last week, I met with a client who introduced me to their adult son and daughter-in-law. My client wasn’t happy with how her son and DIL had set up their financial structure, having a joint account for household bills but maintaining separate individual accounts. I reminded her not to yuck someone else’s yum, and to try and understand WHY they decided on this structure.
As we sat and discussed, it became clear that my client’s daughter-in-law grew up in a family and culture where her father controlled the finances. Having Indian parents who came to the USA with the same mindset, I understood how she felt.
I reminded my client that no one is crazy; we are all shaped by how we were raised and our experiences as we grew up. Her daughter-in-law was raised seeing money in a very different way than she raised her son, and the structure they had set up is what worked for them.
All of us have quirky financial habits that, when viewed from the outside, look downright crazy, but we all need a reminder to respect and embrace the financial choices of others without passing judgment. I continue to pay extra towards my mortgage each month, even though I know that mathematically, putting the cash into the bank is better because my mortgage interest rate is so low. The correct mathematical advice does not coincide with my financial behavior, which doesn’t make me wrong or crazy.
I watched as my parents struggled in 2001 after the tech bubble burst, and my career had just started when I watched countless Americans lose their homes during the great financial crisis of 2008. Those events shaped my behavior and financial values, so although my interest rate is very low, the idea that a bank can take my home from me because of job loss or something out of my control keeps me up at night.
One Size Does Not Fit All
“Don’t yuck other people’s yum” is not just a quirky phrase; it holds a profound lesson in accepting financial diversity and respecting the choices of others. The world of personal finance is vast, and there is no one size fits all approach. Instead of comparing and criticizing, let us build a community that supports and learns from one another. Embrace your unique financial journey and encourage others to do the same. Together, we can foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and growth in the realm of personal finance.
Stock market calendar this week:
|MONDAY, JULY 24
|S&P “flash” U.S. manufacturing PMI
|S&P “flash” U.S. services PMI
|TUESDAY, JULY 25
|S&P Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities)
|WEDNESDAY, JULY 26
|New home sales)
|FOMC decision on interest-rate policy
|Fed Chairman Powell press conference
|THURSDAY, JULY 27
|Initial jobless claims
|Durable-goods minus transportation
|GDP (advanced report)
|Advanced U.S. trade balance in goods
|Advanced retail inventories
|Advanced wholesale inventories
|Pending home sales
|FRIDAY, JULY 28
|Personal income (nominal)
|Personal spending (nominal)
|Core PCE index
|Core PCE (year-over-year)
|Employment cost index
|Consumer sentiment (final)
Most anticipated earnings for this week:
Did you miss our blog last week?
About Amit: I am a first generation American, the son of a working-class Indian family, and I lived through my parents’ struggle to find their place in this country, to put down roots that would sustain them as well as their children in a new land. As they encouraged me to excel in school and fostered my hobbies and interests, I was keenly aware of the dynamic between them. I understood that there was a difference between where they came from individually and where we were now. They worked hard in their individual capacities, but they weren’t always on the same page about financial issues – and that can make or break a family’s future. I didn’t know it at the time, but this laid the groundwork for my passion towards financial services and helping families succeed.