Siblings – can’t live with them and can’t live without them. Chances are you have at least one sibling, maybe a handful of them. Depending on your birth order in the family, you have had to deal with certain circumstances in your life.
For example, if you were the eldest child, your parents likely expected you to be a mature and responsible model for your younger siblings. Or if you were the youngest sibling, you perhaps received more attention from your family members and got away with more mischievous antics. If you are an only child, do not think that you are unaffected by that!
Birth order plays a huge part in the makeup of our personalities and traits. So it should be no surprise that it can affect your credit score and how you handle finances, as well.
The Oldest Child
Oldest children usually have the most responsibility put on them among their siblings. They are most likely to be in control of their lives and organized. Therefore, when it comes to finances, they are more likely to be in a financially stable place. They pay bills on time, keep steady jobs, and make wiser financial decisions. Older children will tend to have higher credit scores because they have handled their finances better – meaning no late payments or filing for bankruptcy.
Among eldest children, there is also a drive to be perfect and to be seen as the best. This can be a downfall in the finance area, though. Firstborns might be more likely to pressure themselves into unrealistic financial goals. They might also overwork themselves to be seen as successful.
The Middle Child
Not the oldest, but not the youngest either. Middle children tend to have the best of both personalities, since they, in a sense, serve as an authority figure to their younger sibling(s), yet are under the control of their eldest siblings. As the middle child, you were raised to solve your own problems and to come up with inventive ideas to survive among your siblings, with your parents’ attention likely split more between the oldest and youngest children.
Some middle children are natural savers and are more likely to have money stashed away, while others approach their finances like a balancing act; they look like they have it all under control, but in reality their finances are a secret mess. However, since they are problem solvers, the middle child deals with this mess by paying off credit card debts with another credit card or by taking loans from family or friends. Even though they are not financially stable, they appear to be when it comes to their credit scores.
The Youngest Child
As the youngest child, you were most likely spoiled by your parents and hated by your siblings. Or, you heard this mantra day after day, “Why can’t you be more like your older sister or brother?” No matter how you were brought up, chances are you were held less accountable for your actions. This means that when it comes to your finances, you are in a hole.
You most likely have debt because you were trying to prove yourself to your family members who have likely always undervalued your maturity. The credit scores of younger siblings tend to be lower, perhaps because responsibility wasn’t as emphasized in their upbringings.
The Only Child
Just because you do not have siblings does not mean you are exempt from your birth order affecting your financial personality. Only children definitely are more spoiled in the long run. They do not have to share the love of their parents with any competitors. So when it comes to their finances, they are more likely to be risk takers. They feel competent with their abilities, and are not afraid to take a gamble — perhaps because they never had a sibling to learn financial pitfalls from. Because of this quality, only children can either be highly successful or horribly unsuccessful. It depends on the risks they take.
While many people tend to have similar financial traits as those who are in the same birth order as them, not everyone will fit into these stereotypes. There are many older siblings who are bankrupt and irresponsible, as well as many younger siblings who are successful and frugal.