Financial Wisdom We Received from Our Moms
Here are some valuable gems of wisdom from Moms across the country, all of which can be put to practical use by just about anyone.
"Be the hero of your own story!"
Independence is the core of any good fiscal policy. Depending on outside sources is risky. As far as ones personal finances go, starting with a good education and following up with a solid plan for maintaining gainful employment will ensure that you're never reliant on anyone for your financial well-being.
"Budget - for everything!"
Thomas, now a successful executive, recalls his mother teaching him to budget his money at a young age. He was working at a local grocery store and every payday, his mother would supply him with an array of envelopes, instructing him to divide his earnings into marked piles. Knowing how much money he had, how much he was spending, and exactly how much he had left over instilled a simple format for budget-planning in young Thomas that has served him well through the years.
"Know the difference between a want and a need!"
Being raised by a single parent, Suki remembers her mother struggling to run a small business and handle the family finances. While her mother taught her many valuable life lessons, one that stands out was when she told young Suki, "Toys, expensive restaurants and designer fashions may be enticing, but healthy food, a safe home and a good education are the things that we need, and will serve us better down the road." The ability to evaluate wants versus needs is vital when budgeting for the future.
"Saving now gives you greater spending power later!"
Nobody enjoys being in debt. Saving money for a larger expense can be difficult, but well worth the effort. If you can wait to purchase something until you are able to pay for it, you'll reap the rewards of potentially getting the item at a discounted price and not having the added burden of interest payments. Along this same line of thought, saving for unexpected expenses can also save you headaches down the road.
"Take your time making big financial decisions!"
Cynthia's mother taught her how to make a "T-Chart", a list of pros and cons to help her take the emotional aspect out of making financial decisions. While she used T-Charts as a child to help her decide which toy would be better to spend her allowance on, Cynthia uses them regularly now to help her make the best decisions when buying vehicles or even a home. Taking time to consider different options can absolutely ensure that you're making the best decision for your needs, as opposed to buying impulsively.
"Treat your savings like any other bill!"
This is one of the tougher lessons, but it should be treated as one of the most important. Putting aside a percentage of your earnings can be your life-line if ever you run into unforeseen financial trouble down the road. Also, removing a percentage of your earnings immediately can help you to form a better budget for your finances and instill a sense of contentment when you know you are living beneath your means.
"For a rich future - learn from the past!"
This is powerful advice from a mom whose relative had once squandered the family fortune. While few of us today remember the horrors of the Great Depression or the Great Stock Market Crash, we are still able to learn from these dark events. Keeping in mind that financial pitfalls are sure to happen at some point in our lives, whether they are personal in nature or due to larger economic events, planning for leaner times is essential to financial survival.
Advice from our mothers guides almost everything we do in our lives. I'd like to give all of the moms who contributed to the writing of this article a heart-felt Thank You for sharing their fiscal wisdom and financial knowledge!
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