As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that Mom may know best when it comes to money.
For most of us, our introduction to finances comes from our parents. How we handle money often is a reflection of — or a direct rebellion against — their habits. Here is some of the money advice I got from my mother as a kid that still proves useful today.
1. Carry Cash
These days credit and debit cards can be used to purchase most things. It can seem silly to carry cash, but my mother has always advocated having some actual bills in your pocket or purse. This has been useful through the years. On certain occasions cash is the superior method of payment. A perfect example was after Hurricane Sandy, when the gas stations in my area weren’t able to take credit cards even days after the storm. Thanks to my mom’s advice from years ago, I had enough cash on hand to fill up my tank. Those two $20 bills meant the difference from getting to a location with electricity and heat and not — thanks, Mom!
2. Put It in a Piggy Bank
Parents often introduce the concept of saving with a piggy bank. My mother doesn’t exactly use a pig, but she does squirrel away her money. Whatever’s left from the week’s grocery trip goes into a special pot for something fun in the future. For me this was the introduction of a budget — spending less than the money that came in meant having “extra” to save.
3. Prioritize Your Purchases
This is an area where I need to work on emulating my mother better! I aspire to be more discerning with purchases and to take my time rather than buy on impulse. When shopping with my mother, she is not too quick to buy. Especially when it comes to new clothing, she will try on several outfits and never buy just because something is on sale. She waits until she finds something she really loves. A new item of clothing has to fit into her current wardrobe, and she is willing to walk away if it doesn’t.
On this Mother’s Day (and every day!), I’m grateful to my mom for all she has done for me, taught me and sacrificed for me … including when it comes to money.
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