In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I’m taking a slightly different approach in today’s post. Today, I deliberately Googled “financial advice from mom” on a lark, just to see where it would lead. Following are three of the better articles I found, as well as a summary of their advice:
1) Listen to your mother: 6 tips for for a better financial future (Marketwatch)
The tips from this article are 100% aligned with my view on personal finance. Summarized, the author makes 6 points:
Do what you love: Money can’t buy happiness, experiences are worth more than material things.
Budget, budget, budget: Don’t live on the edge. Just because you can afford that monthly car payment, doesn’t mean you should get the car.
Live within your means: Don’t confuse wants with needs.
Find a roommate: Focus on your biggest expense – housing.
Save for a rainy day: Prioritize your Emergency Fund
Plan Ahead: Get into the habit of paying yourself first.
2) The Best Advice From Mom (US News)
Personal Finance experts recall the advise they received from their mothers’ in this article. The summary:
You’re the hero of your own story: You’re accountable for your life
Budget – for everything: Learn to budget at an early age, develop the habit.
There is a difference between a want and a need: Spend wisely.
Saving now means you can spend later: Delay gratification.
Before a big financial decision, think long and hard: Take emotion out of major decisions.
Save more than you spend: Pay yourself first.
Pay it forward: Prioritize giving.
Have your own money: Don’t be in a position where you have to ask someone for money.
For a rich future, learn from your past: Values come from your parents, and are passed to your kids.
3) 5 Financial Tips for Kids (realsimple.com)
In addition the tips from the above articles, my Mom (may she rest in peace, thinking of you, Mom, on Mother’s Day) taught me many valuable lessons. Some that come to mind:
1) Grow your own food: she was an avid gardener, and canned enough over the summer to last us through the winter. This also highlighted to me the importance of developing hobbies.
2) Never Stop Learning: she read more than anyone I know, and was a lifelong learner. I’ll never forget our summers spent camping at a KOA near Michigan State University so she could finish her Master’s Degree. Make learning a lifelong goal.
3) Live below your means: I recall childhood memories of wanting to buy “brand name” items (Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and Levi jeans come to mind!). She would stand firm that the brand wasn’t worth the extra money, and that the value of generic was as good as brand names (on most items) for a lot less money. Live below your means, and understand needs versus wants!
4) Volunteer: My Mom was very active in the small town community where I grew up. Take time to get connected to your community, donate your time to a worthy cause.
5) Take Care of Yourself: she swam daily for close to 20 years. Fortunately, I inherited her love of the water, as well as her lessons on the importance of taking care of yourself.
To Mother’s everywhere this weekend, thanks for all you do! Enjoy your special day, hopefully with your kids! If you’ve never been able to talk about financial issues with them, give it a try this weekend (use this blog as an intro, if necessary), it’s an important topic that all parents should discuss with their children. Most importantly, enjoy them – they are truly a blessing!