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Our moms are one of our very first teachers in life. And one aspect that she always teaches us about is money. Some of the money lessons that we are taught by mom are intentional, but most of them aren't.
Over time as we realize the lessons that we have learned from our parents, we can make changes to these lessons and make them lessons that we want to carry with us and even teach our own children. But as we were taught these lessons, our moms taught us what they knew in the best way they knew how.
In this post, I asked other bloggers and business owners to share one the best or worst money lessons they have learned from their mom while growing up. You can also check out the post I wrote about my own personal money lessons that I learned from my mom while growing up that goes right along with this post.
Only use debt when necessary. Things that fall into necessary, a house, a car, and a college education. Even on those items pay cash if at all possible. I have applied this to my life and due to it I am sure to have saved thousands in interest charges that I would have otherwise paid.
Lessons about debt that we have learned from our parents have always been one of the hardest to explain to children, no matter what their age. David's mom taught him good a lesson here to use cash and save on the interest where it is totally possible.
Don't buy on impulse; try to wait for a discount. If you wait, you'll almost always catch a bargain.
Such great advice! So many of our purchases are made on impulse, because it's something that we need to have in the moment. But if we wait, either for a discount or to realize it's not even something that we really need, in the end, you will end up saving more money.
Just because you are good at 'not spending money' doesn't mean you're good at saving! Learn the discipline of saving!
I totally love this one. Saving is totally different from not spending money. And once you learn the difference and the discipline of saving, your money really will start to change and work for you.
You must give in order to receive. My mom was the most generous soul I know. While we weren't made of money, she wouldn't have hesitated to give you the shirt off her back or the food off her table. At the same time, we always bought things on sale, rarely wasted food or resources, and knew the value of a hard earned dollar. We never went without but we were also smart with money. It's a fine balance between 'a penny saved is a penny earned' and 'you can't take it with you.
So many moms are always very giving and generous. And it doesn't matter if they have money or not, giving time, sharing food and other household items is one of the best ways to be generous. Money isn't always needed to be generous. I also love that Annika's mom taught her to be resourceful and not waste anything, food or resources.
My mom taught me how to save. When I got my first job, she got me to set up automatic withdrawals of $50 from each paycheque to go into a savings account. I later used that money to pay for my first year of university.
Automatic withdrawals are the absolute best! This way, saving happens automatically and nothing is needed to be done on your part. For me, these automatic withdrawals are what has saved me from so much in the past because I always have the money automatically taken out of my checking account so it's not even available to me as easily.
My mom taught me to not let money rule my life. You can will be happy with whatever you have so long as you live within your means. She helped me buy my first condo - all 640 square feet of it. When I was bemoaning how little space I could afford she reminded me that by living in less space I could afford more life. I could afford to go out with friends, pursue my hobbies, travel, see shows. Wouldn't I be happier doing those things than putting all my money into a bigger condo? She was absolutely right.
Following that advice has let me be a stay at home mom, with an active life, and no regrets all these years later.
When we have more space, we end up buying more stuff to fill that space as well, also known as the lifestyle creep. Not only can you afford more life and more enjoyment by having a smaller space, you'll spend less money on stuff to fill up the space because you don't have as much to fill. It will look much more cluttered the less space you have but the more stuff you buy. As teenagers and young adults, we always question the advice of our parents, but once we have spent some years being an adult ourselves and learning to appreciate the advice that our parents gave us like this, it helps even more, just like it has helped Amanda enjoy being a stay at home mom.
My mom loved to shop at garage sales, thrift stores, discount stores, etc. Us children have now inherited her love of a good bargain! However, I've realized that the trap in doing this is that you may end up spending more money than you would normally because everything is cheap! It's still very important to have a budget!
This lesson is two-fold, both good and bad. You get the good bargains on used items instead of always buying new. But because you end up spending less money by buying used, you have more leftover, so you end up buying even more stuff. So yes, it is very important to have a budget set up, but also you only want to buy the things that you actually need and don't keep buying things just because they are cheap and your money will get you further.
My mom taught me how to math and computer programming. By the time I went to nursery school, I could count by 2's, 3's and 4's. My mom taught computer programming so she started to teach me how when I was 8 (and some algebra). She opened up a bank account for me and my brother when we were very young (maybe 6 or so) so I learned the concept of compound interest at an early age. (The bank accounts were small, but enough for us to learn what we needed to learn and go with her to the bank each time.) I have always been a numbers person thanks to her and it has helped me every step of my life including managing my money.
I love this lesson from Debbie's mom. Compound interest is something that we learn in school, but in my experience anyway, it doesn't sink in what compound interest is, until you actually get to experience in real life for yourself and you get to see your money growing and growing without you having to do very much at all.
My mom is big on enjoying the present but also having a rainy day stash for the future. She taught me that no matter how much money I was making, that I needed to keep a year's worth of savings in the bank, as well as saving for the future (retirement). To this day, I still have to show her my statements for her to sleep at ease.
I love seeing moms that really care and still check on their children well into adulthood. By knowing that you have a year's worth of savings available should something unexpected happen to you, it helps to relieve some of the stress of life. So many people have little to no savings at all and can't live without a paycheck coming to them every week. I understand that life happens but by having a good habit of saving, you set yourself up for success in the future financially.
My mom taught me to invest in real estate. She would often say that land is scarce. Look at the history of real estate in major cities. The value of land eventually goes up. It was because of her advice that we bought a rental investment. This additional income stream has been a lifesaver during my maternity leave.
It doesn't matter what your additional income stream is, but having an additional stream of income that is mostly passive and takes very little work can always help families. Real estate as a passive income stream is something that really depends on the person for whether it will work or not. I know for me it won't because I don't want to deal with having rentals. But there are people like Jacqueline who are perfectly good candidates to be have additional income streams from real estate.
My mom taught me the (literal!) value in making your money work for you. As soon as I got my first after school job when I was 14, she showed me that while saving my earnings in a regular bank account was good, putting this money into investments was even better in the long term. While I'd learned about compound interest in math class, she helped teach me how that could apply to my own wealth and how, even as a teenager, I could start to use this to set up my financial future.
And she even added a bonus, unintentional money less as well - hold on to your investments, even when things get rocky! Unfortunately for me, I got that very first job in the early 2000s and only a few months after her first lesson, a fairly major downturn happened. 'Buy and hold' was a hard but incredibly useful lesson to learn at that age!
I love when moms teach us about investments and the power of compounding interest. But the more interesting lesson that I love here from Anna and her mom is to hold on to your investments, even in unfortunate situations. For every downturn in the market, there is always an upturn coming. I have learned over the years that the downturns are when you really want to buy even more investments and allow your money to really work for you even more.
My mom taught me to SPEND IT ALLLLLLLL! LOL Just kidding, she didn't INTEND to teach me that. But it's what I watched her do. Having to change that now.
My mom taught me this too. And learning not to spend all of your money isn't easy. But the first step to learning not to spend all your money is just knowing that this is a lesson that you have learned. Just like Tania says, her mom didn't intend to teach her this lesson, but she saw it happen all the time. Our moms don't intend to teach us any negative lessons about money, but we learn them from observation and then bury this lesson in our subconscious, so that spending all of our money is something that is now automatic and not as easy to stop.
My mom taught me to 'always feel poor.' She was a resourceful person, who spoke 3 languages and went to University back in Brazil in the early 50s. Yet, she has never figured out that 'she' could earn money to make her family life more comfortable. She expected my dad to do so and was always bitter, complaining about working all the time. She had numerous opportunities offered to her to make good money but would decline, it was so much work... I heard enough about it and raised my daughter never, ever saying that we were not resourceful in one way or the other. Money is live energy and prosperity starts with the right mindset. Looking back, I just decided to go towards the opposite direction, so she helped me at the end.
Unfortunately for Raquel, this is a lesson that I have seen so many people learn from their moms because women are taught at a young age that men are the caregivers and breadwinners of the family. Women stay at home and take care of the children and everything else. But over time, women have been getting more educated and even getting jobs of their own to help support the family. I'm glad that Raquel was able to take this lesson and go the opposite way in her own life and teach her daughter a different lesson than what she learned.
Money lessons are taught to us every day by every one that we come into contact with. The most prominent lessons are taught to us by our primary caregivers, usually our parents. And these lessons follow us through life, all of the good and bad lessons.
So what are the lessons that your mom taught you about money when you growing up - good and bad? What our moms taught us wasn't always intentional, but it's what they knew and learned themselves while growing up.
Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farmand learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.
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