The Money Lessons that My Mom Taught Me

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my full Disclosure Policy for more information.

All information on this site is provided for general education purposes only and may not reflect recent changes in federal or state laws. It is not intended to be relied upon as legal, accounting, or tax advice. We strongly encourage you to always consult with a tax or accounting professional about your specific situation before taking any action. Please read our full disclaimer regarding this topic.


So many of the money lessons that I've learned in my life came from my mom. Not all of them were good either. And that isn't completely my mom's fault either. She taught me what she knew in the best way possible, as all moms do. (Mom I know you meant good and I love you anyway!)


In this post, I'm sharing all about my own personal money lessons from my mom that I've learned. Check out this post to read about the lessons that others have learned from their moms while growing up.


While growing up, your mom and dad are the most present in your life (most of the time). So this is who teaches us most of our life lessons, especially the lessons that we just observe and aren't specifically taught to us.


With our money, most of the lessons are observed and basically downloaded into our subconscious system. Then, later in life when similar situations come up as compared to those when we were younger, we have automatic reactions that are based on the lessons that we have observed from long, long ago. 


So while our moms may teach us money lessons that we don't exactly what to use in our life, we have to remember that they taught us what they knew in the best way possible and didn't know any different at the time. But now you can make a change and even not teach your children the same thing. 

Money lessons my mom taught me

The Money Lessons I've Learned From My Mom


Money is stressful

I'll be honest that I'm about 500% sure that my mom never intended to teach this lesson to me or my siblings. But that is all we saw when it came to money. 


Every month that she balanced the checkbook, it was stressful for her. And for me, as an empath, I could feel all of that stress and it made the situation even worse for me around money. I know this stress was because of the lack of money that was present in my parents' life, compared to the expenses. But all I learned here was that money is a stressful topic and balancing the checkbook is even more stressful. 


And for me, money is definitely not a stressful topic. I teach about money every day. I deal with money every day. And honestly I love money and know that at the end of the day, it wasn't really the money that was causing the stress, it was the situations that we were in. You always have the power to change your situation at any given time. 

If what you are buying is something that isn't exactly needed, then it needs to be hidden

This lesson has been very hard to break because it's really a habit. Whenever I purchase something that I just want and don't actually need, I still feel a need to hide my purchase from everyone. But honestly, as long as you have the means to make the purchase, then there should be no need to hide it. 


While growing up, and even now as an adult, my mom hid items she bought from my dad because he didn't think that she needed them. 


My siblings and I all live away from my parents, so for her last birthday, we all had our presents shipped directly to her house from Amazon. And my dad blamed her for buying stuff that she didn't need, when in reality she didn't buy anything. They were her birthday presents from each of us. So I understand why things were hidden from my dad, but no one should have to hide something they bought simply because they have the money to buy it and it's something they want. 


I also know that hiding purchases from other people, especially spouses is a completely different topic that is covered by other money mentors like Lauren Greutman because she also hid purchases from her husband

mom and daughter talking about recycling

You already have everything you need, frivolous purchases aren't exactly needed

This lesson kinda contradicts the previous lesson, but this one is a good one. Most of the time, when I or my siblings wanted something, she told us that we didn't really need it, especially if we didn't have the money to buy it. 


Since it was something that we didn't need, she wouldn't buy it for us. It was our responsibility to save our money and buy it ourselves if we really wanted it. 


This lesson also taught me patience with buying something. You don't always need to buy everything the moment you think you want it. If you wait a little, just because you want it in the moment, doesn't mean you really want it. It was just something that caught your eye. So over time, the want for it dissipates and the purchase doesn't actually happen so you end up saving even more money in the end by not making the purchase. 

If you want something, you have to work for the money and purchase it yourself

From about the age of 10, unless it was a birthday or Christmas present, my parents, but more specifically my mom, taught us that if there was something that we wanted and didn't really need, then we had to use our own money to buy it. 


My parents didn't buy us our cars or pay for college for my siblings or I. We were responsible for saving the money or obtaining the loans to be able to make the purchases ourselves. And personally, I love this lesson. Most of the kids in my high school, had their cars bought for them by their parents. But I had to buy my own car. And I valued my car so much more. My car lasted me for 8 years and it was 20 years old when I bought it!! I'm only on my second car right now (mainly because I love not having a car payment, but my car also runs perfectly even though it 10 years old!). 


The money is always available, and when you buy something yourself, you value that purchase even more. I have always been very caring of my stuff no matter what it is. And because of this, I don't have to replace it anywhere near as often as many other people, specifically my brother. 

You should save anywhere from 10-50% of what you make

I have always had a hard time with this lesson, even though it's a really good lesson. And I think I have a hard time with this lesson, because even though my mom said this, I never actually saw her saving money, just spending everything she had. 


When I got my first job outside of the farm, I was able to save some of my money, but my one bill that I had (car insurance) was more than 50% of my paycheck, so I wasn't able to save the 50% that I wanted to. 


But my next job that I got working in the P&G plant, I got a real paycheck and was able to save a lot of it. I worked there during the summers between college and each summer I saved most of my money and then used that during the school year to buy my books and other expenses for college. Since I still ended up spending the money during the school year, I never really learned about the aspect of saving money. 


I now have automatic transfers happen every time I get paid, so my savings happens automatically, because I learned the hard way that they just won't happen if I don't do this and that is because of this next lesson. 

money lessons my mom taught me

Spend all the money that you make

This lesson wasn't all just my mom, my dad had some input on this lesson too. But I learned that the amount of money that we have each month is limited and we need to spend it all. 


This lesson was also ingrained from a very young age at the grocery store. Every time my mom took my siblings and I grocery shopping with her, we would ask for things, I mean we were kids. She would always say "We can't afford it" and "This is all the money that we have right now." While this might be true, or she was just saying this to not have to say no to kids, what I really learned her was that you always spent the last of your money on your food. 


I used to spend the last of my money on food for years, until I started working on my money mindset and realized how deep this lesson was ingrained in my system and that I wasn't just spending the last of my money on food, I was wasting my money on food because I would buy so much extra food and end up having to throw it away because it went bad before I even ate it. 


So when I found this lesson in my subconscious, it was one of the first ones that I changed. I still buy way too much food, but I don't spend the last of my money on food. I also set up automatic transfers to my savings account each month so that I always have money left over at the end of each month. 

These are the lessons that I've learned from my mom while growing up. As you can see, there are some good ones and some not so good ones here. But now that I know better, I am able to change these lessons to be positive lessons for me and even teach my own children better lessons than what I learned. 


So what are the lessons that your mom taught you about money while you were growing up? They can be good or bad lessons. Just remember that our moms don't always teach us these lessons on purpose, but it's what they know.

Sharing is caring!

About the Author Clarissa

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.

>