Happy Mother’s Day!!!
To all those who created and/or raised minions of the child variety.
Can we all be a little honest, being acknowledged and pampered one day out of the year is not enough!!! Honestly today I want to not have to worry about another human being. Not feel like I have to do anything. Sit around, do all the things that make me happy and have food I love delivered. That is a perfect Mother’s Day.
No purchase necessary.
Alas, today I am scheduled to work at the hospital.
Don’t get me wrong, typically I glaze over these “holidays” anyways. I’m not the biggest fan of them. But on this day we celebrate mother’s I will divulge a few lessons I learned from my mother about finances. Lessons I learned but didn’t necessarily understand in the moment.
1. Know Where Your Money is Going
I can remember always seeing my mom balance her checkbook. Each paycheck she would make sure there was enough money for bills and then enough left over for everything else we needed. We didn’t have much extra but we always had enough. I resisted balancing my accounts when I was younger, never understood it, now I budget and track every month. I see the point, now.
2. Don’t Use Credit Cards as Cash
This was a lesson I would learn from observation. I never knew how my parents would use their credit cards, but it seemed like when Christmas came around there would be talk about credit card balances, again. Seeing this behavior taught me to never leave a balance on my credit card. Which has served me well and created great habits of using a credit card for the miles but never having to pay interest.
3. Save Money
I learned this one from my observations, too. I don’t ever remember my parents having a substantial emergency fund. Money was saved then spent on something. I used to think $500-$1,000 was an impressive savings and that was probably enough for a long time and it sufficed. When I got older this thinking followed me into my adult life. I was frugal but didn’t have substantial savings.
4. Frugality, Only Getting What you Need, Not More
My mom embodied frugality, we’d shop at at least three different stores to get good deals on groceries. She would rarely spend money on herself. She had enough and nothing more. I feel like I have embraced this in my life too. Although, I would like to be more of a free spender, sometimes I always fall back on the thought, do I really need that in my life? The answer is typically no. No, you don’t need more things to fulfill your life, what you have is enough.
Those are four things I watched my mother do or not do that taught me to not screw up my finances too bad. It wasn’t until I was adulting for 9 years that I learned more about financial literacy. I can say without a doubt that if I would have stuck to those lessons learned I would not have accomplished much with my life. I would have remained a consumer and mindless spender.
Don’t worry, my parents are not stuck in that cycle, either. They have an emergency fund, have a plan to pay off their house by retirement, and are saving for their retirement in about 7 years. It’s nice being able to have conversations with them about their finances and learn together.
I cannot wait to hear my daughter’s perspective on our finances when she is older and see what lessons she learned from us.
Happy Mother’s Day.