In a few short days, it’ll be time to once again recognize the most important woman in many of our lives.
Yes, Mother’s Day is almost here — it falls on May 14 this year. You haven’t forgotten, have you?
While you’re thinking about how best to thank her this year, consider some of the ways that your mom helped marshal the family resources, and helped you learn how to save and spend money. Did she help you make your first purchase? Did she help you set up a savings account, or send you to the store for a carton of milk?
As a tribute to mothers everywhere, Money Talks News hit the streets to find out the top financial lessons people learned from their mothers.
Here’s what we heard people say about maternal money wisdom. Turns out, moms are a sensible bunch.
1. Spend less than you make
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That’s the advice Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s mom gave him and, given that he took it and ran with it, she gets credit for helping turn him into the personal finance expert he is today.
Her words of wisdom underscore the most basic truth of money management: If you spend more than you make, you’re headed down the path to debt, stress and maybe even bankruptcy court.
As Stacy explains in “How I Got a Perfect 850 FICO Credit Score“:
“… I’ve never paid a bill late. That’s not because I’ve always been wealthy and it’s not because I’ve never lost a job, gotten divorced or otherwise experienced financial catastrophe. The secret? Spending less than you make. Do this, and you’ll automatically create a cash cushion that will come in handy when push inevitably comes to shove.”
2. Borrow only as a last resort
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Stacy’s mom also advised him never to borrow unless absolutely necessary.
Getting a mortgage may be unavoidable in the modern world, but we doubt Ma Johnson would approve of going into debt for a big-screen TV.
3. Save for a rainy day
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Another piece of money advice regularly dispensed by moms is to save for a rainy day. One day it’s going to pour — and despite what Geri Halliwell says, it won’t be raining men.
Be ready for those emergencies by having a dedicated savings account, preferably a high-yield savings account. If you’re squeaking by financially, start by pinching pennies and work your way up. Eventually, you’ll want to have enough in the bank to cover at least three to six months’ worth of expenses.
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Moms want their kids to do better than they did. When we asked Money Talks News readers for their moms’ money advice, “Njmom” wrote that her mother told her: “Get a good education and be independent so you don’t have to put up with the crap I have to.”
Education can be an excellent investment: The average high school graduate earned a median $692 per week in 2016, compared with $1,156 for college graduates and $1,664 for people with doctoral degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
But college is not an automatic good deal. It takes planning. Tuition debt weighs down many graduates’ lives — the average graduate carries an estimated $29,000 to $41,000 in loan balances. The lesson: Get your college education as cheaply as you can.