Mother’s Day falls on May 12 this year. You haven’t forgotten, have you?
While you’re thinking about how best to thank Mom this year, consider some of the ways she helped marshal the family resources and taught you to save and spend money.
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
That’s the advice Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s mom gave him. 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 Credit Score in 4 Steps“:
“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
Stacy’s mom also advised him never to borrow unless absolutely necessary.
Getting a mortgage may be unavoidable in the modern world — and, even then, you should compare rates so you don’t spend too much — but we doubt Ma Johnson would approve of going into debt for a big-screen TV.
3. Save for a rainy day
Moms often suggest saving for a rainy day. One day, it’s going to pour.
Eventually, you’ll want to have enough in the bank to cover at least three to six months’ worth of expenses.
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 $730 per week in 2018, compared with $1,198 for college graduates and $1,825 for people with doctoral degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.