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Budgeting & Saving

Mama Knows Best: Financial Tips from My Favorite Lady

Where would we be without our moms? Their wisdom has guided most of us in big ways and small, whether it has to do with tying our shoes or learning the difference between right and wrong. Our mothers also help shape the relationship we have with money.

Experian asked personal finance bloggers and others on social media about the best financial tips that came from Mom. The answers all contained smart motherly wisdom.

Advice on Work and Making Your Own Money

Work Is the Foundation

"My mom taught me a deep respect for all forms of work — whether manual labor or mental labor. She taught me that work and dignity go hand in hand."

—William Dwight, Family Finance Favs

Self-Reliance Is the Road to Success

"Learn to be self-reliant! My mom was a side hustler before it was called that and she taught me having one job is nice, but having 2+ jobs is even better. Not necessarily work yourself to death, but always have a backup plan in case something happens to your first job. Also, sometimes side jobs can introduce you to passions you never knew you had!"

—Melissa Berry, Sunburnt Saver

You're Your Best Asset

"The number one money tip from my mom: continually invest in yourself."

—Kate Dore, Cashville Skyline

Make Your Own Wealth

"My own mom taught me that I had to EARN money to SPEND money, so I became an entrepreneur at age 7."

—Ellie Kay, family finance expert

Advice on Spending and Saving

Saving Is Key

"My mom taught me there are no small savings and little amounts add up. That's why she managed to have paid for a place in an expensive area on a teacher's salary. From not wasting food to using your stuff a few more months before replacing it really adds up."

—Pauline Paquin, Reach Financial Independence

Focus on the Long Game

"Save!... My mom was always thinking about the long game and about putting money into investments, not wasting your money on small things."

—Jackie Lam, freelance financial writer

Always Be Prepared

"My mom taught me to save a certain percentage of income every month for unexpected expenses."

—Sumaira Khan

Control Your Impulses

"She has always taught me and my brothers delayed gratification. She advises us not to buy something on impulse, but rather to wait, set aside the money to buy it, and to do our research so we are getting the best deal."

—Bethany Bayless, Wanderlust For Less

Grandmas Give Good Advice, Too

"I'd love to share a time-tested piece of money brilliance from my beloved Nana: ‘Make sure you are spending last week's paycheck, not next week's.'"

—Debbie Todd, 1 Hour Impact

Never Pay Retail

"My mom taught me to always, always, always look for a sale. Or figure out a way to get a discount. In fact, even when there isn't a sale, you should ask if there's any way a merchant can sweeten the deal. You never get what you don't ask for. Paying retail is for suckers."

—Ismat Mangla, personal finance writer at Experian

Advice on Odds and Ends

Don't Skip the Fine Print

"The financial tip I give my kids is: Always read the fine print. The smaller the font, the more important the information is."

—Debbie Kohl Schwartz, Road2College

Build a Strong Foundation

"My mom taught me that habits matter. Even as our family's income increased growing up, my mom kept her frugal roots. That meant repurposing clothes, buying generic food (as much as I wanted to real thing), and cooking a family meal each night."

—R.J. Weiss, The Ways to Wealth

Budget for Everything, Including Charitable Giving

"My mom started me on a budget when I was five years old. I had three envelopes: One for spending, one for saving and one for giving. When I was five, I got two or three bucks [for allowance]...I got to decide how much money went into each envelope, but I had to put something into each one. Even as I got older and my allowance increased, that decision was up to me, as long as I was putting something into each envelope. That taught me the balance of covering every aspect of your life and what's important to you."

—Eva Baker, Teens Got Cents

Do More with Less

"My mother ran a part-time business, creating custom-made draperies and slipcovers. I began helping her at the age or 11 or 12. I learned that I could create a beautiful space without spending a lot of money."

—Patricia Fox, clinical psychologist

Talk with Your Kids About the Value of Things

"If you're like me and you usually have a kid or two with you when grocery shopping, share with them the cost of the things you buy. Discuss what are the needs and what are the wants in your cart. Don't be afraid to tell them you can't afford something. It seems many parents just say ‘no' but don't explain why. I don't mind telling my kids ‘Mommy worked X hours to buy that.'"

—Jennifer White, credit education and awareness at Experian


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
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