Editor’s Note: This is the second in our Thankfulness series, where we focus on giving thanks and gratitude. Check out 5 Budget Friendly Ways To Give Back and stay tuned for future installments.
There’s an epidemic of financial illiteracy in the United States. According to Fortune, a study estimated that nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test. I am lucky because my mom taught me a lot about managing money, so I thought I’d write an open letter to my mom thanking her for what she taught me.
Hopefully, this letter resonates with others who had great money role models growing up and gives some insights to those who didn’t—or those who are looking to teach their kids now. Join us on Experian’s Facebook page and thank your mom, dad, or role model for what they taught you.
There are many people—rich and poor—who grow up without a great example of how to manage money. I’m so grateful to you for teaching me all that you did so I could be set up for success.
Thank you for teaching me that it can be fun to learn about money. I remember learning about percentages while shopping at the discount Macy’s with different color stickers that each indicated the different percentages off each item. We’d calculate what we could buy with a certain amount of money.
Thank you for teaching me how to budget and pay my credit card bills every month. While I didn’t always practice paying everything off in full, it taught me how important credit utilization is to your overall financial picture.
Thank you for teaching me that you don’t have to go into debt to get a bachelor’s degree. By taking advantage of scholarships, saving, and working hard you can get an undergraduate degree and still have money left to spend on a wedding.
Thank you for empowering me to make decisions myself. You didn’t tell me I could only attend certain colleges, but you did tell me that once the money you’d saved was gone, that I was on my own to pay for school. And I decided that I’d rather have an apartment than student loans (and was lucky to not have to get any loans until grad school).
Thank you for teaching me the importance of saving for retirement early on. After graduating, when I received some money as a gift, you matched my money to start a Roth IRA. While it didn’t seem very fun at the time, it was a great starting point for me.
Lastly, thank you for instilling an amazing work ethic in us. While we always had the basics, when we wanted extra things, you told us we could work to get it. Getting a job in high school allowed me to start saving and buying my own things and learn that nothing is handed to you. Understanding the value of money helped me with many things like budgeting and saving for the unexpected things that pop up.