As I reflect this Mother’s Day on how grateful I am for being a mom, I am reminded that the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life are from other mothers.
One of those amazing mothers happens to be my very own. Looking back, my mother provided me with such invaluable guidance, and I’m incredibly grateful for her and those fantastic lessons.
When it came to money in particular, my mother had a knack for being frugal and overall, making good financial choices. It was an art. She demonstrated her practices throughout my childhood and has shaped my money habits today, allowing me to create that same healthy relationship she had with money.
But whether it was my own mother or another mom, I want to share some valuable lessons I’ve learned from moms this Mother’s Day.
Teach Your Kids That Stuff Costs Money
I was able to learn this lesson very early on and passed it along to my children.
It’s important to teach our kids the value of money at a young age. If they ask for something, tell them the price of it. But don’t stop there, help them count out the money and then make them hand it to the cashier.
If they are older, have them work through making choices about the money they spend as it creates the necessary habits for excellent reasoning skills later on.
Teaching our kids that money has value and they need to work for it is an important lesson and one they can learn early on.
Be Careful About How You Talk About Money
How we think and feel about money is formed at a young age.
Having our children grow up around phrases like “we’ll never be rich" or “how can we afford it?" can create a toxic relationship with money.
Instead, reframe your thoughts by saying things like “we’ll have to save X amount of money to do X" or “if we live within our means we can avoid having to cut back later on."
Phrases like this create the opportunity for our children to understand that it’s not just about money today but also the importance of having money to take care of future needs, allowing us to create overall security.
Know What’s Going On
One of the worst things we can do as mothers is not know what’s going on with our money.
Know your credit score, know how much you have in your retirement and savings accounts, and understand what your monthly expenses are.
Always ask questions and insist that you are informed. Don’t just let it slide to the back of the list.
The more involved you are with your money, the more prepared and capable you will feel about making critical decisions.
Don’t just leave it to your partner.
Life Insurance is More Than Just a Death Benefit
My role in our family is not only a caregiver but an income earner and a vital part of the household.
I’ve gone through many ups and downs in my life, like having my children, then being a single mom, and getting married again – and the one thing that has been a “life saver" (pun intended) is my life insurance policy.
Before my divorce, I was a stay at home mom so when I needed to pay for the divorce, I didn’t have my own income to turn to, and I didn’t want to drain my savings to pay for it. So I used the cash value from my whole life policy to pay for it. And once I started earning more money, I was able to pay the money back into the policy so I can have it to use again if needed.
I realized quickly that buying that policy was the best thing I ever did! Not only do I know that my family will be well taken care of if something were to happen, but I also know we have a safety net to access money from and we won’t have to dip into our retirement savings account.
Mother to mother, I think these are lessons we can all find valuable. Share with us an important lesson your mother has passed onto you, or one you’ve passed onto your children!
Ande has made it her mission to break down the emotional, behavioral and societal barriers that stand between women and strong financial foundations.
She's widely recognized as a driving force in the financial community, having risen to the top of the primarily male-dominated insurance world as the former head of a multi-million-dollar fintech company and a VP at Penn Mutual.
Ande launched myWorth to inspire a financial awakening among women who are eager to take control of their financial journeys. Her first book will be published in October 2019.