With all the roles held by mothers and all the things they do for us, it seems their job is never done!
Caregiver. Chef. Teacher. Preacher. Disciplinarian. Nurturer.
Mother’s pour into our lives, invest time and energy to teach us life lessons, and give us guidance to overcome life’s obstacles. Whether you were raised by a single mom or in a dual-parent household, we can all pinpoint at least one financial habit we have developed today that was directly or indirectly influenced by our mother (or mother figure).
As I reflect on the financial lessons I’ve learned along the way, here are five money lessons I learned from my mom:
1 – Master the Principles of Fundraising. Whether to support my athletic pursuits or to send others on mission trips, my mom was a fundraising queen. As a child, I watched my mom develop and execute strategic plans, as well as a system of checks and balances, to raise money and track the inflows and outflows of funds. With a focus on building strong relationships and targeting larger donations from a few sources, my mom has collected more money for organizations and worthy causes than I could ever list. As an adult, I now apply these two fundraising principles to personal finance. I have built a strong relationship with my money (and with those who manage my money) by telling it where to go on a monthly basis. The principle of “much comes from few” is applied by making small, consistent contributions that will grow exponentially thanks to the gift of compound interest. While it’s rewarding to serve and raise funds for a worthy cause, be sure to also consider yourself a worthy cause and make donations to your financial future a number one priority.
2 – Sacrifice Today For Tomorrow’s Reward. As a working mom, I saw just how taxing the nursing profession could be. From the mental exertion that comes from managing people under duress to the physical demands of working odd and extended hours, my mom has always poured herself into the work she loves. As my siblings and I grew older, my mom took a break from work and ultimately forfeited money and promotion for the well-being of her family. She was there for homework, weekend games, and major milestones contributing to our growth and development. She managed our household with discipline and love and taught me, through her sacrifice, that there is more to value than the reward of a paycheck. The sacrifice she made then is evident today by the fruits of the responsible and productive adults she fostered. As it relates to personal finance, consider the short-term luxuries you can surrender today for the well-being of your financial future.
3 – Passion Pays. Even in retirement, my mom continues to pursue her passion of helping people – and it pays. Most recently, she has coupled her interest in parliamentary procedure and her passion for helping people into a profitable past time. By reinventing herself from a healthcare professional to a professional Parliamentarian, she now uses her knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order to assist people in need. So, think of the things you love to do. Take an inventory of your passions, talents, and interests and consider the ways you can marry them to become a profit engine.
4 – Seek the Counsel of Others. No matter the subject matter, my mom and her girlfriends have seen it all. They spend hours sharing and counseling one another through a variety of situations. The camaraderie and trust they share remind me of the scripture which reinforces the idea that groups tend to make better decisions than individuals. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed”. While you don’t need to call on committee with every decision you make, the more important the decision – especially when dealing with your finances – the more important it is to seek the advice of those who are knowledgeable and will have your best interest in mind.
5 – Always Invest In Yourself. After years of putting her children’s needs before her own, my mom refocused on a personal goal of continuing her education. Shortly after I completed college, my mom returned to college and accomplished the goal she set for herself years prior. Education is an appreciating asset when it is used to make you more marketable/competitive or helps you become a better version of yourself. Whether it’s returning to school, learning a new language, or refreshing a current skill, we should all be on a path of continuous learning. If you are feeling anxious or uncertain about your financial future, consider investing in a money management course or paying a certified financial advisor for guidance to help you set and attain your financial goals.