I have been privileged to grow up with a mum who has taught me and constantly shown me that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I could tackle any job, make as much money as any man, and control my own financial future if I was smart about it.
In a few days, she turns a year older – and I couldn’t be grateful to have her in my life.
Our families are often the first place we start to learn habits, so it can be helpful to reflect on these beliefs that underpin our perceptions of these, for the rest of our lives. My mother has and continues to impart a few key money lessons that still shape me today, and hopefully, they will help you too!
Money isn’t scary
Neither mine nor my mum’s career is in finance. However, from an early age, I was taught that money and numbers were nothing to be afraid of and that personal financial skills could be learned just like anything else you would need to know while growing up! She (and my dad) led by example, sitting and cranking away at bills.
If you want something, you have to work for the money and purchase it yourself
As a child, there was always something extra I wanted my parents to buy me. Once, we were having dinner and I told my mum that all my friends at school had savings accounts and I had none (comparison started early). That is the day she decided that we (my siblings and I) would have to work for part of our savings. From the house chores we did, we were all able to at least buy ourselves what we wanted.
There is no prince charming
No, not like that. I’m a sucker for love and romance, and I know that there is a prince that is perfectly charming who is waiting for me.
But, with all that, you shouldn’t count on him to fund your life or be the only one who handles financial issues. My mum taught me early on that it was up to me to understand financial basics – and to set myself up for a stable future regardless if I had a partner to share that with.
This meant her encouraging me to save right from the time I had allowances from working around the house because, in her (and my father’s) view, there was no need to wait until I get married to make investment decisions.
Save away (no matter how small the amount)
This is something that has honestly stuck with me so much so that whenever I stumble upon some amount of money, other than my monthly salary, my first thought is always how much I can afford to set aside.
My mother taught me the value of being thoughtful in distinguishing between what I want and need, and exercising patience when thinking about making any big purchases.
Keep an emergency fund
This is different from your savings.
While we never want to have to think about challenging issues and hope they don’t happen to us, having financial security can provide a sense of freedom and comfort knowing you always have your own resources to depend on.
Know your market value
My mum has held down numerous jobs not only to see us get the best of everything but also to pursue her goals and dreams. And that, she has done very well, without a doubt.
When I got a promotion at my place of work last year, she was quick in wanting to know just how much more that meant I would get! Haha
Her (and dad) knowing and constantly reminding me that I should always expect to be paid fairly for excellent work was enough to tell me to know my value.
I once traveled for a small vacation and texted my parents later to let them know that I was out of town. My mother called and said, “I’m glad you decided to treat yourself!” To be honest, I did not expect that from her!
For me, it was comforting to know that even though she greatly valued financial responsibility, there were times where she could feel justified by being a little bit out of bounds. My advice? For the most part, if you have saved, planned, and been thoughtful about your finances…. Sometimes, treat yourself.
See You Next Week!