As long as I can remember my mother always taught my brother and I to save. She never really told us what we were saving for, but she made it clear that we must always save.
My mother always believed in hard work and consistently had three jobs at a time. She was so good at managing what she had that I didn’t even know we were broke. When I was really young, I honestly thought everyone had cockroaches and mice. I also thought everyone’s mother worked three jobs. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I realized we were broke and in order for us to have the things we had, my mom had to have all those jobs. Yes I was naive.
I don’t ever remember my mom complaining about not having any money, she would just hustle to get it. All she cared about was taking care of her kids, and that was very clear to us. We always had everything we needed and most importantly we had love.
Working hard is something we learned really early in life. My first job was at 12 delivering flyers. I absolutely hated that job, I still remember it 20 years later. My mother and I would sit in the living room every single weekend and put the flyers together. We had to take each flyer and place them in the cover flyer. Sometimes there would be 6 or 7 flyers, so it took some time to put them all together. After we were finished we had to hand deliver them to each house. It didn’t matter if it rained or snowed, we were out there delivering those flyers. My mother never complained about the weather or having to go with me every single weekend. She just did it to teach me discipline and hard work.
When I got my first paycheck, my mom made it very clear that she was going to deposit the whole check in my bank account. I was not happy at all because I wanted to spend my money, not save it. Of course I realized when I got older the importance of saving.
My mother is a huge giver and taught us very early in life the importance of giving money to our church. That was something else I didn’t like doing. I gave, but not with a good heart. I gave simply because I had no choice.
Something else that I remember clearly is that my mom never racked up debt. If she didn’t have the money to do something, she would either look for another job to earn the money, or she wouldn’t buy it. I only remember her using her credit card to pay for trips we would go on, and as soon as she got that credit card bill in the mail, she took care of it.
When I think of how my mother handled money when I was younger, it’s quite similar to how I handle my money today. Although I hated delivering flyers, it taught me that I have to work for what I want. I’ve been working ever since.
Giving money to my church was also a struggle when I was younger, but I am gladly giving now, even though it took me a long time to get to this point. I’ve realized that I am much happier when I give then when I don’t give.
I also never racked up a whole lot of debt. My main debt was my mortgage and car loan, and I didn’t get my first credit card until I was about 23 years old. So all in all, what I learned from my mother as a child has significantly impacted the way I handle money today.
What did your parents teach you about money and how has it impacted your life today?