Take some advice from mom!

With moms, every moment can easily turn into a “teachable” moment. From day one, mothers begin the process of transferring their wisdom and values to their children. In fact, a recent NFCC study found that 44 percent of consumers named parents as their primary teachers of financial habits—the basics of spending and saving are learned at home long before they’re taught at school.

As Mother’s Day approaches, apply some of mom’s conventional wisdom to your financial situation — coupled with tips from the financial experts here at MMI.

  • “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”  Think about how you spend your money, and don’t go beyond your means. Reserve any money left over at the end of the month for savings — you never know when an unexpected expense may arise.
  • “Do as I say, not as I do.”  If you were not taught good financial habits growing up, start now. Good habits you learn now can be passed down to your children, starting a new generation of financial responsibility.
  • “Do I look like I am made of money?”  Studies show that nearly 80 percent of women consider themselves the primary spender in their household, but don’t let this be the only thing your children see you do. Make an effort to discuss saving, long-term goal planning and budgeting with children so they learn there’s more to money than bills and shopping.
  • “If I catch you doing that one more time …"  We’re all guilty of using that “for emergencies only” credit card on a selfish splurge, but have we ever looked to see how much it adds up to be in the long run? Track spending for 30 days to see just how much small insignificant purchases add up to be in the end.
  • “Eat every bite.”  Remember that every little bit counts. Place your spare change in a jar, along with any extra money that is above your regular monthly income, and deposit it into your savings account monthly.
  • “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?”  You are in control of your money, and your budget should be unique to your personal needs and lifestyle. Stick with it, regardless of how others around you are spending.

As much as it hurts to admit it that your mother was right, her common sense tips, when applied to your pocketbook, can lead to financial stability and success. After all, as mother says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Tanisha (Warner) Smith is a former communications manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.