On the occasion of Mother’s Day, here are 6 key money lessons I have learned from my mom that have transformed my financial life for the better.
I am lucky to have my mother next to me as I navigate the many twists and turns of life. She has been my pillar of support, my best cheerleader and on many occasions, my partner in crime too. I’ve learned a lot about living life skilfully, boldly and responsibly just by observing her. But the one quality that I admire the most in her is the smart and brutal practicality with which she manages money.
So, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, here are 6 key money lessons I have learned from my mom that have transformed my financial life for the better.
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Never Underestimate Yourself
In other words, you should know your worth. You are priceless as an individual and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But whether you are doing a job or running your own business, you should know the right price for your skill set.
While you shouldn’t let over-confidence get the better of you, you shouldn’t undermine yourself either in the face of competition. Never hesitate to ask for a raise in your salary or higher returns on your investments.
But remember, your demands shouldn’t be unmerited. In this world of fierce competition, we have to continually work towards improving our skill sets. So before you ask somebody to invest in you, make sure you invest in yourself by learning new skills and then show it in your work.
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Who asked you to become a miser?
The thing about money management is that you tend to swing too much in one direction all the time. As a spendthrift, I couldn’t stop shopping, but when I started managing my money well, I couldn’t find the heart to spend all that cash I so painstakingly saved. I became a miser.
In spite of a healthy bank account, I used to feel miserable about not being able to buy things I wanted. Once again, mom came to the rescue. We went shopping and somewhere during the retail-therapy session, I was taught an important lesson on money management – the whole point of saving and multiplying your money is to live a better life. So it’s fine to indulge yourself once in a while. In fact, spending without going broke works as an incentive enough to stick to your budget.
I learned that financial happiness is found not when you stop spending, but when you learn to spend wisely without damaging your savings and investments.
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You Should Work Towards Your Happily Ever After Too…
This was, by far, the most important lesson my mother has taught me.
Women, oftentimes, get overly-dependent on their husbands, fathers or brothers for decisions on money matters. It’s always good to take guidance, but at the end of the day, nobody understands your needs better than you. Hence, this makes you the best person to make decisions about your money.
So it’s good to understand the basics of finance as this will help you take the best financial decisions for yourself. Moreover, always seeking the help of somebody else can land you in a soup or stranded if the person is not available.
Knowledge of finance empowers you to take control of your financial life.
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Face your fears; keep a budget
Many of us don’t keep a budget because we don’t want to accept or face our dwindling financial situation. It’s painful, so we avoid it. However, this only makes matters worse.
So when my bank account ran dry—due to the absence of a budget, overspending and not keeping a tab on my expenses—I had to turn to my mother for help. She bailed me out, but I had to learn the importance of budgeting and start following it.
Mothers, without a hint of doubt, are the best budget keepers. They always have a plan for everything, regularly note down expenses and always know when to tweak their strategy to get the maximum bang for their buck. And they do this by analysing the household expenditure balance sheet regularly. Whether it’s a mega budget or a shoestring budget, they can stick to both with the ease of an experienced financial manager.
This is something I’ve learnt to do now. And, boy, it did wonders for my finances. Budgeting is not about restricting your life, but about understanding exactly how far you can stretch your finances without burning a hole in your pocket. And the only way to chart a fail-proof financial plan is by knowing where you stand. So no matter what your finances look like, always keep a budget.
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Don’t Neglect Savings
I admit it’s not easy to save if you are a spendthrift. On the contrary, some people just have the knack for it. Mothers surely do. My mother has bailed me out on many occasions and then one day gave me a class on the importance of saving and even helped me lay out a plan. Now, I have two different pools of savings to my rescue.
Copying my mother’s plan, I keep one pool for emergencies, an emergency fund, and the other one is created keeping in mind my short-term goal.
So rather than buying a big ticket item in one go, I plan ahead and start saving for it. So if I want to buy a smartphone or go on a holiday then I start investing a certain sum every month in a Recurring Deposit or a Liquid Fund. These investment options give me the freedom to withdraw my funds easily and also give me returns, adding value to my corpus.
Set Goals & Start Investing
If you want to be successful, then you have to set goals. Goals help you visualise and plan a roadmap.
The same is true for your finances. Investing without setting goals is akin to shooting in the dark. You will reap benefits from your investments but not as much as you could have.
If your goals are to buy a house, a car, travel the world, or all of them, then you have to plan accordingly. An important part of investing is educating yourself about the various investment options. Once you know which investments best match your goals, then you can start building an investment portfolio.
For example, if you want to buy a house or save for your retirement days, then you can invest in equity-diversified Mutual Funds. These funds ride out the short-term market volatility and give inflation beating returns in the long term. The best part is you can invest in Mutual Funds via a systematic investment plan (SIP).
If you want to be financially independent then investing has to be at the top of your mind. It’s the best way to multiply your wealth.
Ready to take the first step towards a better financial life? Start by investing today. We have everything from Mutual Funds to Fixed Deposits.