Our parents are often the first money matter experts we encounter in our lives. We live with them, observe them, and end up replicating their lessons in our own financial activities.
Our mothers, like in most life matters, have the best advice to give when it comes to handling of finances. They speak from experience – having run entire households, managed multiple demands by multiple age-groups, and juggled multiple income streams across years and years of fluctuating inflationary pressures.
In short, it is near impossible, and probably a bad idea, to ignore their words of wisdom.
List It – Moms have a habit of drawing pragmatic lines between things that we ‘need’ and things that we just ‘want’. It is a policy that can serve us well at any age and at any level of income. Preparing dedicated ‘priority lists’ helps us get a clearer hold on our aspirations, and can save us from investing in luxuries while our necessities lag. Plus, some important things, like healthcare, cost more. Don’t penny-pinch there.
Work for Future Growth but Prepare for Disappointments – The ‘Mom Advice’ on the importance of savings deserves to be made into posters and framed, and may be even prayed to every single day! In these inflationary times, we often are unable to prioritise savings, but deep down we know it is possible. A Fixed Deposit scheme, and other period-locked investment options are as prudent today as they have always been. They help curtail our liquid cash and thus our wanton spending. If voluntary savings are tricky, opt for SIP mutual fund schemes that debit specific amounts right from your account. Keep a smart mix of risky and safe investments active at all times.
No Amount is too Small – Don’t ever look down on the humble piggy-bank.
Delayed Gratification isn’t all that Bad! – We may resist the thought, but really that premium motorbike, that designer watch, that latest model of awesome touch-sensitive gadget, can indeed wait.
Don’t Over-Lean On Your Partner – Whether you are employed or are a home-maker, it is important to have sole control of individual finances. Locking all savings in joint accounts and schemes can breed financial insecurities. It is also important that just one of the partners not feel over-burdened with all the financial decisions and ups-and-downs.
Pay Bills on Time – We all grow up learning that procrastination is a bad idea, be it when finishing homework, or in paying that long-due Credit Card bill. Make it a habit to pay on time, avoid late fees, and keep anxiety at bay.
Remain in Love with Sales/Discounts – If you can get two of something for the price of one, do not ever forget to check it out! Expensive doesn’t always mean better, you know.
Borrow, but Only as a Last Resort – Accumulating debt, institutional or otherwise, is a bad idea. Relying on savings as much as possible is the oldest Mom tip. In times of distress, borrow, but repay the liabilities in time, especially the cash flow sees an upturn.
When Marooned, Ask Help! – All of us get stuck with money troubles at some point or the other. It is smarter to seek constructive and timely help instead of burying one’s head in the ground and hoping things would just even out. Economics doesn’t work that way!
Invest in Happiness – On some days, a stay-in meal in front of the TV will be more relaxing than a visit to the multiplex. Know exactly what your needs are and put your money there. Putting up pretences and trying to catch up with others is, ultimately, pointless if it doesn’t make your life more content.