The Best Money Advice From Mom

Personal finance experts remember their mothers’ financial wisdom – both sentimental and practical.

Personal finance experts remember their mothers’ financial wisdom – both sentimental and practical.
By SHARE

When we go to professionals like a financial adviser or accountant for advice, we aren't only consulting that person, if you think about it. We're all vessels of what we've learned throughout our lives. So when we consult with a financial planner or a stockbroker, we're also getting advice they've filtered through a magazine article they read over breakfast, knowledge passed onto them from colleagues or college professors and certainly lessons learned from their parents. So in honor of Mother's Day, we're offering up some money tips – advice from the mothers of personal finance professionals throughout the country.

You're the hero of your own story.

"There is no Prince Charming that is going to ride up on a white horse and save you financially … at least not forever. Don't depend on anyone to pay your way in life – get an education and pay your own way. It's important to stand on your own two feet so no one will ever be able to take away your ability to make money and live the life you imagined."

This was advice often given to Samantha Fraelich-Rohe, vice president of Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates, a certified financial planning firm in Chevy Chase, Md. Fraelich's mother, Jeanne, 54, was a single mother who scrubbed people's floors during the day and then came home to raise three children.

[See 50 Smart Money Moves to Make Now.]

Budget – for everything.

"When I got my first job as a bag boy for a neighborhood grocery store, I would take my weekly paycheck to one of the cashiers and turn it into cash. I would then take the cash home where my mom taught me to set up several envelopes for different categories of spending. Some went in the gas envelope – but not much, since gas for my car was only about 35 cents per gallon. Another envelope for personal expenses like haircuts, because I actually had hair back then. Yet another for car insurance, and that one got rather thick with cash because that bill only came in every six months ... You get the idea. She did not call it such at the time, but my mom was teaching me how to budget."

Mike Davis is the founder and CEO of Resource Consulting Group, a financial planning and wealth management firm in Orlando, Fla. His mother was Elizabeth Bach Davis, who died three years ago at the age of 93.

There is a difference between a want and a need.

"For many years, my mother raised my sister and me by herself. Additionally, she ran her own small business, drove us to school, taught us valuable life lessons, and managed the household finances ... She explained to me that we needed to spend wisely, and while some toys, food items, clothes and other accessories were enticing, we had greater needs, such as providing nutritious meals, a safe home and a quality education for my sister and I."

Jamie Patrick Hopkins is an assistant professor of taxation at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. His mother is Jane Hopkins, 56, owner of J&J Hopkins Contractors, Inc., a gutter installation and contractor company in Ellicott City, Md.

Saving now means you can spend later.

"What I really learned by watching my mom wait in patience for a new stove or other household items was the value of true financial contentment. The sense of gratification on her face when she was finally able to buy the needed item with cash created in me the conviction not only to avoid debt – buying now and saving later – but also to live a life of gratitude and contentment, whether I had little or a lot."

Steven B. Smith is CEO of Finicity, the maker of Mvelopes, a free online budgeting service, and author of "Money for Life." His mother, Gloria, 77, who lives in Cedar City, Utah, was a child of the Great Depression and, with her husband, had little choice but to be careful with their money. They raised 11 children.

Before you make a big financial decision, think long and hard.

"If you have a big decision – financial or otherwise, T-Chart the pros and cons. It helps you make a sound decision. Whether it is something as small as buying a vehicle or as large as launching a new business, this process helps you take the emotion out of the decision."