The best financial advice my mom ever gave me helped sustain our family through financial hardships. I hope this advice will encourage you!
I am often asked how our family survived the Great Recession on a low income.
As a 1980 baby, I grew up in a generation that entered adulthood with more financial mishaps and fewer opportunities for financial gain than both that of our parents and grandparents.
But that doesn’t mean we need to wallow in self-pity.
When we were just barely making it, I was able to look back to the frugal life under which my parents raised me and draw from their wisdom in making every penny stretch.
There are several areas in which my mom–or really both of my parents–armed me with financial wisdom:
The Best Financial Advice My Mom Ever Gave Me
1. Don’t pay more than necessarily.
My parents were always looking for a bargain.
Clipping coupons and shopping at discount stores were their game, and they played it well.
I learned how to shop for clothes by entering the store and instantly heading for the clearance racks!
2. Don’t Live Above Your Means.
Living at or below your means is one of the best ways to save money.
Admittedly, this is hard or even impossible if you are living on a low income, but if you are middle class or above, strive to live on less money than you are making.
Refusing to use credit cards, adhering to a lower grocery budget, and buying a house smaller than the bank says you can afford will all make a big impact toward future financial security!
My parents could have afforded brand new vehicles and expensive lunches out, but, instead, they chose to drive used cars, and my dad brown-bagged lunches for the majority of his 40-year career in hospital administration.
Were they made fun of a few times because of this?
You bet, but my mother was able to stay at home with her children, my dad retired at 63, and they funded all three of their children through Christian school and college.
Living below their means in the little areas paid off big in the more significant areas of their lives!
3. Don’t reveal your income.
Although my parents taught me and my siblings how to live a frugal lifestyle, they never revealed their income to us, or anyone.
My mom and dad taught me that how much money someone makes should be a very private subject–one that you only share with your spouse.
Revealing your income can change the way people think about you. It can alter relationships and even bring out those who want to use you.
It can also take the focus off of the provider of that money–God–and onto the person who possesses it.
On the other hand, however, you should consider revealing your income to a trusted financial advisor. They really need to see your income in order to best help you.
We revealed our income to two trusted financial advisors who helped us make a plan to be more financially successful.
4. Don’t even try to keep up with the Joneses.
The riches of this world will all pass away. We can’t take our money or material goods to the grave.
There will always be those who have more and those who have less, but choosing to spend our money just to keep up with those around us will never bring us financial peace in the end.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.