Following my mother’s wisdom

Donna Willan Latest, Money cents

Following my mothers wisdom

Some readers may recall my column where I reflected on the five money tips my mother taught me. I wanted to go back to that column and check in a bit. Am I following the money tips, and are my children learning them?

First, let’s remind ourselves what the money tips were. My mother always said:

  1. Budget together as a family, even with the children. They are never too young. That way, everyone knows how much money there is and everyone takes responsibility for the spending decisions.
  2. Identify what you need and save for it. Only buy it once you have saved the money and avoid debt.
  3. Always have a slush fund for emergencies. No matter how small, keep a little something stashed away.
  4. No matter how broke you are, always have peanut butter, toilet paper and cheap wine.
  5. No matter how broke you are, always help others in need.

Wow – again I am impressed by my mother’s wisdom, these are good money tips (especially given how poor she was).

So how am I doing? Am I following these money tips? Yes, I budget with my children – but the little one (nearly seven) still doesn’t get that when the money is gone its gone. The other day she said, “But Mama take your card to the wall, it will give you money.” Classic.

We don’t have debt (bond aside), we have a small slush fund, we help others where we can. But the other day we ran out of peanut butter – outrageous! That was more a sign of chaos then poor money habits though. And I must confess I prefer to interpret number four to mean ‘good wine’ and not ‘cheap wine’ – the joys of moving into the middle class!

Thank you, mom, I think you taught me well. Now I must seek to teach my children these money tips.

In my next column, I am going to reflect on what to do when your take home salary is cut by R4 500!


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