Our mothers are often our primary source of wisdom and advice, and when it comes to finances, they play a crucial role. The lessons they impart can significantly impact our financial attitudes and decisions as adults. As Mother’s Day approaches, our team gathered to reflect on the enduring financial wisdom passed down by the remarkable women who have shaped our lives.

  1. “Save for the unexpected.”

One of the invaluable financial lessons I learned from my mom is to always “Save for the unexpected.” It is easy to pretend emergencies will never happen, but an emergency fund can help make sure you don’t need to rely on a credit card when the washer breaks, you need new tires, and the dog needs to go to the vet in the same month.  Putting aside a small amount each month until you can cover 3-5 months of expenses provides a safety net. And if you have to dip into the emergency fund, replacing the funds as soon as possible is key.

  1. “Budget for less-frequent expenses throughout the entire year.”

My mom had a smart approach for handling less-frequent expenses like annual insurance premiums or holiday spending. She would set aside cash in an envelope each month so that when the bill arrived, she was prepared. While I prefer digital banking, I still follow her method by dividing one-time expenses by 12 and including them in my monthly budget. This way, I am accounting for it throughout the year.

  1. “Don’t buy once what you can’t pay for twice.”

Before making a purchase, my mom always advised me to consider its financial impact. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal if it doesn’t fit into your budget. Asking myself, “How will this purchase impact me financially?” has saved me from unnecessary debt many times.

  1. “Pay off your credit card in full each month.”

Credit cards can be helpful tools, but only if used responsibly. My mom instilled in me the importance of paying off credit card balances in full each month to avoid accumulating debt. The compounding interest on outstanding balances can quickly snowball, leading to financial stress.

  1. “Don’t rely solely on a partner/spouse – collaborate and share info.”

While it’s common for one partner to manage household finances, my mom taught me the importance of collaboration and transparency. Even if you’re not the one handling finances, understanding and being involved in financial decisions is crucial. Relying solely on a partner can leave you vulnerable if circumstances change.

  1. “Good credit will open many doors.”

Establishing good credit early can have long-lasting benefits. My mom added me as an authorized user to her credit card when I was 18, which boosted my credit score and set me up for financial success. Good credit can pave the way for housing, transportation, and even job opportunities.

  1. “Don’t give what you don’t have.”

My mom taught me to prioritize my own financial obligations before helping others. While generosity is admirable, putting yourself in a tough financial spot to help someone else isn’t sustainable. Taking care of your own financial well-being ensures you’re in a position to help others in the long run.

  1. “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. But don’t spend money you don’t have!”

Retail therapy can be tempting during stressful times, but my mom cautioned against using it as a coping mechanism. Treating yourself occasionally is fine, but spending beyond your means only adds to financial stress. It’s essential to practice self-control and spend within your budget.

  1. “Pay your bills on time. Late fees are a waste of money.”

Keeping track of due dates and paying bills on time is a simple yet crucial financial habit. Late fees and overdraft charges can quickly add up, draining your finances unnecessarily. Staying organized and on top of your payments saves money in the long run.

  1. “Save for the things you want to buy.”

My mom taught me the importance of saving for future purchases by adopting a simple system: for every dollar earned, save 25 cents in your piggy bank. This habit instilled in me the value of delayed gratification and the satisfaction of achieving financial goals.



What were your mom’s money messages growing up?  How did they impact you? Share with us!


This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the role our mothers have had in shaping our present financial habits and attitudes.  Here’s to you, Mom, and all the awesome moms out there!



About the Author

Samantha Vicchiarelli, ChFC®

Samantha’s journey into financial planning was inspired by her own personal experience of unexpectedly becoming a caregiver for an aging parent. Faced with the task of managing financial decisions without proper guidance, she felt compelled to channel her insights into assisting others facing similar challenges, providing them with the guidance and resources needed for peace of mind.

The ChFC® is the property of The American College of Financial Services, which reserves sole rights to its use, and is used by permission.