Mother’s Money Lessons

In tribute to the upcoming Mother’s Day, here are some lessons learned from Mom.


When I was 16 years old my father died which left me without a father and left my mother with a son in a difficult time both with the loss and the difficult teen years.  What it taught me was to be strong, be focused on what you want, and that time is your friend.  Think of money matters in terms of being strong (control), be focused (set specific goals), and use time (save aggressively early on; time is your friend).

There are a few additional lessons I learned from my mother that others should impart onto their children:

1.     Create great first money memories

  • When I asked my co-workers what their first memory of money was, the number one answer was that they remember their parents fighting about money.
  • My mother’s first memory of money:
    • At the age of 13 I remember that I wanted a suede jacket SOOOO BAAAAD.  It was $50, a lot of money back then, and I paid for it in $1 bills
    • She learned the value of a dollar, how to control your money, setting a specific goal and enjoying the rewards of discipline (she told me she wore that jacket for a very long time).
  • Teach your children about money and incentivize them to save.
    • Your incentive system can be as simple as matching a dollar for every dollar they save from chores, babysitting, odd jobs etc.


2.     Work hard, pay bills on time, and have money for yourself even if it is a little; you need to have fun too!


3.     Be involved with your money

  • Work together with your spouse and don’t just let your spouse make all of the decisions. 
  • Start right from the beginning by putting a portion of your paycheck away into savings, even if it is a little.  By putting it away directly from your paycheck, you learn to live on less. 
  • Make sure you save at least 6 months of your regular expenses into a savings account where you have easy access in case of an emergency.


The old saying, “Mother knows best” is true in my life and if you are a mother, remember, you have the power to influence.  Last night I had dinner with a florist and he told me the average person buys flowers twice a year.  Maybe we can help out the florists of the world and give our mothers one extra delivery of flowers.



Paul J. Jarvis, CFP®

Mother: Peggy


Additionally, If you are looking for advice, seek help from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional that can look at your individual situation holistically.

1 Response

  1. Karen Bosh

    Excellent article. I wish all teens could read this and be better prepared for their future. I know a few who get a little money and spend it right away. Peggy is a smart mom.

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