"Like Mother, Like Daughter"
My mother used to clip coupons as she watched TV every night. Every time she entered a grocery store, the flyers featuring that week’s specials would inform her shopping.
These small exercises reaped substantial results: Every time she went grocery shopping she would save anywhere from $20-$50 dollars--just from clipping coupons and taking advantage of weekly offers. Each month she’d have an extra $80-$200 to spend on little things that made her happy.
Sure, coupon clipping isn’t fun, but it allows you to enjoy other niceties, in the same way that working out allows one to eat rich foods once in a while.
My mother also taught me that instead of living beyond my means, I should find ways to make my ideal life fit within my means. It helps to find areas that you wouldn’t mind cutting back on, in order to afford the things that you really enjoy. When I allow myself a nice meal out, I avoid any kind of clothing shopping, and vice versa.
How Family Affects our Financial Views
In many ways, the age-old saying, "like mother, like daughter" rings true for many attitudes toward personal finances. Research shows that your family’s socioeconomic status has an important effect on your cognitive skill and socio-emotional development, which in turn, affect your attitude toward money. Apart from the obvious tangible benefits that parents with high incomes can bequeath to their children, there is evidence that parents can also pass on distinct personality characteristics such as extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and intellectual openness--traits that impact your professional success and financial habits.
We asked LearnVesters how they thought their mothers and family members affected their attitudes toward money. One shared how she has difficulty talking about money with anyone, as her family never talked about it openly. Another LearnVester, a 27-year-old Associate at an investment bank, also knows that her family’s values made an impact. "My mother was a traditional stay-at-home mom, and I grew up with the message that women needed a man who could provide for the family. My parents' struggle with finances made me realize this method was defunct, and I decided I would never let my finances be contingent upon someone else."
Think about how your family has affected your attitude about finances and your money-behavior. Do you see similarities? Have you taken away something you wanted to change? Regardless of what you've taken from them, the important thing to realize is that you took something. Embrace what your past has taught you, it’s the only way to move forward.