Mother’s Day Special from DebtFarewell – Revisited the money & financial lessons taught by my mom
On the auspicious occasion of Mother’s Day, this is my heartfelt tribute to my dearest mom.
My mom – the best teacher I know ever, taught me each and every lesson of life that helps me to sail the lifeboat even in adverse situation. My mom was a single mom; she has brought both me and my sister all alone without compromising with our living, food, education or anything else though she always taught us to value for money. She used to hold an important post in a leading MNC that gave her financial support to run the family well but she lived within her means all the time and that lesson she taught us too.
I am ever grateful to my mom. Without her support, help and of course the lesson she taught me, especially regarding maintaining personal finance, I might not be able to run my family, raise my children and meet all requirements including financial requirements as a single mom efficiently.
I proudly say that my mom is pretty savvy in money management; rather she enjoys it. She did a great job modelling smart and wise money habits within me.
Here are some important money management lessons that she taught me and I want to teach those lessons to my children as well.
- Target the big picture – Like most parents, my mom also enjoyed saving and investment and that she taught me too. I made my first investment at the age of 17. But unlike others she taught me to focus on long term financial goal without which all the saving and investment strategies might lack any real focus.
- Know what wealth is – All that glitters is not gold – this was my mamma’s lesson. Wealth is not something that you see; it can be defined by what other people see. If you have money, people would believe it and that was her definition of wealth. I always try to make sure my money can provide me financial security. Instead of grandiose wealth shows, I believe in self contentment.measure of money is the sense of financial security.
- Discuss money matters with children – Money-management duty though as a single parent typically fall on me only, I always discuss it with my elder daughter as the smaller one is really very little to understand all these things. My God! She is only 4 years old….lolz! Nevertheless, my mom used to discuss money matters with me and my sister as we grew up – this was very empowering. And this demystification of money matters helped us later as we started handling money individually.
- Better to find a steady job – As I already told my mom was single, she never tried any risky job as the onus of running the family and bringing up the children was all her. And that lesson she always taught us; she never wanted us, especially me since I am a single mom, to get any risky job like a job of a stockbroker. At the same time, even now she keeps telling that nothing is safe and constant in life. No job is actually secured. Still we should not take the chance unless and until there is someone else in our family to take financial care of the family in case we lose a job.
- Try to develop a clear perception – My mother worked really hard to support our family. She lived and taught us to live within means; no matter how much you earn. She encouraged us to do and be the best as per our ability. It doesn’t matter how and where you come from, but where you go is what actually matters.
- Know your budget – My mother always taught me to save money and live within means. Besides, she also taught how to live even below one’s means so that if hard days come, I can tactfully handle the situation.
My mom has always been beside me and taught me different lessons of life. Fortunately, she does the same even now. Her single parenthood taught her a lot about life and all those lessons she wants me to learn as I’m also spending my life as a single parent. Keeping my children protected from possible identity theft is another lesson that she nowadays tells me to take care of.
Identity theft has become a severe threat for the children. Over 10 percent American children become a victim of identity theft before they attain the age of 18.http://goo.gl/dRe3KY). I want my daughters to get financial benefit from the government and I won’t let anybody else to draw those benefits based of my daughter’s Social Security Number and endanger her financial future. Here is what I do as per my mom’s guidance to ensure my children’s safety.
Checking the warning signs – I regularly check common warning signs to see if my daughter’s credit history is already been compromised.
- Ample of credit card as well as loan offers
- Being rejected for any government programs as the Social Security Number is already being used
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notices that she didn’t pay taxes or was claimed to be dependent on another tax return
- Collections calls
- Denial for driver’s license or bank account
- Getting number of mails that generally meant for the adults
Checking credit report – I send mail or fax once in a year with documents like copies of my daughter’s birth certificate along with copy of my ID card to prove my identity as my daughter’s guardian to each of TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
She also keeps telling me to take care of myself and protect myself from different financial scams. And here is how I protect myself from financial scams (as usual, under my mom’s guidance)
Protection from financial scams
I know that I can be at risk from strangers as well as closest ones at any point of time and I’m absolutely alert about it. I never reveal any financial information to anybody other than my mom.
- I don’t stay as a stranger in the community. Rather I stay involved and connected to community members so that I can get their support and help if I require.
- I avoid purchasing anything from anybody who visits me or calls unannounced. I ask them to sent written materials about their offers, if any. I don’t donate even a single penny if it requires me to write my credit card information.ask for respective salesperson’s name, business identity and contact number before transacting business.
- I use a paper shredder and shred each and every receipt with my credit card number. I keep a keen eye on my credit card and bank statements and never share my personal information like credit card number, banking detail, Medicare information or Social Security number over phone who initiates to contact me.
- I have decided to sign up for ‘Do not call’ list and have taken myself off from different mailing lists. I also don’t allow incoming mails from unknown email ids to sit in my inbox for longer. I regularly check my credit ratings and check on any incorrect or unusual information.
- I use direct deposit to ensure that checks directly go into my account and are protected.
- I don’t believe in any unsolicited offers before I thoroughly research. I am proud to be an informed consumer. I spend time to call and shop around prior to making any purchase. I take my friend with me to help me make difficult decisions in case of expensive purchases. I read purchasing agreement and contracts before signing up and make sure my requirements are put in writing.
Nobody is immortal. I know my mom won’t be beside me forever. So I don’t let any moment with her go unproductive. I love my mom and pledge that I shall implement each and every lesson she has taught me in my life because I strongly believe that my mom can’t be wrong. Being a single parent she had to strive throughout her youth and see the life from very close angle until me and my sister grew up and took the responsibility of the family. She knows and understands all nitty-gritty that we have to undergo in our life. On this Mother’s Day, I would like to promise her to be beside her for rest of her life and ensure a peaceful and undisturbed living.
So, this is how my mom has helped me a lot by teaching some awesome financial lessons. And I’m sure that each and every mom of this world has definitely taught something unique to their children, so that they can manage their lives smoothly. On this Mother’s Day I am requesting you all to come forward and share your feelings for your mother on my FB, G+, Twitter or any other social media platform. Even you can send me any special mother’s day message too at debtfarewell @ gmail . com and I will post the same to my blog as a special tribute to all the mothers including yours.