If you think husbands are the CFOs of the average household, you may want to think again: A 2012 survey of 10,000 women by DailyWorth found that 90 percent of them are their household’s chief bill-payer and purchaser, and 76 percent of them reported being their household’s primary retirement planner.
In light of the prominent role that moms and wives often take in managing the day-to-day finances of the average household, we asked some of our favorite personal finance bloggers to share the lessons their mothers taught them about money.
Julia Scott of BargainBabe.com tells us that the most important thing her mother taught her was that money can be fun.
“When I was a kid, my mom paid me $1 to balance her checkbook,” she says. “All I had to do was add and subtract a few numbers (using a calculator never crossed my mind) and I earned an entire dollar! I never realized it, but I was practicing crucial math skills and learning how to be financially responsible. My mother always knew how much money was in her checking account and, in the days before overdraft protection, she kept a $200 cushion that was not reflected in her checkbook. It was a clever and simple way to avoid bouncing checks.”
Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers says that his mother always stressed the importance of never paying full price for anything.
“She was a master of negotiation,” he tells us. “She showed me that it’s possible to negotiate major purchases, such as large appliances at retail stores. These lessons stayed with me throughout childhood and even into my adult life. To this day, I always strive to never pay full price, and I don’t think this will ever change no matter my personal financial situation.”
“We grew up in a smaller town, an hour from the excitement and opportunity of the big city,” he says. “Instead of driving to the city whenever we got ‘bored,’ she would encourage us to be creative. She was big on board games, family reading and doing creative projects with materials found lying around the house. Now that I live in the big city with kids of my own, I default to some of those same activities and don’t waste money finding something to do, even though it’s more accessible.”
What financial lessons did you learn from your mother? Who in your household is in charge of paying bills and planning for retirement?