Ten Financial Lessons I Learned From My Mom’s Overspending


overspendingGrowing up, you must have wondered a lot of times that you would do things differently from the way your mom did. One of those things, in most cases must have been the way your mother handled her personal and household finances. If you are one of those persons whose mother had a problem of overspending, there is a lot you can learn about financial management from your mother, avoiding the things that she used to do quite a lot. Here are ten best lessons you can learn in your life from your mom’s overspending and ensure that you are on a much better financial standing:

1.           Have a Budget

The first thing to do is to determine how much you can afford to spend on everything. Before you start paying for groceries and utilities, always make a budget. This will help you determine how much you should spend on groceries, how much to save or how much you need to cut back on your expenses.

2.           Make a List for Grocery Shopping

Going to a mall without a clear idea of what to buy can lead to spontaneous overspending since aisles are positioned in a particular way to make that happen. If you want to control these impulsive shopping indulgences while walking down a mall aisle, make sure you have a list of all that you need and stick to it.

3.           Learn To Bargain or Let Your Husband Do It

Bargaining or looking up for deals and sales can save you quite a lot of money. Don’t be shy to look for chances of bargaining or sales if they are available. If you don’t like shopping or lack bargaining skills, let your significant other try it. Among the two of you, one must surely be good at such things.

4.           Don’t Let Your Debts Accumulate

Make sure that you are not in a habit of spending more than you earn regularly. Having an overdraft on your credit card is acceptable once in a while, if you are paying it back at the right time, but having your debts mount up every month while not paying them back is quite alarming. Consolidated Credit is a company who helps with credit counseling which can be helpful for you in controlling your debt.

5.           Save a Certain Amount Each Month

If you can, try to save a certain amount of money every month even if it means a little bit of penny-pinching. Having some savings with you can sometimes be a blessing when you are going through a hard time, especially in the current financial scenario.

6.           Keep a Check on Your Shopping

Whether you are shopping for clothes, shoes, gadgets, appliances, books, furniture or any other thing for personal or household use, make sure it is affordable and will not put a dent in your savings. It is not just clothes that cost too much; other seemingly small things can also be equally expensive if not bought carefully.

7.           Don’t Overspend on Kids

One of the most common problems with mothers is that they spend too much on their kid; especially if it is their only kid. Kids grow up fast and need new things all too soon, so buying them too much clothes or shoes at one time would not be of much use for a long time.

8.           Plan Realistically for Your Retirement

We always think it is too early to think about retirement and when we finally start taking it seriously, it is often too late. From early on in your life, start looking for viable retirement options that offer realistic returns so that you are not financially dependent on anyone in a fragile age.

9.           Contribute Towards the Income

Being a woman does not mean you do not have a financial responsibility. In the current financial scenario, the more you share thefinancial burden of your husband, the better it will be for your household. So, even if you get a part time job, try to contribute something towards your household income.

10.      Don’t be Afraid to Get Credit Counseling

One of the most common perceptions among people is that getting credit counseling is something bad. If you do have a credit problem, don’t be afraid of it. Talking to a credit counselor can solve a lot of your problems. Consolidated Credit is a company who helps with credit counseling and can help you with your finances.

If you keep your eyes open and follow these few simple steps, you can be in a much better financial condition at the time of your retirement than your mom. If you ever find yourself deviating, remember how many troubles your mother had to go through because of such habits and rein in your spending before it is too late.

Author’s Bio:

CJ is a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning for people who want to have a financially secure future. 

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21 Responses to Ten Financial Lessons I Learned From My Mom’s Overspending

  1. Midlife Finance 12/26/2012 at 10:36 am #

    We try not to spend too much on our kid. It’s nice to get new clothes, but used clothing are just fine most of the time. We spend a lot of money on shoes though. He’s rough on the shoes and we need to replace them pretty often.

    • Paul 12/26/2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Sounds like you have instilled solid financial literacy skills with your children from the start Joe. This will serve them well for the rest of their lives!

  2. Mandy @MoneyMasterMom 12/26/2012 at 3:28 pm #

    It’s really easy to overspend on your children. Society (or marketers maybe) have a habit of making me feel like a mean parent if I don’t buy them the latest and greatest electronics, and toys.

    • Paul 12/26/2012 at 4:02 pm #

      That is so true Mandy! I remember watching a disney program with my daughter when she was younger and was shocked to see the advertisements directed at children and how manipulative they were at convincing children that they had to have the toy/product. As a parent it is difficult to say no but with practice it gets easier over time!

  3. Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank 12/27/2012 at 3:08 am #

    These are some simple yet great tips, particularly setting up a budget and savings plan, without these you will never get ahead.

  4. Canadianbudgetbinder 12/27/2012 at 1:59 pm #

    We don’t have any children yet but I can see how easy it is for some parents to spend too much on the kids. I have nieces and nephews that are spoiled rotten and hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite them in the arse. Having and using a budget has been a life saver for us and one that has allowed us to save enough money to say bye bye to our mortgage come 2013… Yay! Cheers Mr.CBB

  5. jefferson @SeeDebtRun 12/27/2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Nice post.. You have to learn lessons from your parents mistakes.

  6. Pauline 12/28/2012 at 12:11 am #

    Our parents are the easiest persons to learn from, and usually people tend to do exactly the same or totally break the mold. Glad you could learn the lesson the right way.

  7. eemusings 12/28/2012 at 3:00 am #

    My parents were the opposite: frugal immigrants and awesome role models. Their penny pinching used to bug me but they are a little looser now and I’m glad of the example they set me :)

  8. John S @ Frugal Rules 12/28/2012 at 8:15 am #

    Great points! Having a budget and keeping track of your expenses is vital in making financial progress.

  9. Gillian @ Money After Graduation 12/28/2012 at 10:05 am #

    Good tips. Making a shopping list and sticking to it can save so much at the grocery store!

  10. funancials 12/29/2012 at 3:55 pm #

    This article hits home for me. The reason I am so obsessed with personal finance is because I’ve seen the mistakes my mother made. Whenever I get upset, I have to remind myself that she was just trying to make my life incredible. It’s hard to get upset about that…

    • Paul 12/30/2012 at 1:30 am #

      That’s the amazing thing about the human spirit, we have the capacity to forgive mistakes and to learn from them.

  11. Catherine 12/29/2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Not overspending on our daughter is something we’re going to try really hard not to do- we haven’t yet and are pretty level headed about it but as she gets older it will be hard to teach her she can’t have it all!

    • Paul 12/30/2012 at 1:32 am #

      You’re setting a healthy foundation now Catherine and your hard work now will pay off when she’s older!

  12. Melissa 12/30/2012 at 8:02 am #

    The grocery planning is so important! I only shop with a list based on what I plan to prepare for the week. Learning to bargain is also essential. Great article.

  13. Wayne @ Young Family Finance 12/30/2012 at 9:14 am #

    I can definitely relate to the overspending on children given the holiday season. I’ve known many family and friends that went overboard on offspring. It can be a hard thing to do, but holding the line is definitely the way to go. Kids have been happy with dolls made out of shucked corn husks for centuries. There is no toy worth going into deft for.

  14. Lori 03/16/2013 at 2:54 pm #

    I am not the most frugal person, but I am practical. I have a budget, and realize there are places to cut back. In fact, the reason why we are still able to pay bills after my husband had a big stroke at 58, is because I have watched the money. But, I watched my Mom beg my Dad for money. I saw her embarassed because she had no money of her own. She tried to go to work, and he wanted her at home. So she was enslaved to a 1950′s expectation. She finally got social security. I think it was about $200.00 a month. She would buy us little presents and she was so happy. She saved the rest for the next four years. Wehn she died at 64, she had just enough in the account for my Dad to pay for the funeral. Believe it onr not, my Dad adored her. Don’t get too cheap, or you will have many regrets. I am frugal, but I know what is important..

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