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Dollars & Sense: A Mom’s Financial Wisdom

By Roberta L. Nestor

A few years ago TheBeFrugal.com conducted a Mother’s Day Survey to learn more about the affect a mom’s financial advice had on their children.  The online survey (by The Omnibus Company in 2015) targeted 1000 Moms over the age of 18.  It should not come as a surprise that 81% of those surveyed said that their mothers have shared financial wisdom with them, and 85% say that their mom taught them to be frugal.

The number one financial advice given by moms was to live well within their means by realizing the difference between want and need; followed by the importance of being self-sufficient; budgeting for everything and lastly, saving more money than you spend.  While these words may seem like common sense, this advice represents the building blocks for a solid financial future.

We can all be more frugal with our hard earned dollars.  Being careful or thrifty about money and avoiding being wasteful should be engrained in all of us.  Having credit cards and on-line accounts makes it more difficult to distinguish between wants and needs.  These things enable us to have immediate gratification.  We see a sale on Amazon and it’s a great deal, so we buy it.  Credit cards used to be considered for emergencies, but we are quickly becoming a cashless society and with the creation of points and incentives, we use our credit cards for just about everything.

On the positive side, the internet has also given us the explosive birth of exceptional bargain shopping.  There are dozens of websites and phone apps available to help you save money.  “Krazy Koupon Lady”, “Passion for Savings”, “Hip 2 Save”, “Money Saving Mom” and “She Saved Coupons” offer some of the best savings.  Before you leave your home to go grocery shopping, you should be checking the store website for specials as well as coupon sites.  For example, a 24 oz. L’Oréal Advanced Hair Treatment costs $6.99 at Stop & Shop compared to only $3.97 at Target.  It is well worth it to take the time to find the best deals.

How do you save more money than you spend?  This is a tough one because in order to save more than you spend, you need to know how much you are actually spending.  And the only way to get a real handle on spending is to prepare a budget.  Most people have a mental budget, meaning it is not on paper, however, that mental budget is more likely to be comprised of our essential expenses such as mortgage, car payments, utilities, and other essential items.  It is the non-essential spending that needs to be itemized.  How much do we spend at Starbucks, dining out, clothes shopping or entertainment and on-line purchases?  Let’s say you are spending $400 a month on non-essential items, then you should be saving at least $400 each month.

Back to the survey results:  85% of Americans surveyed say their Mom taught them how to be frugal, by showing them how to shop smarter and take advantage of using coupons and on-line shopping discounts.  Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day by making her proud of your frugality!

Roberta L. Nestor is a financial advisor practicing at 491 New Haven Avenue in Milford, CT offering retirement, long term care, investment and tax planning services.  She also offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network – a member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Adviser.  Fixed insurance products offered through Nestor Financial Network are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. Commonwealth Financial Network or Nestor Financial Network does not provide legal or tax advice.  You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.  Roberta can be reached at Nestor Financial Network, 203-876-8066 or roberta@nestorfinancial.com.

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