Five money lessons we can learn from our mothers
Mothers always stress on the importance of saving up enough to help you sail through difficult times
The UAE celebrated Mother's Day on March 21 and the Souqalmal.com team is dedicating this one to the wisdom of mums everywhere. After all, they're our first teachers!
Our mothers have been our finance managers, up until the time we became financially independent and left the nest. Your mother would have made sure your day-to-day needs were met, while keeping your future in sight as well. And if times were tough growing up, you would have seen her save, scrimp and scrape together money to provide you the best life she could afford.
This Mother's Day, let's take a look at five of the biggest lessons about money our mothers taught us:
"Don't forget to save for rainy days."
Mothers always stress on the importance of saving up enough to help you sail through difficult times. And that advice makes sense on two levels. One, the uncertainty our future holds makes it essential for us to be financially prepared for emergencies. Two, if you have enough saved up for emergencies, you wouldn't ruin your long-term financial plans in case of an unfortunate life event.
That brings us to the holy grail of saving for emergencies - The 'Emergency fund'. Stash away a small portion of your monthly income towards this fund every month, and make sure it's big enough to help you sustain a basic standard of living in case you lose your job, face a major medical expense, or worse.
"Don't spend beyond your means."
Most mothers' simple financial philosophy states that we should learn to live within our means. That seems like a golden piece of advice, considering that many in our generation are coping with debt that comes in all shapes and sizes, the worst being credit card debt. Mums would strictly advise against the use and abuse of credit cards to sustain an expensive lifestyle. And while it's one thing to use credit cards for convenience and taking advantage of the perks and rewards they offer, it's a whole other ball game if you're using them to spend money that you have no way of repaying by the due date.
Unpaid credit card balances can quickly get out of hand, owing to the exorbitant interest rates. Before you know it, you'll find yourself deep in credit card debt that you just cannot afford to repay!
"Don't delay planning for your future."
Mums would always say - "It's never too early to start saving." After all, didn't they make us save our pennies and dirhams growing up? And now that we're on our own, earning a livelihood, they still ask us if we've started building our nest egg for the future.
This becomes all the more important for our generation, considering that retirement years are an even bigger worry for us with life expectancy being higher than ever! And you need money to maintain your current lifestyle for all those years of retired life, right? So, start building your retirement fund, if you haven't already.
"Don't waste your money on impulse purchases."
Remember how our mums used to make shopping lists, and rarely ever did they buy stuff that wasn't on the list. And of course, they were the ones handling the household budget as well, so with that responsibility on their shoulders, impulse buys were nothing but an unnecessary luxury.
Impulse purchases may bring you instant gratification, but you usually end up craving more the next time, going over-budget and essentially eating into what could have been a pool of savings or better yet, a lucrative investment.
"Don't forget to compare your options before you buy."
Mothers would strongly advice against buying the first thing you see. They would often say - "If it is full price, it is most definitely over-priced!" They would recommend scouring the market for good deals and discounts.
This advice holds true for anything you're spending your money on, be it as small as buying groceries, or as big as finding a place to rent. The Souqalmal.com team also advises its users to compare before committing to any financial product like loans, bank accounts or insurance.
The writer is the founder and CEO of souqalmal.com. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.
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