Where did you get your financial education? If you’re like most Americans, it probably wasn’t from a formal curriculum delivered in a classroom. For many of us, money lessons come from our personal experiences or the experiences of people we love. We don’t realize it, but some of the best money advice we get comes from our moms’ common-sense lessons.

You may not recognize the following as “money advice” specifically, but each maxim below rings true when you apply it to your financial situation:

  • Save for a rainy day. Conduct an online search for “financial advice” and one of the first things you’ll see from the experts is to create an emergency fund. Having cash on hand for unexpected expenses or a disruption of income can prevent financial disaster.
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. You’ll find no shortage of social media money influencers and “talking heads” pitching their tips to the masses. Often, you will hear conflicting advice and receive confusing next steps that may lead you to do nothing. Tune out the noise and work with a qualified financial professional who knows your unique situation, goals, and needs. What seems good for a generic audience may not be good for you.
  • This too shall pass. Investing in the stock and bond markets will come with inevitable ups and downs. We believe a trustworthy financial advisor can help you devise an appropriate strategy to help weather the storms of bad market periods. Historically, every market downturn is eventually followed by a rally, so don’t panic at the first sign of volatility. Stay the course.
  • Just because your friends jump off a bridge… It is easy to get swept up in trends and hype, especially when some people get rich quickly. Just because you know someone who tripled their money overnight doesn’t mean you should jump on board. Getting rich quickly is not necessarily a skill; often it is based on luck or random chance. This is not sustainable and often not repeatable.
  • Why put something off until tomorrow when you can start today? Starting to plan and save early allows compounding to work for you. The time is never perfect, but even a small amount can create momentum to help you reach larger goals.
  • Be yourself. Comparison to others can be a trap of unhappiness. Embrace what you have and don’t spend time worrying about others.
  • You heard me the first time! You already know the fundamentals. Spend less than you make, save for large expenses, don’t spend frivolously, set goals and a budget and stick to them. There aren’t many secrets to financial success; you already likely know the basics to avoid big mistakes. Getting rich overnight is not a plan. The tedious monthly savings amounts, compounded over time with discipline and consistency, can get you much further ahead than trying to find a cheat code or life hack.

We all know great moms wear a lot of hats, but you may not have expected the “financial advisor” hat to be one of them! How much of this advice have you followed, or passed to your own children?

Author Elizabeth N. Muldowney Financial Advisor

Libby has been involved in the financial services industry since 2003. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Rockford University and is a graduate of the Leadership Rockford program through the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

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