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Mothers' financial words of wisdom

If it's true that we grow up to be just like our parents, then your mother's attitude about finances may have been passed down to you. In honor of Mother's Day, the staff of is sharing some its mothers' financial words of wisdom.

"Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
If you don't have the cash to make a purchase, wait until you've saved enough to afford it. Great advice, especially in our "charge-it society" where so many of us buy on credit figuring we will be able to pay it off eventually. "Eventually" can be years away, especially if one is only able to make minimum payments on credit cards.

"It won't kill you."
This is used in reference to multiple situations -- going to church, eating pickled beets, sitting next to a sibling or going into a shop where you were not allowed to touch anything. Use it financially to remind yourself that most impulse purchases are unnecessary, in other words, you won't die without it. It tends to put things in perspective.

"If everyone else jumps off a cliff, would you, too?"
Don't overextend your financial means just to follow fads. Know what you need vs. something you simply want. And don't just head to the trendy store for that item. Shop around to get the best price.

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"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
This self-evident truism reminds us that good things aren't won easily. They require repeated effort. Got burned in the stock market? Learn your lesson and don't repeat your mistake, but keep trying to put your money to work. Mom also used a closely related saying: "It doesn't matter how often you get knocked down; it's how often you get up."

"Sure you can have your own car ... assuming you can pay for it and for the insurance. And that you can pay for it with the money you have left over from paying your tuition because if you can afford your own car, you can afford to pay for college."
You can have it if you can buy it with your own money. The lesson is pretty obvious; Even mom and dad don't offer a free lunch. If you want something in life, work for it.

"Don't be wasteful! We can turn the bottle upside-down, and get that last bit out!"
When you're looking for ways to stretch your money, first be frugal with what you already have. You'll spend less. Always put that extra saved away for a rainy day.

"Everyone is responsible for their own happiness."
You have to learn to look for happiness within, and you can't depend on others to make you happy. This is the same for financial happiness. You have to take control of what you spend and what you bring in.

"Are you trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?"
Don't let laziness cost you money. Conserving energy is not only good for the environment; it will save you plenty of money.

Compiled by Amy C. Fleitas.

-- Posted: May 8, 2003
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Making mom feel like a million
Last-minute online gifts for Mother's Day
Financial advice glossary
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