Consider it chicken soup for your bank account. From tackling debt to negotiation tactics, these financial tips from the mouths of mothers prove that Mom really does know best.

Mother’s Day is a time to be thankful for the moms that raised us. And here at Money Under 30, we especially want to honor all the money-savvy moms out there who’ve taught us how to balance our books.

That’s why we asked our network for some of the best financial advice their mothers gave them. From how to save to how to negotiate, here’s what they had to say.

1. Look after the pennies

Mother Knows Best: 10 Money Lessons From Moms That Can Help Your Finances - Look after the pennies

Thomas Fultz, Founder, and CEO of Coffeeble, shares that:

My British mom always used a classic British saying when teaching me about money: ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’ This was just a way of saying, make sure you are careful, and concentrate on saving small amounts of money — and you’ll soon amass a large amount. She taught me that consistent small work can lead to something bigger — which is applicable to many things as well as finance.”

The advice has led Thomas to be a successful businessman with a solid financial footing. 

2. The art of delayed gratification

It can be tempting to give in to your desires immediately. After all, if you have the ability to buy a new device or splurge on a dinner out, why not make the purchase? Unfortunately, this mindset can lead to a short-term attitude that can push off long-term financial goals such as building an emergency fund or saving for retirement

Charles McMillian’s mother taught him the art of delayed gratification. Throughout his life, his mother has helped him to curb his impulse decisions with the powerful knowledge that they can turn into something greater over time. 

McMillian shares that thanks to this lesson of delayed gratification, he has the financial flexibility to work in his own business and secure his family’s financial future. 

3. Everything is negotiable

Mother Knows Best: 10 Money Lessons From Moms That Can Help Your Finances - Everything is negotiable

Many of us believe that prices are set in stone. But Ankita Terrell’s mother taught her differently with the lesson that:

Everything, and I mean everything, can be negotiated.”

Throughout the years, Ankita has been able to save money on unnecessary fees. With this money mindset, anyone could stand to save.  

Related: How to negotiate anything (even if you’re shy or afraid)

4. Frugal can be fun

Linda Hobbis’ mother grew up during World War II and had to rely on ration cards. 

Out of that experience, Linda’s mother became a very frugal lady and taught her daughter that there is no shame in it. In fact, Linda’s mom taught her how “learning to ‘make, do and mend’ can actually be fun.”

As Linda’s own children grow up, she is now teaching them the power of reusing.

“I teach my children that we all have limited resources and reusing is good for us and the planet.”

5. Always save something

Mother Knows Best: 10 Money Lessons From Moms That Can Help Your Finances - Always save something

Jacqueline Sanchez learned the simple lesson of saving something from every paycheck from her mother. The amount itself was less important than the action of always setting something aside for the future. 

With this advice in mind, Jacqueline has been able to budget for all of her household expenses and fund multiple savings goals.

“When it comes to spending money on family trips, restaurants, or investing, I don’t stress out because I already have a budget for all those activities.”

All that saving has led to a combined net worth of over $800,000 with her husband. Plus, she has been able to share her knowledge with other parents at Parent Portfolio. 

6. Keep an emergency fund on hand

Kelly Maxwells mom taught her to set up an emergency fund. With a few months of expenses on hand, Kelly learned that she could breathe easier.

In fact, she still maintains an emergency fund to this day.

It has helped me between jobs in the past when I was young, as you never know when you’re going to need it.”

Read more: 5 ways to jump-start your emergency fund

7. Try out a side hustle

Mother Knows Best: 10 Money Lessons From Moms That Can Help Your Finances - try out a side hustle

Although the idea of a side hustle might seem like a new-ish thing, side hustles in many forms have been around for decades. 

Tana Williams’ mother taught her the importance of trying out different side hustles to boost her finances.

Seeing her working on multiple income streams ingrained a strong work ethic in me, as well as the idea that you can accelerate your debt repayment, savings, or investments by picking up freelance work. By seeing her and even helping her with these jobs, side hustles were a normal part of life and essential to getting ahead. Because I watched her balance side hustles and kids, I now do the same.”

Over the years, Williams has tried multiple side hustles, including freelancing, Etsy shops, and blogging at Debt Free Forties. The money she’s made through side hustles has allowed her to pay off debt like student loans and hospital bills, and put more towards retirement.

8. Avoid credit card debt

Credit card debt is a trap that many Americans fall into. In fact, Americans carry an average of $6,194 in credit card debt, according to Experian. As high-interest debt, it can be difficult to dig your way out of credit card debt. 

Luckily for Avery Kingstad, his mom taught him to avoid any credit card debt by never spending more on a credit card than he had in his bank account. With that advice, he made an effort always to pay off his credit card in full. 

That financial decision allowed him to avoid the trap that so many of us fall into. 

Related: How to pay off credit cards fast the smart way

9. Invest in yourself

Mother Knows Best: 10 Money Lessons From Moms That Can Help Your Finances - Invest in yourself

Ivana Leko’s mom taught her to invest in her education and business

Those words of wisdom are the reason why she was “never afraid to invest money in useful education and tools to improve my business.” In time, that led to becoming a successful photographer with the means to invest in her business along the way. 

10. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach

It’s no secret that grocery shopping can take a large chunk out of your budget. Aga Cejrowska’s mom taught her to never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.

“When you are craving something to eat you will overbuy and purchase stuff that will go to waste. Everything looks tasty so you get three kinds of cheese, two packs of cookies, three bags of chips, etc. You won’t eat that, you don’t need that. That is a waste of money.”

This practical mindset has allowed Cerjowska to move through life without letting her grocery budget run rampant. 


The money lessons taught by these outstanding moms can help to guide your own money journey. If you had a parent teach you about the key features of financial literacy, you are already ahead of the curve. 

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Author Bio

Total Articles: 56
Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer covering retirement, investing, debt, savings, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans. Additionally, she is the founder of Adventurous Adulting, a personal finance blog dedicated to helping readers tackle their money and take control of the adventure of life. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.