7 valuable money lessons learned from Mom

Moms provide their children with a wealth of life lessons and sage advice. When it comes to money, moms are an especially rich source of insight.

As a tribute to mothers everywhere, we asked small business owners and entrepreneurs to share the best money wisdom they gained from their mothers. Here are some of their takeaways.

Spend money on what matters

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Kristy Kohler, co-owner of OatMama

“Growing up, I was always an under-spender and saver, and my mom would encourage me to splash out where it counts. She would always remind me that money was for spending and that I should never hesitate to spend on experiences, things and people that will enrich my life.

“Now as a business owner, that lesson in abundance reminds me that not everything has to have a direct ROI. Some things, like planning local mommy meet-ups or giving to charity, just feel good for their own sake and that’s where the true value lies.”

Don’t fritter away your hard-earned dollars

John Holloway, co-founder of

“My mother, Twila, taught me the importance of hard work at an early age. She was an entrepreneur and taught piano and voice lessons from our home. As a child, I got to see first-hand how hard she worked to provide for us. This taught me to be smart with money because it’s hard to get.

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When you work hard for your money, you are less likely to waste it.

“I use this in my personal and business life every day when making decisions. Is this purchase worth all the work I did to earn that amount of money? If not, I save that money instead.”

Count every penny

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Heather Vreeland, publisher and editorial director of Occasions Media Group

“My mother always taught me to ‘count your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves.’ This was her way of teaching us that every little cost adds up in life.

“If you give the same reverence to the little expenses as you would big expenses, the savings can really add up.

“I own a publishing business and remembering that advice helps us to not nickel and dime away our profit on small, erroneous expenses here and there. It’s an everyday struggle!”

Think before you spend

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Adele Alligood, founder of

“Growing up, my mom taught me to wait 48 hours before making large purchases. Learning to say ‘let me think about it’ was one of the best things I could do when it came to my finances. When I hit the pause button for 48 hours, I can decide if I really need that product or service. Sometimes I come up with more practical ways to spend that money. Other times, I identify when a product or service would actually be beneficial.

“As a business owner, you wear many hats. But you also realize that you can’t do everything yourself. Your time is valuable, and sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

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The 48-hour rule has taught me that every dollar I spend is a trade-off.

“When I think I’ll get a better return on my investment by buying something, then I go for it.”

Don’t live beyond your means—and help others when you can

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Mike Kern, CPA and founder of Talent Financial

“My mom taught me many lessons growing up. The one I can credit the most to my financial success today is how to make my money last. She taught me the importance of a minimalist lifestyle and living within your means.

“Although being frugal was important to her, so was being generous with others. Thanks to my mom, I know how to run my business in a way that maximizes the value of my money and I’m able to use it to benefit others.”

Save for a rainy day

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Lori Soard, author and freelance writer

“One thing my mom told me that really helped me get through lean times was to always have an emergency fund. Now that I’m making steady income and don’t have to worry so much about whether my books are earning enough royalties to keep food on the table, I still keep that rainy day fund.

“There is always a buffer in my savings that is enough to cover at least three months of expenses.

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A rainy day fund gives you peace of mind as a freelancer or small business owner.

Always invest in yourself

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Michael Outar, owner of

“The most valuable money lesson I learned from my mom was to actually spend money, but not on material items.

“She told me to spend money on experiences and knowledge. She said that one can always make more money, but nobody can get more time. Don’t chase money, chase fulfillment.”


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