Tuesday, January 18

Money lessons from my mother


Moments of wisdom shared between mothers and children often occur when one least expects it, such as during a casual cup of tea. So it was with my mother, who transformed me into the person I am today: a mother, a financial advisor, and a proud citizen. My mother’s wise teachings prepared me for success in many aspects of my life, particularly how I view my purpose and responsibilities in the world, many of which relate to the way I view (and manage) my money.

Our mothers’ wisdom, and in some cases the lack of it, can shape the way we live and relate to the world emotionally, intellectually, and even financially. Our mothers influence us both consciously and unconsciously from our earliest stages of childhood and can affect our opinions about finances without our realizing it. “Do what I say, not what I do” is not the best approach in this case, as growing up with a mother who actively helps manage finances and openly discusses the budget with the family is likely to inspire children to ask more questions. and become financial savvy.

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10 key money lessons for the next generation

The meaning of money

When it comes to money, it’s not about how much you have that counts. What counts is what it allows you to do and be. The same goes for investing: the number of zeros doesn’t matter as much as what you do with it and what you allow it to do. It is important to understand how you think about money and to use it as a facilitator rather than a hindrance.

Think of more than yourself

Older generations of women have often been neglected in their quest to serve others, especially in terms of their finances, while some women are now going to the opposite extreme while focusing primarily on their careers. Balance is key. Enjoy life, pursue your passions and enjoy your profession, but do not neglect your family and friends in your professional career, as this will reduce your happiness.

Independence is best managed through mutual respect

Setting financial goals is an important discussion that requires acceptance from your partner, spouse, and family to help you achieve your goals. It’s also important to review these goals as things change over the years and your responsibilities increase. In my career, I have witnessed many women who realized too late that they should have prioritized their savings, investments, and legacy planning.

Limit debt

Possibly the most important financial advice my mother gave me that I have passed on to my children since: Don’t borrow money to finance lifestyle expenses unless it is absolutely vital and unavoidable. Instead, save for your expensive purchases like cars, vacations, etc. If you apply for a loan from a credit service provider, you will have to overpay for these lifestyle expenses, which in turn prevents you from optimizing your savings. During my career, I have rarely witnessed emotional spenders become financially independent.

In your financial planning, set aside an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances and always try to stay at least one month ahead of your savings plan expenses whenever possible. Start investing as early as possible in life and don’t get lost on the journey of a lifetime with the pressures that come with your profession, family and friends. Keep an eye on your life and your financial goals.

The matrimonial regime is important

Being aware of your options and being mindful of how you get married is another essential lesson to be discussed with our children. Older generations, for the most part, married in community ownership, but this often led to women becoming economically dependent on their husbands and, in some cases, to a lack of economic power. In today’s world, it is advisable to marry outside the community of property, not only for the young, but also for the elderly who may have already accumulated their wealth and remarry much later in life. Before you get married, talk to someone with experience in inheritance planning to learn about all the options available to you and how you can protect yourself.

Save more and spend less

As women, too often we continue to leave the savings and investment side of household finances to our spouses or partners. This might not be the wisest long-term approach, especially considering that most women live longer than their male partners. As women, we must also learn to save and invest more and spend less for our own long-term well-being and that of our heirs.

Expand your investment horizons

Women are often more comfortable in the more traditional asset classes of property and cash, but in today’s economic climate, this may not necessarily be the smartest move. If all your money is invested in cash, you will not be able to beat inflation. We need to be open to exploring other asset classes and investments that give us a better return on investment in the long term.

Educate yourself and learn to trust experience

In my career, I have seen many widows, who have never managed their finances before, be left in the vulnerable position of not knowing how to manage their inheritance or who to trust for advice: the world of finance and investing is alien to them; They don’t know what options are available to them or which ones would be best suited to their specific financial goals. It is never too late to educate yourself on these matters, but it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a trusted financial advisor at a reputable wealth management organization to assist you on this journey; This will ensure that the inheritance is not lost due to fear. and uncertainty.

Women are good at thinking about the big picture

Women are often better at general thinking and financial strategy than you think. It’s important for women to take longer-term, broader thinking about taxes, investing, estate planning, and more. It’s very difficult to make the most of your retirement or leave a legacy for your children if you don’t plan for it. The most important thing to remember is to take the time to take care of your finances and your financial future before it is too late.

Money and happiness

My mother was a Latin and English teacher and when I think of her I remember the Latin quote: “… he who does not realize his happiness is not happy…”. My mother taught me that happiness is an internal enabler and money is an external enabler – you can have the latter in abundance, but still not be happy. If we pursue fulfillment and purpose, then happiness and financial security are sure to come later.

In conclusion, take control of your own life and financial destiny and you will reap the rewards for it. Ironically, this is how we create intergenerational wealth. Financial self-care is a selfless act at the end of the day.

Editor’s Note: For the purposes of this article, reference is made to “mother,” however the content is relevant to any primary caregiver, regardless of gender.

Christelle Louw, Citadel Advisory Partner.


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