It’s common to turn to parents for advice. So, to celebrate Mother’s Day, we stopped by Little Amps Coffee Roasters in Harrisburg, PA to hear the best advice that community members had received from their moms.
We compiled their responses into three common themes below, and also included a unique piece of advice that stood out.
One common theme was being strategic in how you use your money. That means making sure you have money for the things you need now (i.e. your monthly bills) and the things you’ll need later (i.e. retirement funds).
An important note was that being good with money doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself once in a while. Just make sure that any indulgences are planned in advance and that you’re strategic in making sure you can balance those “wants” with your “needs.”
Look to the future
Our participants also shared great advice about being future-minded when it comes to money. That means thinking about the expected (retirement) and the unexpected (emergencies) and making sure you’re prepared to handle both financially.
For retirement, it’s important to start saving as soon as you’re able. Starting early means taking advantage of compound interest. Even small amounts can add up!
For emergencies, start a separate emergency fund. This will help ensure that if you find yourself out of work or unable to work, you can still pay all your bills while you get back on your feet.
To help get motivated to save, check out our Savings app. It’s a fun way to increase your savings and has an option to sweep spare change from purchases into a separate savings account.
You can also use our free budgeting worksheet to help you remember to consider your savings a bill and pay yourself first.
Opportunities to save are everywhere, you just have to look for them. Whether it’s clipping coupons, using a cash rewards credit card, or taking advantage of discounts through an alumni organization, there are tons of ways to save money on the purchases you need to make.
While saving is important, it’s also important to make sure you’re purchasing things you’re going to get good use out of. This means it may be worthwhile to spend more upfront on a higher quality product that will last longer.
“Sign with your elbows”
Maybe the most unique tip one participant passed on was to “sign with your elbows.” When we asked her to elaborate, she explained that this was a reminder to take your time, know what you’re signing, and be aware of what you’re getting yourself into when you sign.
This is great to keep in mind, especially when thinking about finances. It’s tempting to sign up for credit cards or loans without reading the fine print, but it’s important that you understand all the components before you sign, such as terms and conditions, interest rates, and repayment options.