By Kristi De Rycke, Registered Assistant
"You need to do your chores or you don't get an allowance this week." We need to work hard at what we do to enhance our skills and make ourselves irreplaceable at our jobs. This will make for better raises and possible advancement. If we don’t put in the work, we don’t get paid.
"You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." We often get frustrated when we see people that have a better situation than ours. We can dwell on that or we can do what we can to improve our future with what we have.
"Just because your friend does something, doesn't mean that you have to." One day Mom asked me why I wanted to do something. I said because my friend was going to do it. She looked at me and asked “If she jumps off a bridge, are you going to too?” Let’s just say that when I answered with a “Maybe”, it didn’t go over well. Many of our friends, family members and neighbors are living beyond their means and buying more than they can afford. It does not mean that we have to do the same.
"Don't eat too much or you will be sick." We often bite off more than we can chew or buy things that we cannot afford. It is so convenient to buy a $1,000 item on credit card. You used to have to drive to the store, put it in our cart, pay and haul it out. Now we can open a laptop, pay for it and know it will show up at our door with a few click and 5 minutes or less. According to Bankrate.com, if you put $1,000 on a credit card with a 20% interest rate and paid only 3.5% monthly minimum it would cost you $1,677 and take you 84 months to pay it off. That is 67% of its original value. Oh, and it can take over 6 years to pay it off with the minimum payments. Will the item still be valuable to you? That reality can make you feel sick.
“Spend some and save some." We work for the money to buy things but we should be saving some out of each paycheck for the future. It is recommended that we save 3 to 6 months of living expenses in case we find ourselves without a job.
“Wash your hands."Once per year we should check our credit score at Experian, Transunion or Equifax which is free. This will ensure that our credit is clean and our credit score remains good.
“Do your homework."Once per year we should sit down and look over all of our finances. Does our investment mix match our risk level? Can we increase our annual contributions? What should we be doing to advance our financial future?
“Go get me something from the basement. You have young legs." The truth is that there is a great advantage and strength in being young. We can save $10,000 now and at a hypothetical 7% return it would double every decade. If it was invested for 50 years it would be worth $320,000. Let’s say we wait until you we are 55 to put away the same hypothetical $10,000 and it can only double 1x to $20,000. That is a big difference! This is the power of compounding. We need to make it work for us!*
“Be patient." When we are just starting to save, we may not see it building very quickly but with the power of time and compounding, it can make a significant change.
“Share your toys." We should be sure to share our blessings with those that don’t have as much.
Thanks Mom for all the patience and persistence over the years! I have learned a lot from you. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, step-mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers and those who guide others without an official title!
*Hypothetical situation for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any specific product or investment strategy. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Greg's Take On The Topic:
The wisdom we learn from our mothers is endless. I am incredibly blessed to have a wonderful mother who has been a role model, friend, and colleague for many years in my life. The biggest lesson I learned from her was the “Golden Rule” which is “Treat others like you want to be treated." To this day this lesson in life has held true. Thank you Mom for all your wisdom, love, and life lessons you have given me over the years. Happy Mother’s Day.