Mother knows best – We would all agree wouldn’t we?
Well, I guess it depends on your perspective. I suspect that there are many teens who would not immediately agree, (though they might change their minds as they get older!!). There are many many attributes to a Mother’s role in a family, and with Mother’s Day around the corner we all remember our own examples of where “Mother Knows Best”. But let’s look at a few financial examples.
Perhaps the most widely known one is:
Take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves.
There are many variations of this proverb, and it’s attributed to many people, but the chances are you heard it first from your mother. It’s a good lesson and makes the case for saving a little from as early a date as possible. It’s good “Mother Knows Best” common sense. If you get into a saving habit, then the bigger items of expenditure that we all face will be easier to fund! It’s one of those pieces of advice that works for any age. It can also work for companies where attention to cost and efficiencies can have large effects on the bottom line even though the savings themselves are individually small.
On a similar theme Warren Buffet is quoted as saying, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”.
I would bet that he heard that from his mother – the Wise Woman of Omaha!
Prudence is another theme in many mothers’ advice. “Don’t spend money you don’t have” or “Don’t live beyond your means” certainly both strike a chord. But these two pieces of “Mother Knows Best” advice need a little embellishment. At face value, this advice tells us not to borrow money. But, we should probably add something to the effect that we shouldn’t “spend money beyond our means to repay.” To know whether you have the means to repay implies an appreciation of what might happen in the future and an evaluation of risk and uncertainty. To understand that is itself another element of prudence and takes us back to Mother Knows Best!
There will always be pieces of a Mother’s advice that we will remember. They are all based on the fundamental desire of a parent to secure the best for their children in the immediate and long term. Does that mean the Mother Knows Best? Not all the time….. but because the advice is based on unselfish altruism, you should always at least remember your mother’s advice and factor it in to your own decision making.