A recent survey found 81 percent of Americans learned financial wisdom from their mothers — from taking advantage of sales to budgeting to clipping coupons. Of 1,008 adults nationwide, 85 percent said their moms taught them frugality, including to live within your means, 55 percent; realize the difference between wants and needs, 55 percent; be self-sufficient, 44 percent; budget for everything, 40 percent; and save more than you spend, 38 percent.
The online survey was conducted last month by The Omnibus Company for Boston-based BeFrugal.com.
I owe my own frugality/debt-free life to my mom, but admit my twin sister and I both hated wearing too short, and the wrong shade of green socks in Girl Scouts over the more expensive, standard issue ones! We did, however, get used to eating ice milk versus real ice cream.
Oklahoma City public relations pro Karen Wicker said her Depression-era mother taught her not to buy anything without cash on hand. “I was nearly 35 before I opened my first credit card, which in hindsight was not the best thing for developing credit when I was young,” she said.
Wicker remembers her grandmother saving quarters in recycled Pepto-Bismol cylinder tubes. “Once she had enough quarters to fill the tube, she would go to the bank in downtown Bethany and exchange the quarters for dollar bills, which always seemed like more money,” she said.
When Wicker went off to college, her grandmother sent her a suitcase full of Caress soap she had stocked piled with her buy-one-get-one-free coupons. “She never made more than minimum wage, but she always had enough money for family emergencies, like when I borrowed $400 until my student loan check arrived one semester,” she said.
Oklahoman contributor Lesa Crowe remembers her mom telling a used car salesman that she wasn’t happy, and asking him what he was going to do to make her happy. “Her greatest power was teaching me how to say ‘No,’” Crowe said, “and asking myself ‘Do I really need to have this?’”
Susan Bohl, director of Call Okie, said her mom mostly wanted her to do better than she. “She was 110 percent dependent on my dad and they argued over money all of the time,” Bohl said. “I knew growing up that I wanted to be self sufficient and would never depend on someone else for money.”
She said her husband of 25 plus years supports her independence.
Midwest City native Cheri Allen said her mom taught her to coupon and buy clothes on sale, but that her dad, beginning when she was a teenager and worked at Braum’s to help make her car payments, taught her the importance of paying her bills on time so that she’d have a good credit score, which he said “was a sign that you were good for your word.”
Today, the only debt Allen carries is on her car and home. “A friend
No wonder the BeFrugal survey found 79 percent of Americans think it’s perfectly fine to save money on a Mother’s Day gift. They learned it from the best!
A few ways survey respondents plan to pinch pennies is making a meal at home, 60 percent, and using coupons or discount codes to buy gifts, 45 percent.This Mother’s Day, I plan on doing the former and hosting a cookout at home. But I likely will spring for real ice cream!