My mom, Fritzi (pictured above in 1979), was always good with money. She is 84 and I’ve been thinking about her a lot this week. I always try to pass on some of my mom’s wisdom, love, and kindness to my own daughter. Here are a few of the many things Mom taught me about money...
Persistence pays off (a.k.a. take a long-term view)
My mother was well educated and raised 5 children. She worked as a real estate administrator when I was growing up. After "retirement" she got a part-time job at the public library circulation desk. She ADORES reading and it was a perfect fit. When she was in her 70s I asked her how long she planned to work there, and she said, "well, I'm still enjoying it, and in another 2 years I'll be fully vested in the retirement plan." It made me giggle to hear someone 10 years past “retirement age” say that.
Always be giving
I remember at Christmas time we would always go shopping for a less fortunate family we didn't know. My mom would get a list from church of all the people in that household (usually a mom, grandma, and bunch of kids), their ages, sizes, wishes. Then we would go and fill 2 carts with stuff. On that shopping trip she would not buy anything for us or for herself - it was only for the "mystery family." My mom gave throughout the year to many many causes she cares about, big and small. Her generosity of spirit is gigantic and contagious.
Flashy does not equal happy
My mother never owned a handbag that cost over $100 unless it was a gift. She bought and drove used cars (never new). When she spent a little money, she splurged on travel, comfortable shoes, and costume jewelry. She is a very content and happy person. She definitely taught me that owning the latest or most fashionable "thing" is irrelevant to one's happiness.
Thanks, Mom, for these lessons and so many more. But most of all, thanks for loving all of us so very much. Lady luck smiled on me when I got a mom like you.
The image below is from an RV trip we took out west in 1979. My mom, sister Juliette, and brother Dave are in the picture. I was nine.