To celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend I’m excited to share with you this guest blog from Kirsty Lamont from Mozo all about money wisdom from Aussie Mums.
There’s more than a little bit of truth to the age-old adage; Mum knows best. Whether it be some soulful counselling after your first heartbreak or much-needed guidance when you first move out of home, mums are usually there to give us a tidbit of tried and tested wisdom, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to managing our money.
So with Mother’s Day upon us, I quizzed the staff over here at Mozo about some of the most sage money advice their Mums have given them over the years.
“Spend more to waste less”
The handful of fashionistas in our office relayed some thoughtful maternal advice about the value of buying high-quality clothing over fast fashion. “Spend more to waste less” was the shopping philosophy one mother passed down to her daughter. The idea that buying one quality piece of clothing like a classic cut designer winter coat that will last season after season rather than several cheaper items that will land in the donation pile after a few months, has been proven to be economical in the long run and is also a lot more environmentally savvy.
Another staffer pointed out that their mother really hammered home to them that you should be using your credit card for the right reasons. They were told that if you are going to be paying back any kind of interest on an item, especially clothing, then you better make sure that it was worth the higher cost.
“Buy experiences, not things”
For a separate corner of the Mozo office, mum’s money advice wasn’t to focus on buying material items at all, instead, it was to spend your precious pennies on experiences like weekends away with friends or doing something fun like a pasta-making class.
Undoubtedly one of the most common pieces of advice was to make the most of your youth and to spend money travelling, whether that be a hiking-heavy trip across South America or a sunny summer away in Europe. And while everyone has to stump up for holiday essentials like flights, accommodation and travel insurance, according to the mums that have been there done that, it’s those money-can’t-buy experiences you get by straying off the tourist track and discovering something new that sticks with you long after the trip has ended, not how much you paid for it in the first place.
“From little things, big things grow”
Just as we’re taught as a child to brush our teeth morning and night, not eat too much junk food and get eight hours of sleep each evening, one person in the Mozo team was taught from a young age that every little bit of money they can put away helps in the long run. Ironically, that person bought their first house at 25!
So whether it’s stuffing your shrapnel into a coin jar at the end of each day, putting it under the mattress, or automatically topping up a high-interest savings account each payday, the key isn’t how much you’re putting away, it’s how often you are doing it and for how long.
“Spend money on what really makes you happy”
This particular piece of advice is easier said than done, especially when you are staring down a one-day-only 50% off sale, but mums are serious advocates of spending money on the things that make us happy. We’ve all made regret purchases in our time, so mum’s advice is more about taking stock and not giving into every impulse buy that comes your way.
Spending money on time-saving services like a cleaner or buying lunch during the workweek rather than putting in the hours of meal prep on the weekend is totally fine, so long as it’s making you happier and by doing it you’re not falling into debt.
Kirsty Lamont is a money expert and director at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. She is passionate about helping people make better, more informed choices about their finances.