5.11.2012

Financial Lessons and Other Stuff I Learned From My Mom

Mother's day is coming up! I bought my mom some Lululemon crops per her request, and I don't regret spending $95 on them. This is her one holiday of the year and she deserves it.

Today I wanted to write about her and everything I've learned from her. She's my inspiration, my better half, my motivation and confidant. Whenever I need advice and my boyfriend doesn't agree with me, I go running to her and she welcomes me with open arms :)


We have quite a unique relationship. She had me when she was 25, and then she got divorced and raised me on her own until I was 9. I was in the room when she and my dad got into their last huge argument, and he walked out. She got remarried and I was the one who went on roadtrips with her to go visit my stepdad while they were dating. We would sing Mariah Carey songs on those 3-hour drives. I was a huge supporter for her new marriage and then she had my brother and sister when I was 9 and then 13, so there is a huge age gap. As a result, I have taken care of my siblings since I was really young. My mom confides in me like we are friends but she also is a mother, first and foremost.

She taught me that saving money is critical. When I was young, money was a driving force in a lot of our daily activities. Without it, you have to work harder. I saw it firsthand. She struggled to make ends meet and I learned a lot from it.

She taught me how to be skeptical. You have to check your statements and keep organized records of everything. She questions every single transaction that looks suspicious and has avoided identity theft three times because of that. One time she blamed me for being double charged at Subway (when I was in high school, she added me as an authorized user to her CC), but in actuality, she forgot she had gone to Subway twice in one day. Lol.

She taught me how to negotiate. When I was younger I dreaded going out shopping with her because we would always get into a "fight" with the salespeople. She was always returning something, trying to bargain for the right price, or negotiating a wrong charge off of a receipt. She knew what she wanted and she would stand her ground. As a single mother, she had to be tough and fight for herself.

She inspires me everyday with how she got this far in her career and life. She started off with a negative amortization loan for a $180k condo and borrowed $2,000 from my grandma as a down payment. Within a year, it made equity and she actually was able to put a huge down payment on a $300k 4-bedroom house. She sold that one and made $150k off of it, and now has an investment property that rents out for $2k a month as well as a 5-bedroom house that is almost paid off. Imagine the risk involved when she first made that decision on her own. I'd be scared, but knowing that she did it inspires me to take more risks.

She balances a juggling act everyday without falling. On top of working full-time, a clean house and working out is important too. Her wisest advice that I'll never forget was, "Don't do something for the sake of doing it, but do it with your full effort." It's simple, but it applies in so many areas of my life.

She told me to never cry in public. I remember getting into a fight with my BF and going to my sister's ballet recital. I was holding back tears, and my mom looked me straight in the eye and pinched me while telling me to stop it. "Never cry in public. It shows you are weak." I am quite an emotional person, so it's hard for me to control my tears, but this stuck with me and I don't let myself cry in public.

"Stop buying so many shoes, you only have one pair of feet." Probably the best advice ever. She knew I had a problem when I was a shopaholic, and she was the first to tell me that I had to stop. She brought up the future and saving, and after this piece of advice, I sold most of my shoes on ebay. I still have a lot though. I can't bear to part ways with all of them. Sheesh.

She supports me in every decision that I make but she also gives me advice. Sometimes it's not what I want to hear and sometimes it's just what I need to hear. Sometimes her opinion is the only one that matters. No matter what it is, I respect her advice because I know that she always has my best interest at heart.

I can go on and on, but I think these were my favorites. We've had our ups and downs, especially when I was a teenager, but I couldn't have asked for a better mother in my life. Thank you for everything you have done for me mom!

For all the mothers out there, happy mother's day this Sunday!

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