Growing up your mother always felt the need to remind you that money didn’t grow on trees; that saving a little extra for a rainy day is every woman’s responsibility. On top of having been the better cook, the seamstress, and the beautician of the household, more often than not your mother was also the family’s chief financial officer who counted every dollar with a watchful eye. 

You may remember a few instances where her frugality baffled, and downright embarrassed you, like her habit of pulling out coupons or buying the no-name brand products at the grocery store. Fast-forward a few decades and the everyday lessons she imparted on you–whether you recognize it or not–still live in you. Here are seven reasons she was right about how to handle money all along.

She bought you knock-off’s from Fayva
Despite pleading with your mother for the latest Reebok’s or Nike’s your mother thought a pair of knock-off’s were just as fly. She wasn’t going to break her bank just so you could wear expensive sneakers. Like it or not what she was teaching you is the value of saving a dollar by going for a non-descript brand that gives the same amount of wear. With money so tight these days you may find yourself shopping at discount outlets like Target or K-Mart, or buying no-name brand at the grocery that, more often than not, is just as good. Mom knew what she was doing.

She told you to always have a “secret stash”
It’s every woman’s little secret; the time your mother sits you down to talk about the value of having your own secret stash hidden away from your boyfriend or husband. We’ll admit it’s not an entirely honest practice, but what she was essentially saying is an emergency fund is necessary in case of death, divorce, or just to buy yourself something nice. While the days of stashing money under the mattress seem outdated, the idea of an emergency fund ready is more relevant than ever. SmartyPig, a web-based savings plan with one of the highest interest rates around (2.01%) is a great place to hold your emergency funds. Whether or not your husband is in the know is your call, of course.

She always kept a side hustle
Whether moonlighting as the neighborhood beautician or baking cakes for functions, your mother always found a way to make money on the side. Fast forward to 2010 and everyone is need of a side hustle. Take a page from moms and start thinking of creative ways you could make a little extra money
She joined a “Susu”
Though “Susu’s” have Caribbean and African roots, they have made their way into African American culture. They’re essentially an informal investment club that requires that each member put in a designated amount–also known as a “hand”–each week. A susu requires a certain amount of discipline to put away money every week, a habit that any one trying to save a few dollars needs to master.  

She told you to never throw away change
Your mother always said in life every penny counts. Those pennies and dimes she saved added up, and maybe they once paid your family’s groceries. What you learned was that saving money, no matter how little, can help you in times of need. 

She clipped coupons and checked her receipts
Watching your mother pull out a wad of coupons, not cash, was just enough to make you want to crawl under the cash register. Then she’d up the ante by getting loud with the cashier if she miscalculated any item, no matter how small. This may have been embarrassing to the pre-teen you, but we’d bet anything you’re now at the grocery store doing the exact same thing. These days you can find coupons for everything from groceries to appliances on sites like and

She always reminded you that money doesn’t grow on trees
While the saying is a classic clich, essentially what your mother was teaching you is that money is to be valued because it will not magically reappear unless you work hard to keep it in bloom, so to speak. Those little informal life lessons somehow paid off after all.

What lessons about money did you learn from your mother?

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