5 Things About Managing Money I Learned From My Mom

By on July 1, 2011

mother and daughter sitting next to one anotherBy: Sharon Hurley Hall

My mom excelled at leading by example and giving sound advice. That was never truer than when it came to money management. It’s an area that defeats many women in business, as Ms Money points out, “far too many women stay on the sidelines of the money game and never take charge of their financial future.” Thanks to my mom, I have a head start on financial control for my business, and I’d like to share those lessons with you.

1. Take Control

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My mother didn’t believe in letting anyone else control her money. That applied both to personal finances and business ones. She worked a full time job and she was never tempted, as so many women are, to hand over the purse strings to my dad. Some women also do this in business, which can be a big mistake if you trust the wrong person. Who says men know any more about managing money than we do, anyway? Sure, staying in control means you have no one to blame but yourself if things go wrong, but if your business succeeds financially, you get all the glory.

The takeaway: Financial responsibility starts at home.

2. Keep Track

Remember checks? They may be passé today, but back in the old days, my mom kept and checked every check stub and bank statement. She knew that it was crucial to know exactly what was coming in – and going out – and to make the two balance. That’s all accounting is, and it’s a good business lesson. You don’t need a complicated system, either. My mom used a notebook with columns to track her income and expenses, and when I left home, I did the same. These days, I’ve upgraded to Excel, but it’s really just a shinier version of my old notebook.

The takeaway: Know what’s coming into your business, and what you need to spend.

3. Have Mad Money

Did your mom ever tell you to take mad money when you went on a date so you could get home on your own if things went wrong? Mine certainly did. Mad money can help in business, too. When you start and run a business, things rarely go smoothly and it’s good to have some money in the bank to bail yourself out in an emergency. Often entrepreneurs put everything they have into a business idea. They mortgage and remortgage their homes and take out loans. It’s one thing to believe in an idea, but another to leave yourself no comeback if there’s a setback.

The takeaway: Never be caught short, or you might not be able to recover.

4. Be Frugal …

Save, save, save. That’s the only way you ever get mad money. My mom believed in saving for the things you needed, which is a great idea for both personal and business finances. When you start a new business, you may not have much spare cash floating around, but you can put some money in a virtual cookie jar (such as a separate savings account) just in case you need it later. When money comes in, pay your cookie jar first, and you won’t even miss it. And when you have enough, you can invest some in your business.

The takeaway: Pay yourself first for a rainy day.

5. But Not Too Frugal

My mom liked Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (recently covered nicely by Miley Cyrus). She knew that sometimes you had to remind yourself what you were working for with a treat. Not a ‘blow your financial management plan out of the water’ treat, but a small reward for all the hard work you put in. If you’re running a business, you work long hours. You lie awake at night thinking of your next move. Ladies, you need some down time, so include the occasional trip to the spa in your quarterly budget – you’ll feel all the better for it!

The takeaway: Reward yourself for a job well done!


Sharon Hurley Hall has almost 25 years of experience writing professionally – as a journalist, an academic writer, a blogger, a ghost writer and an online copy writer. She has been running Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help other writers improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. You can also find Sharon on Twitter and Facebook.

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the 'fine wine' theory of aging - getting older also means getting better! Connect with Sharon on her website.


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5 Things About Managing Money I Learned From My Mom