Best financial advice from mom

3 mins read
FILE PHOTO: Kiernan arrives to the global premiere for Apple's "The Morning Show" at the Lincoln Center in the Manhattan borough of New York

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK – Can you guess who kids turn to first for money advice?

Parents – and it is not particularly close.

Even though friends, siblings and social media may all be in kids’ ears these days, parents are the top source of financial advice for 83% of children from ages 8-10, according to a survey from money managers T. Rowe Price. Even for those who are too cool for school, from ages 11-14, 70% of them still turn to parents with their money questions.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked a few boldface names a simple query: What is the best financial advice you ever received from mom?

Jillian Michaels

Personal trainer, TV personality, creator of The Fitness App

“Both my parents always said, never borrow or lend money. If you want to give someone money, then give it, but don’t give away anything you can’t afford to lose.

“This advice is the most significant, because if you lend someone money and things get screwed up, that can compromise relationships. That is something you never want to go through.

“I have made this mistake in my life, and learned the hard way. One of my friends got into a situation, and I lent more than I could afford to lose, and that’s where everything went sideways.

“My mom did end up telling me, ‘I told you so,’ in her very lovely way. Money is a very complicated subject. It’s just not worth risking relationships over. Like Suze Orman always says: People first, then money.”

Doug Lebda

CEO, LendingTree

“(Mom) told me there was no free lunch. If I wanted to do all the things my friends were doing, I needed to pay for it myself – so go figure it out.

“Since my parents weren’t giving me any money, my mom encouraged me to earn it. As a result I had various activities like mowing lawns and cleaning pools, and that inspired me to become an entrepreneur.

“Once I did earn some money, she told me first to save it – 10% off the top, always. Then set some aside for giving, and then you can enjoy spending the rest. The third thing she told me was that anytime you can, to try to own something and not rent it. So when I was 24, I bought a $55,000 condo – and after getting that mortgage, was when I got the idea for LendingTree.”

Pat Kiernan

News Anchor, NY1

“Be organized. She was always organized, which meant that she never got boxed in to paying extra for something because it was a last-minute rush. Being organized also meant that she bought just enough food for the week – without buying too much, and having to throw it out when it spoiled.

“I apply her lesson most often on travel. Hotels and plane tickets rarely get cheaper if you delay. Making a plan early has always served me well. I’m not very good at applying her lesson when it comes to groceries, though. I always end up with nothing in the fridge and having to spend on take-out.”

Pam Habner

CEO of U.S. Branded Cards, Citi

“My mom’s most powerful financial advice was to bet on myself and double down. Be an independent woman with the resources to take care of myself – no matter what.

“So, when I was eight years old, she took me to the local bank to open my first savings account, which I grew by depositing birthday money, babysitting earnings, and then job money to fund my future – primarily my education. Through these savings (as well as scholarship money, student loans and several part-time jobs), I put myself through Dartmouth College, paid back my college loans, and saved enough to go to business school. 

“My mom’s advice was life-changing. If you’re not betting on yourself, no one else will.”

Alex Rodriguez

Chairman and CEO, A-Rod Corp.; Former baseball star

“Be industrious. There was no one in my life growing up more industrious than my mom. She worked two jobs – as a secretary during the day, and a waitress at night – to support me and my siblings and allow me to pursue my dreams.

“She taught me through her actions the value of hard work. There is no replacement. I have carried this wisdom with me throughout my professional life, on the baseball diamond and in the boardroom, and know firsthand that giving it your best effort pays off.”

(Editing by Lauren Young; Follow us @ReutersMoney or at http://www.reuters.com/finance/personal-finance., Editing by Louise Heavens)

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