Valdosta Daily Times

Business

May 12, 2013

My mom may be off her rocker, but man can she save money!

VALDOSTA — Happy Mother’s Day, budgeteers! Hopefully you took the advice of a few articles ago and did something for the woman who taught you how to pee in a toilet. After potty training one mutt successfully (and one Chihuahua unsuccessfully), I now have a whole new respect for mothers who have taught their children to go piddle and make boom boom like a boss. Kudos, mama, you earned it.

Speaking of things taught by mothers, I thought today would be a wonderful time to reflect on the things that my mother has taught me (and is still teaching me) about getting my finances together, or as she likes to call it, learning to stop freeloading. I haven’t the faintest idea why, but my mom has an overwhelming feeling that when she and my dad are on the brink of death, I am going to have no money to take care of them. I try to settle her nerves by telling her that thankfully she has a son with an electrical engineering degree who is currently programming for one of the world’s leading social media networks. However, being that I am infinitely cooler than my brother, I can see why she wouldn’t want him taking care of her!

So for your continued amusement of my failures, here is a list of things I didn’t know about budgeting and personal finance that my mom taught me that will hopefully teach you, too.

 

1. If it’s not on sale, you’re not looking hard enough.

In my almost 25 years of living, I have only seen my mom purchase something at full price a handful of times. This isn’t just because she’s smart; I also believe that my mom is like a sale whisperer. I used to pick out a pair of pants during school clothes shopping and she would say: “Put them back, they’ll be on sale next week.” Sure enough, they always were. My mom is like a genuine hunter. She doesn’t pay tons of money to sit in an open field while someone releases 20 turkeys to be easily shot; no, she tracks her prey and then leaps on it like a spider-monkey and kills it with her bare hands. She takes a sense of pride in being able to find something on sale, so quite often, she won’t pay full price for anything. Due to that mentality, my quintessential shopping catch phrase is, “Oh it’s cute, but it’s not $50 cute.” Being taught to ritualistically track sales has made me the fashionable and frugal woman I am today. While people fret over the latest trends that they can’t afford, I look at the latest trends and systemically calculate a way to rip them off. Thanks, mom.

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