2. Don’t let others do for you what you can do for yourself.
Watching my mom pay someone to do something is like watching Glenn Beck talk without using his hands as puppets. He can do it, but you can tell that it just completely strips him of his spirit. My mom views things such as nail salons and car washes as luxury purchases. In our house, we washed our own cars, painted our own toenails and cooked our own dinner. Eating out was only for special occasions and grabbing McDonald’s on the way home was just considered being lazy. My dad and brother mowed the lawn and my mom planted all the flowers. If something needed painting, we painted it, and when something needed fixing, we fixed it. Sure, a $20 pedicure and a $10 car wash doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but check out this math:
Say from the age of 16, I got a pedicure and got my car washed every week. Let’s use the above figures of $20 and $10. From 16 to now, that is nine years. There are approximately 469 weeks in nine years. A total of $30 times 469 comes to $14,070. That’s a lot of money, honey.
3. Trust no one and question everything.
When it comes to money, my mom is pretty paranoid. She takes on the worldview that everyone is trying to rip her off and it’s her job to correct them. When she does eat out, she thoroughly inspects the bill. After a purchase, she analyzes the receipt and cross checks the math to make sure her coupons and discounts were done properly. When someone rings a tag and the discounts don’t immediately pop up on the screen, she interjects: “That’s on sale right?” Sure, it sounds a little crazy, but more times than not she finds a mistake. This is why she also devotes a lot of time balancing her checkbook. Believe it or not, just because a bank’s sole purpose is to deal with money, it doesn’t mean they always do it right. I can’t tell you how many times both of us have caught fees we shouldn’t have been charged, double charges and more on our statements.