Growing up with the typical Ghanaian mother is a whole story in itself and an interesting one at that. My beautiful, hard working and disciplinarian of a Ghanaian mother would never miss a fine opportunity to scold and lead me back on track whenever I misbehaved. She paid keen interest in every aspect of my upbringing. But I soon realized over the years that there is so much more I learnt from mama dearest, without her uttering a word. She went about her stuff in an interesting enough way to catch your attention. Today, I want to share Three Golden Money Lessons mama thought me just by being herself.
Lesson 1: Cash ≠Spend it
Having cash does not warrant unnecessary spending. And by the time I am done explaining how I arrived at this tip, I am positive most of you can relate. Has a family friend who came home to visit ever given you money? What did mama say when the visitor left? “Bring the money and let me keep it for you.” Here I was imagining all the candies and toys I could buy when I go to school and now my money is being taken to the vault? But mama was right. Just because you have the cash doesn’t mean you should spend it. Mama would eventually buy me something I had a genuine need for and signed off by saying, “wo sika no asa.” That’s the last of your money.
Lesson 2: Keep your own emergency fund
I remember mama’s trunk full of cloth. I never understood why one person would be so interested in owning so much cloth. When I asked her why she kept that much cloth, she told me it was to serve as an emergency resource and that she would sell the cloth when she needed money for something important. When it was time for me to go to secondary school, mama supported my dad by selling off a huge chunk of her stored cloths and that money was used to pay for my fees. While a trunk full of cloth may not serve the same purpose today, it is advisable to invest money for rainy days so you do not miss any good opportunities because of the lack of money. But for mama’s emergency fund, my story would have been different.
Lesson 3: Budget your money
I chanced upon mama’s money in her bag one day. Haha… It was a sight to behold. Mama had tied tiny bundles of money using handkerchiefs. I later came to understand that she had split the money according to the various things she was hoping to buy or pay for. I now get how she could afford to consistently buy my siblings and I a new pair of shoes and clothes every Christmas. She budgeted for most things very early in the year. Budgeting can never be over emphasized. It helped mama put a smile on my face as a child and I will eternally be grateful for a mother who understands budgeting all too well.
What my mother did in the past was best financial practice at the time. What are you doing now to save for tomorrow? Our mothers are real golden treasures handed down to us by nature. Most of us have come far because our mother’s worked hard and saved hard. Our Mother’s Rock! Let us make them proud in everything including our finances.