My mom was hugely influential in teaching me my first money lessons and instilling good financial habits at an early age. The underpinnings of her knowledge and encouragement were invaluable and still are to this day.
Coming from a prosperous family, she learned about hardship at an early age. Separated from her family, they perished at the hands of the Nazis. With $5 in her pocket from the US government, she made her way to the states in her early twenties.
Although she was not academically educated, she was incredibly savvy and read many books to learn. My children never met my mother, but fortunately, she passed on these valuable lessons to me so I can share them with my children.
My kids, now in their teens, are living in different circumstances than I did. However, that doesn’t mean they should become spendthrifts. On the contrary, I reinforce the difference between needs from wants as an essential lesson.
My mother was proudly frugal, not cheap, as she often discussed their differences. She scorned those who were cheap and focused on buying the lowest-priced items that often reflected the lowest quality.