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Mother's Day 2011: Money Lessons from Mama

Ahhh Mother's Day. It's time to treat mom to breakfast in bed, help out in the garden, and thank her for changing your dirty diapers. It's also a great time to remember all of mom's little lessons. As you grow older, you realize that the things mom taught can now directly be used as guidance for prudent financial decisions! Yes indeed, the seeds of financial intelligence get planted in young brains early on by caring mothers.

Classic motherly teaching moments


Finish your broccoli!

We all remember lengthy standoffs at the dinner table when mom insisted we finish off the last remnants of icky broccoli on our plates. While many think this is an attempt to instill healthy eating habits, it's actually an effort to create sound credit card habits! You see, mothers know that when you put food on your plate, it's analogous to charging something on your credit card. It's always important to finish what's on your plate, just like it's preferable to always pay your credit card bills in full. Just as uneaten remnants create garbage and attract pests, leftover charges expose you to pesky interest fees. Honor your mother's teachings and pay in full!


If you give a mouse a cookie…

Moms always remind their children of the phrase from a famous children's book: "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk." While this saying might be confusing to a 5 year-old, when you grow up and have a credit card it all makes perfect sense. Mom was warning you about high interest rate credit cards! While some credit cards may entice you with great perks, if they have high interest rates you could find yourself in a crummy situation. A bill that equates to small cookies could soon grow to gallons of milk. Seek out a low or zero interest credit card, and your mother's sage warnings won’t be in vain!

Save some candy for later!

Remember coming home from a fruitful night of trick or treatin' on Halloween, only to have your mother insist you save a majority of your candy for a later day? Wasn't that just terrible? It turns out that this lesson was yet another attempt to instill healthy financial practices. You see, moms everywhere know that a wise credit card user doesn't charge more than about 33% of their spending limit. Just as mom would have been angry if you ate all or most of your candy on Halloween, credit issuers frown upon those who spend more than a third of their limit. Avoid having a sweet tooth for spending, and your credit score will remain unblemished. There's no better way to make mama proud than by achieving and maintaining a good credit score. Follow her advice and you'll be well on your way. Happy Mother's Day!

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Jason Bushey's picture

Jason Bushey is the former Editor and Vice President of Creditnet. Jason is a Burlington, Vermont native who moved to sunny San Diego after earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and Political Science at the University of Vermont ('09). When he's not sharing his take on credit cards, administrating the Creditnet Forum or blogging about all things related to credit, you can probably find him cheering on the Green Bay Packers (He's an owner!) or running up and down the streets of SoCal.

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