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Money lessons from our grandmothers

Money lessons from our grandmothers

Where would we be without our mums and grandmas? They’ve certainly cornered the market on that special way of making you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. But, celebrating mums this Mother’s Day isn’t just about the unconditional love, care and attention they show us, but also the lessons we can learn from them. If you’re looking for a positive role model when it comes to managing money, they might be closer to home than you think.

We’ve uncovered some important finance lessons your mum or grandma would love you to know. They’re simple actions that have stood the test of time and are still relevant today to help you build a brighter financial future.

We still feel like we’re in our 20s – but we need to make decisions as if we’re not

Ask many grandmothers, and they’ll tell you they still feel like they’re 25. Sure, life may have slowed a little, but in their mind nothing much has changed. And because of this feeling, it’s easy to put off uncomfortable discussions or decisions about money a little bit longer than we should. But this is why it’s more important than ever to put realistic plans in place for a future that will be here before we know it.

Small sacrifices now could make a big difference in the future

Taking small steps now won’t have a big impact on your day to day life, but it could mean a significantly different future for you when you’re older. And it doesn’t take much, just a little extra planning and a desire to live a comfortable life in retirement. This lesson isn’t about being frugal – it’s about making a commitment to prioritise your financial future with little steps now.

Save for a rainy day – this is your emergency fund

There’s no doubt you’ll have heard your Nan talk about saving for a rainy day. These days we call it an emergency fund. It’s often suggested you aim to have around a three-month buffer of living expenses available in this account. Imagine the sense of control knowing you’re covered for any situation life may throw at you? And while an emergency fund gives you financial security, it also means you can worry less and just enjoy the beautiful life you’re living now.

Financial education is your responsibility

This is one thing that the older generation wish for their daughters and granddaughters. Don’t leave the responsibility of your finances to someone else, including your spouse. While it’s not uncommon to have one person take the financial lead in a relationship, you want to always make sure you know the details of your financial situation. Learn more so you’re empowered to set goals and make short, medium, and long-term plans for your money. Financial literacy isn’t a high priority on the school curriculum, and that’s why we need to work towards educating ourselves not only for an easier financial time now, but also into the future.

Don’t make Super a second thought

There’s often uncertainty about Super, especially for women who have spent time out of the workforce to raise a family. Back in your grandma’s day it may not have even existed. Starting right now, adding what you can, will have the greatest impact on your final Super balance when it’s time to retire. There’s no definitive way of knowing what age pension benefits will look like in the future, so it’s important to prepare early. FairVine makes it easy for women to boost their retirement savings with their super fund add-ons. Round-Ups, Top-Ups, and FairRewards were designed especially for you with your future in mind.

Prioritise your health

Preparing for a healthy financial future should go together with preparing for a long and healthy life. It can be easy to fall into the trap of burning the candle at both ends with family, relationship, children and work commitments. Women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s have got more on their plate than ever before. Making good choices now for your physical and mental health will serve you well into the future. You’ll be healthier for longer and you can keep your retirement savings for travel and adventure instead of health care.

Finding the balance can be tough because it’s important to enjoy the here and now, while having your eye on the future. Taking heed of these lessons will help you enjoy quality time with friends and family with much less worry. And by implementing these actions in your daily life, you’ll be starting a new financially savvy cycle with the younger generation. Helping your kids to be confident with money and attain financial independence is one of the best gifts you can give them.

Cath Fowler worked in marketing across a range of financial institutions before becoming an award-winning freelance copywriter and SEO consultant. Proving the perfect mix for chasing her career ambitions while spending more time with her two young daughters. Read more about her here.

- Cath Fowler