What motherhood taught me about money: 8 mothers weigh in

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    It’s true – everything changes when you do become parents, including your finances. In addition to facing a variety of new expenses, you are responsible for someone else’s financial well-being and future. And that person you love is likely learning about money from you.

    In honor of Mother’s Day, eight mothers across the country answered the question, “What has motherhood taught you about money?” (They responded by email, and some responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

    Budgeting is of great help

    “Motherhood taught me to be careful budget and be more resourceful. Having children can double or triple your monthly expenses. Budgeting the additional costs and finding free activities to do was a great help. I have become very aware of where every dollar is going and I am much more disciplined than ever. “

    – Elizabeth Preble, 34, of Billings, Montana; Their children are 8, 7, 4 and 2

    I shouldn’t pave the way for my children

    “When I became a mother, I realized how difficult it is to deny my children the things I can afford. However, as my children grow up, I learn that even when I am tempted, it is harmful to pave their way. It is important that they see their own “lean years” because being young and broke is the best money education one can get. “

    – Joni Gonzales, 51, from Hanover, Pennsylvania; Her sons are 31, 23 and 20

    Financial stability is key

    “When I became a mother, it became very important that we are financially stable and that we can save for the future. I had people who could count on me to take care of them no matter what. It spurred me on to learn how to plan meals, stay on a budget, and improve my career so I can keep supporting her. “

    – Candice McDaniel, 34, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Their children are 10, 7 and 3

    Start your financial literacy early

    “Motherhood taught me that we need to raise children as early as possible to prepare them to become financially responsible adults. We actively involve our children in discussions about save money, Pay bills, pay taxes, how much vacation costs and invest in the stock market. My kids have a debit card with special controls for their pocket money to teach them how to track purchases and savings for the things they want. Additionally, we provided them with the tools to research stocks and let them select some of the stocks in their college funds. It has led to interesting conversations over dinner which are going better. “

    – Adrienne Allgire, 51, of Bel Air, Maryland; Their children are 15 and 12 years old

    Time together beats expensive toys

    “Happiness is cheap. No matter how expensive a toy is, parenting time is what a child really craves and remembers when they’re older. That’s why I always have extra cookie dough on hand for spontaneous baking days. “

    – Sara Lundberg, 33, of Portland, Oregon; She has 3 year old twins, a 20 month old and a 9 month old. She is expecting her fifth child this summer

    Two children would be too expensive for us

    “I always wanted two children, but motherhood taught me to think twice about having a second child in terms of money. My husband and I both work full time and have great careers, but we live in an area with a higher cost of living. Childcare is scarce and we couldn’t take our son to daycare when I got back to work. We had to hire a nanny, which is not cheap. Looking ahead, my husband and I had to look closely at what our quality of life as a family would be financially if we had a second child. Ultimately, we decided not to have a second child. “

    – Krissy Hadick, 38, of San Luis Obispo, California; Your son is two and a half

    Invest for the future of my family

    “Being a mother – especially in the time of COVID, when we were all experiencing changes and losses in many areas – taught me the importance of not taking anything for granted, of being intentional with my finances and of using money to Investing in this way will take care of my family for years to come. “

    – Rowena Winkler, 35, of Laurel, Maryland; Your baby is 14 months old

    Put money aside and plan ahead

    “The longer I am a mother, the more I learn about money. As a parent, there are always rainy days, so I’ve learned that it’s important to put money aside. I’ve learned to plan ahead so I don’t have to spend too much on food, clothing, and activities. Most of all, I learned that I shouldn’t wait to teach my kids about money. They can learn at a young age to save, spend, donate, and plan for the things they really want. “

    – Jen McConaghie, 35, of Chatfield, Minnesota; Their children are 11, 8, 6 and 3

    This article was written by NerdWallet and originally published by The Associated Press.

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