My Mama Always Told Me – You Better Have Your Own Money

Warning: This post recounts a tale of hardcore MOM advice from yesteryear. 

Moms, they’re funny creatures, aren’t they? They lecture us about not getting enough sleep, they threaten to not babysit when we ignore them for too long, they give us constant unsolicited advice on parenting, marriage, and cooking. And yet, no one in the world loves us more.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about all of the advice my mom gave me as I was growing up. Looking back on it, that advice certainly did shape my thoughts and the way in which I operate in this world. Today, I’m going to share a piece of pillar advice I heard from my mom over and over again – “Always have your own money!” 

First, let me preface this by saying, I completely understand that not everyone lives this way. And that’s okay. The purpose of this post is to enlighten and entertain. I am in no way suggesting that EVERYONE should always have their own money because my mom said so. Now, with that said, let’s dig into why my mom told me that and how it’s affected my life in a positive way. Here we go!

Always Have Your Own Money


Financial Advice | Mom Advice | Personal Finance | Money Advice | Personal Finance Advice | Frugal LivingSo, just what did my mom mean by telling me to always have my own money? She meant exactly that – Always Have Your Own Money. In other words, I should strive to always be able to support myself, regardless of what circumstance life decides to throw my way. And, regardless of what circumstances I get myself into.

Parents always have their children’s best interests at heart. They want their children to Do More and Be More. Their wish is for their children to always be happy, healthy, and never experience discomfort. And, they hope their children have plenty of money and enter into solid, well-suited relationships. But let’s face it, all these hopes and dreams and wishes don’t always take shape. And when they don’t, it’s nice to have, you guessed it…Money.

Money obviously isn’t a cure-all, but it sure does offer up some wonderful options when life throws you a curveball. When money has your back, you can endure the emotional stresses of a difficult time without having to worry about how you’re going to pay the mortgage or buy groceries. With money, you have the luxury of taking a breather and contemplating your next move. This is something my mother never had.

Reasons For This Advice


My mother had a marriage before meeting my father that fell apart for a multitude of reasons. They were young, foolish, and didn’t realize the commitment and responsibilities required to make a marriage last. Unfortunately, that relationship ended with my mother being left alone with 3 small children and no financial support.

So there was my mother, alone at 29-years-old with 3 children to raise and no idea how to do it. She didn’t have a high school diploma, let alone a college degree, and she didn’t have a full-time job. What did she do? Thankfully, she had a big family that was able to help her until she met my father. Circumstances worked out for my mother, but she was certainly aware of her precarious situation and her helplessness to change it in the moment.

Obviously, because she had this negative experience and was ill-equipped to handle it, both emotionally and financially, she drilled her mantra into my head. Along with Always Have Your Own Money came Never Depend On Anyone Else.

Family pic - your own money

My mom and I when I was around 5 years old.


Again, I’m not saying her advice was right.

It was her baggage and she didn’t want me to experience the same thing she had to endure. So she gave me this advice as her way of teaching me and trying to make sure I Did More and Became More.

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How Her Advice Shaped My Life


Mad Money Cat - your own money

Mad Money Cat takes advice from no one. She dispenses it. #purfect

Don’t misunderstand, I have made plenty of mistakes as an adult that have involved money and relationships. Plenty. Fortunately, nothing has been so damaging that it couldn’t be fixed. Unfortunately, that fixing sometimes took many long years. And is still continuing. Through it all though, those words of advice from my mom continued to echo in the back of my mind…over and over again.

Looking back on how my life has shaped up over the last decade and beyond, I have to say that following mom’s advice has served me well. I pushed myself to get a college education while working full-time at a factory. It took me 8 years to finish my bachelor’s degree, but I finished it nonetheless.

I also had the educational backing and financial wherewithal to support myself, both emotionally and financially, when I decided to walk away from a very long and very not-good-for-me relationship.

On top of that, I weathered several years of single motherhood. And I did it all while holding down a professional job, managing a home and a rental property, and financially caring for…drum roll…my mother! The nice thing about having my own money (and education) during that time? I had the option of walking away from that relationship and depending only on myself to rebuild my life from the ground up. Thanks, Mom!

Nowadays, I’m instilling the same values into my little girl. I’m hoping she’ll Do Even More and Be Even Better.

What advice has your mom given you that has helped to shape your finances and your life?


Financial Advice | Mom Advice | Personal Finance | Money Advice | Personal Finance Advice | Frugal Living via @MadMoneyMonster

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Marleigh Oct 18, 2017, 6:50 pm

    My mom told me something similar. She said always know How to work, even if you’re not working at the moment, have a skill, something that allows you to earn a living. She also used to tell me stories about how when her and my dad first started out, if money was tight, they ate pancakes for dinner. That stuck with me, so it helped if my food budget was tight at times to not sweat it and simply eat cereal or pancakes, eggs, etc. Love my mom.

    • Mad Money Monster Oct 19, 2017, 11:08 am

      Moms are great, aren’t they! I love breakfast for dinner. It sounds like our moms were cut from the same cloth 🙂

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich Oct 11, 2017, 9:11 am

    Maybe not completely a money topic, but my mom (and my dad) taught me a lot about enjoying the simple things in life, especially the outdoors. We spent hours watching the clouds, camping, going for walks, enjoying the beach, going for snowy day adventures, etc. I think this sense of adventure and focus on the beauty around me helped me avoid some of the financial pitfalls (needing expensive stuff/entertainment, etc).

    • Mad Money Monster Oct 11, 2017, 1:34 pm

      That sounds like a great childhood! I love the snowy day adventures bit. Their teachings obviously had a wonderful impact on your life 🙂

  • FullTimeFinance Oct 11, 2017, 8:30 am

    Unfortunately my parents were poor with money so I didn’t learn finances from my mom, but that isn’t to say there wasn’t a significant learning there. My mother is driven and always stressed that you should do your best in every scenario. So my work ethic comes from a mix of her and the challenges of places like engineering school.

    • Mad Money Monster Oct 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

      Engineering school is sure to be a hot spot for learning! Congrats on making what sounds like a great life for yourself. My parents weren’t necessarily poor with money, they just never made much. They had enough to pay our bills, but not much leftover for building wealth. You live and you learn 🙂

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