I am not going to say that I have many warm and fuzzy memories of my mom, for I do not. I loved my mom dearly, but due to her physical problems and other issues, she was not always an easy person to get along with. Considering the poverty she grew up in and the problems she faced with my dad for many years, I guess many of her idiosyncrasies could be understandable.
My mom was as frugal as they came due to growing up during the Great Depression. She watched every penny and very rarely ever treated herself to anything. She made do with what she had for as long as she could or until her rich brother bugged so much she broke down and got new furniture or allowed my dad to get a new car.
Whereas my dad spent money like it grew on trees, my mom built walls around those trees to keep my dad out of the orchid. Money was a constant source of argument in my family because my dad wanted to get any and everything he wanted and my mom was just the opposite. Each of them won the battle at different times and thus we had a mixture of new and horribly old stuff around the house.
More than anything else, my mom taught me the value of money. Although I did not learn the lessons very well, I know she was right and if I would have listened to her instead of the chorus of people who persuaded many of us to believe going into debt was not only allowable but the only way to make money, life would be much different now.
Other than a mortgage and a few major home improvements, my parents never had any debt. As odd as this sounds today, it was actually quite common back in the 1950's and 60's. This was because credit was hard to get and most people just made do with whatever they could afford. I know the big deal it was for my parents to sign the papers for the home I grew up in even though the house only cost $8,500 and the monthly payment was less than $100 per month.
I think many of us have fond memories of our mothers and grandmothers but few of us could experientially understand what they went through growing up in a time without modern conveniences, very little money and basically no credit. So many of our ancestors learned early in life the same thing the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4 when he says that whatever state he is in that we was content.
I am thankful for my mom and for the times we had together, especially the final few years of her life when I was her caregiver. I am thankful for the wisdom she imparted based on the experiences of her life. I only wish I would have listened closer and taken to heart her words more.
The other night at a class I'm taking, we were talking about our parents and/or grandparents and their attitude toward debt which is so different than what we see today.
Although my dad passed on when I was still in my teens, my mom is still here. It is easy to get caught up in our own lives so thanks for the reminder to stop and take time to listen while you still can.
It appears that you [i]are[/i] still listening! And you were nice enough to pass it on to the rest of us. My dad's advice to "Never be in a hurry to spend money" is firmly sealed on my heart. He's no longer with me, but his words live on, much like your mom's.