Insights

May 11, 2023

What I Learned From My Mom About Money

In Wealth Strategy, Women and Wealth

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we surveyed a few members of the Coldstream team to see what impact their mom had on their understanding of money as they grew up. Some of these messages are technical, while others are a lesson in the emotional aspect of finances.

Larissa Vidal – Wealth Manager 

Larissa’s great grandmother pictured lower right. 

A saying passed down from my great-grandmother to all the women in my family is: “Money can give you a sense of security, but it’s not a true source of happiness.”  My mom taught me to pay attention to those moments when you’re laughing with your family at the breakfast table or holding someone’s hand. Those times can calm you through a financially stressful period or motivate you to a goal you didn’t know was within your reach.

David McIntoshWealth Manager

When I think of my mom’s wisdom on money, one phrase always comes to mind: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” She taught me the art of frugality, and I’m grateful for it.

As a child, I’d watch her clip coupons and negotiate prices. She showed me that being mindful of our spending could create opportunities for more significant experiences, like memorable family vacations.

Colleen PedeySenior Wealth Management Associate

What I learned most from my mother is that it’s important to have your own source of income – it provides the freedom of choice. Even in small sums, having my own money and making choices on how to spend it meant a lot to me. As I grew into an adult, I saw how important it was in a relationship to have the ability to have independence through income and wage-earning abilities.

Anne Marie Stonich Chief Wealth Strategist & Board of Directors

Growing up, my mother taught me many valuable lessons that I still carry with me to this day. She came from humble beginnings, growing up on a multi-generational farm that was unfortunately wiped out in the Tsunami of 1960. But despite these hardships, my mother remained resilient and taught me the importance of planning prudently for any circumstance, as life can change in an instant.

One of the most cherished lessons my mother taught me was the value of making smart real estate decisions. She always emphasized the importance of buying “the worst house in the best neighborhood” and working hard to improve its value. My mother also instilled in me the importance of spending wisely and being frugal when necessary. She was a true advocate of “reuse and recycling,” and found great joy in negotiating a bargain.

My mom not only taught me valuable life skills but also showed me the power of perseverance, hard work, and determination in the face of adversity.

Elaina Shemeta Team Lead & Wealth Manager

My mom was an IRS agent in tax. She taught me early on the importance of saving, and not overspending. She got me a low limit credit card when I was 13 (I was the first one in my class!) and showed me how to use it responsibly while always ensuring I had well above the savings to pay it off each month.

She talked about the advantage of having a “rainy day fund” and how that helped us when my dad got laid off. Also, how to prioritize spending and savings to make room for what’s important. We rarely went out to restaurants but were able to use those savings to take vacations every year or two.

Jasmin GarciaSenior Digital Marketing Specialist

Jasmin’s grandmother pictured in the red jacket. 

My mother’s greatest tip about money was passed down to her by her mother. My grandma raised seven children, four of which are independent, working women who have followed the same advice: have your paycheck deposit into an account under your individual name. This isn’t to say all the financial accounts with your partner should be separate; she emphasized the importance of having a joint checking and savings account you both contribute to for joint expenses and savings. Her reasoning was, “after contributing to joint bills and savings, the money in your individual account is yours to spend how you please. Keeping it separate means you never to have explain, feel guilty, or question how either of you spend your discretionary funds.”

Vonie BrightWealth Manager & Wealth Planner

My mom taught me a lot. It wasn’t a one-time conversation about money but ongoing lessons as I grew up. First, make sure you gain some skills and earn your own money. You don’t want to be reliant on someone else for your daily expenses. Don’t spend everything you make. Set aside money to save and invest for big goals and small goals along the way. Establish your own credit history – this will come in handy when you need to finance something like your first home. And don’t be afraid to spend your money on things and causes that are important to you – that’s why you work hard and earn money in the first place.

Alex LambertDirector of Client Service

My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook. She also gave me a credit card when I was 16. I think it only had a $1k limit but was my emergency card now that I was driving. I was able to start building my credit history from an early age and have always had excellent credit. It’s more important than you know!

Darin SevierAssociate Portfolio Manager

I learned from my mom that it’s important to have your own money. She is a pragmatic lady and she always felt that things can happen and it’s best if you’re able to take care of yourself.

Jessica WintersOffice Administrator

My mom taught me from an early age that you should think through your purchases, and that some things are more worth having than others. I remember once getting a doll that I wanted, and soon after, seeing a similar doll that I wanted even more. She sat down with me, and we talked about which doll I would enjoy more and why, and once I picked, we went to the store together to return the original doll in exchange for the one I knew I would enjoy more. She has also always encouraged me to treat myself every now and then, and to invest in travel and experiences.

David BigelowWealth Manager

My mom always said, “You haven’t lost or made money until you sell!”

Jewels OliquianoSenior Wealth Management Associate

From an early age, my mom taught me how to manage my finances and instilled the importance of valuing my hard-earned money. Watching her work tirelessly as a single mom to support our family, while also being strategic with her finances has always been an inspiration to me. I am grateful for the foundation she has provided so that I can feel confident in my ability to make smart financial decisions as a young adult.

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