My Grandma does know how to use the Internet to check her email, but I’m pretty sure she doesn't read personal finance blogs. I’m dedicating this post to her anyway. I’ve learned a lot over the years from my dear Grandmother including a few money (and life) lessons, here are a few:
Save your money and spend it wisely. My Grandmother has always been a saver according to my Mother. She spent less than she earned and learned how to spend her money wisely. This allowed her to raise five children and put them through college. My Grandmother faithfully socked money away money for years and because of this, she is able to live comfortably in retirement.
The importance of pursuing a higher education. My Grandmother never gave up on her dream of completing her college degree and went back to complete her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in education while taking care of her family when she was in her forties. Because of my Grandmother (and my mother as well!), college was not thought of as a privilege, but a right of passage. The younger generation of my family is now continuing the tradition and now many of us are college graduates or still matriculating. Pursuing a higher education significantly increases your income over your lifetime and my Grandmother was aware of this.
Some things are not worth skimping on. From appliances to reliable cars, my Grandmother knows what to skimp on and what quality items to pay top dollar for. She is the original Small Budget, Big Style Chick :- )
Eating at home is cheaper than eating out. My Grandmother (and Mother) can turn a few items in the pantry into a whole meal for a family and I hope to one day have that skill (not quite there yet with the cooking skills). My Grandmother realizes that eating in is healthier and often cheaper than eating out.
Volunteering and giving back is not something you can do, but something you should do. My Grandmother to this day is still active in her community in several different types of volunteer capacities. From tutoring students, to being active in her church and the many other activities she is involved in. I’ve heard her joke before that she doesn’t know how she found the time to work because she is so busy in her retirement. I try to follow my Grandmother’s example and donate my time to opportunities that help youth in my community.
I hope to live a long fulfilling life, as my maternal Grandparents have; they are currently in their 80's and 90's, so I better start (aggressively) saving now so I can live well in my older age like them.
I wish my Mother (and most loyal reader) and all of the mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day!