Ed note: March is Women’s History Month, and we thought it would be great to celebrate the women of our personal histories – our mothers. Yoly Mason specifically looks at the role of mothers in Hispanic culture and, with the help of friends, shares great financial wisdom passed down from moms. Leer en español.
In my opinion, there’s no denying that the Latina Mom is a very important figure in the Hispanic community. In our community, mom makes sure that she is very involved in her children’s education and is vital in sharing cultural values with them.
While dad, of course, plays an important role, frequently, the Latina Mom truly runs the household. This includes financial duties like managing the grocery budget and passing along useful tips.
The best tip my mom gave me is to pay yourself first. I remember receiving cash as birthday gifts when I was a kid, and she would always ask for at least 10% of the gift to put into a savings account. She always says, “When you pay yourself first, you are covered for the rainy days.”
In fact, a 2013 MassMutual Hispanic Moms study on households with an income of more than $50,000 revealed that Latina moms start educating their children on financial matters at the age of seven. Also, nine out of 10 Latina moms play an active role in not only educating but having their children be active participants in family budgeting – something that further displays the importance of moms at home.
Since the Latina mom is a common thread throughout our community, I leave you with a few thoughts from some of my friends:
“A mother is a child’s first teacher. They will learn to be savers or spenders from her if she takes the time to teach them financial literacy. The key is that moms have to initiate the conversation and set the example! And it has to be an ongoing conversation, not just a one-time thing.” Monica Olivera, blogger at MommyMaestra
“My parents were key in what I know about finances. They were very organized and still remember my dad sitting at his desk annotating all income and expenses in his journal. I can still hear it, it was adorable, when they said, “Turn off the light when you leave the room,” or “Do not waste so much water.” It was a practical way to save. Now that I’m the one paying the bills, I realize that these details make a big difference.” Teresa Garza, Checa La Movie
“My abuelita told me to always save the pennies, every single one. They add up to a lot at the end of a year.” Lorraine C. Ladish, editor, Mamiverse.com
“Always spend less than what you have. Small savings add up at the end of the year, so even if you’re saving a dollar a day instead of spending it, at the end of a year you will have saved $365!” Jeannette Kaplun, Hispana Global
“My mom never puts all her money in the same place – even when placing it in her wallet, she splits it into different pockets. That way she has money set aside for bills and then smaller amounts hidden all over. She does that so she does not spend it all and to always have a backup. I’ve done it, and I have been very surprised to ‘find’ money I forgot I had.” Maybelline Valentí, Naturalmente Mamá