Smorgasbord Blogs from Your Archives – #Family – Financial Lessons from my Mother by Sharon Marchisello

The start of a series of posts from the archives of financial expert Sharon Marchisello. Very often we learn our spending habits from our parents… which is probably why I have too many pairs of shoes and handbags! In her first post Sharon shares the financial wisdom she learnt from her mother.

Financial Lessons from my Mother by Sharon Marchisello

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and although my mother is no longer here, she left me a healthy respect for money. And I still benefit from the financial lessons she taught me. There was really some wisdom behind her platitudes:

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” My mother let me know that my father worked very hard for what we had, and there was a finite amount of money in the household for discretionary expenditures. Unlike some of my friends (or so I thought), I couldn’t have whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. When my allowance was spent, there wasn’t any more until the next week. My mother taught me to live within my means.

“Save for a rainy day.” My mother gave me my first piggy bank when I was three years old. Actually, it was an oil can with a slit in the top that my father cut for me. You could put coins in, but you couldn’t get them out. My father finally cut the can open when I was about ten, and we moved my nest egg to a passbook savings account. My mother taught me about the magic of compound interest, and instilled in me the joy of watching my savings grow.

“Always keep a little ‘mad’ money.” I think what my mother was referring to was a scenario where a girl goes out on a date and decides midway through that it’s not going to work. She should have money to call a cab or otherwise extricate herself from the situation. But this advice can also be applied to long-term relationships. No matter how much you love and trust your spouse, no matter how fiscally secure you are as a couple, it is wise for both parties to have a basic understanding of household finances. Both of you should know what income to rely on, what bills need to be paid, and how to access the necessary funds. If something should happen to one partner, don’t leave the other one clueless. My mother taught me to value financial independence.

How did your mother shape your attitudes toward money? I would love to hear your comments.

©Sharon Marchisello

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of “The Ghost on Timber Way,” part of a short story anthology entitled Mystery, Atlanta Style, featuring fellow Sisters in Crime members. She has published a personal finance e-book entitled Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, as well as numerous travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals.

Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California. Now she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. Going Home is her first published novel. The murder mystery was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

Books by Sharon Marchisello

One of the recent reviews for Live Well, Grow Wealth


Katherine Kinlin  5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read December 18, 2018

Sometimes it can be hard for me to read books due too much going on with content, but Marchisello’s book was a really easy read for me. I can’t do complicated when it comes to books. She was really relate-able, because I didn’t grow up as a math centric person, and I also came from what would be considered a middle-class family. As a 27-year-old, her advice made me think about my life, and what I could be doing differently (therefore better!) with my money. She also changed the way I think about money. I don’t think a lot of people grow up to consider things like a big picture, or what’s going in and out. It kind of gave made better sense of what’s going on around me. A good perspective shift.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Read other reviews and follow Sharon on Goodreads:


About the book

Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy is Personal Finance 101, a commonsense guide to shrinking your financial footprint. Sharon Marchisello compares managing your financial life to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and in ten easy-to-follow steps, she shows ordinary people how to build wealth by living within their means without compromising their values.

The book is available from Smashwords: Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy

Connect to Sharon.

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Thank you for dropping in today and Sharon would love to have your feedback and questions.

When I began my first part-time job at 14, my parents took 25% of whatever I earned, from then until I left home at 20 years old. They did that with all of us and I think it was an excellent idea as it did teach me to budget and appreciated the cost of a roof over my head and food on the table.

How about the financial lessons you learned from your mother and father?

32 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blogs from Your Archives – #Family – Financial Lessons from my Mother by Sharon Marchisello

  1. I had much the same advice from my mother plus if I wanted something I had to save up for it and not buy on the ‘never-never’ or hire purchase because I’d end up paying more. I do think if you’ve had to wait for something while saving up you do appreciate it more.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wise mother. when we had first emigrarted to Australia, for various reasons money was VERY tight ( though we never starved! ) and every Friday evening Mum and Dad would sit at the kitchen table working out the weekly money and which bills not to pay… Mum would be in a grumpy mood. I was only 11 or 12 but the best thing Mum did was explain to me why money was short and the mechanics of running a household budget. After that I was a lot more understanding.

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  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Estate Agent Code, Gardening, Roast Dinners, Numerology, Italian Cookery, Editing, music and Books galore.. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Love discovering Sharon here! 27 years at Delta Airlines is impressive, and that she writes fiction and nonfiction is terrific, also. And Sally, LOVE that you have a fellow Southerner on Smorgasbord. You’re the gift that keeps on giving 🙂 Congratulations to Sharon!

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  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#Family – Financial Lessons from my Father by Sharon Marchisello | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  6. It’s so great you gained valuable financial management lessons from your mom. I had to learn my lessons in adulthood. My Gran learned extreme frugality from Depression-era depravations. I think, in reaction to growing up that way, my mom tended to the opposite extreme. I hope my son is learning better habits from my husband and myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your mom sounds like my parents who were both frugal to a fault, yet equally generous. When their four boys threw them a 50th year wedding anniversary party, one of the items we had on hand was their original toaster—something they had used ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

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