Mothers are known for passing on valuable life lessons to their children, including guidance on everything from tying shoelaces to navigating complicated relationships. Financial education is no exception, and with Mother’s Day approaching in the UK, Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, speaks with members of The Fry Group team from around the globe to discuss the financial guidance they received from their mothers or are now imparting to their own children.
As a business, we’re passionate about promoting financial literacy in all its forms. Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with members of the team from all corners of the organisation, to hear about the valuable insights and financial wisdom their mums have passed down to them. These money lessons have not only helped shape our team’s financial education, but have also inspired some to pay it forward and share important tips with their own children. The interviews shed light on the importance of early financial education, the impact of parents’ financial behaviour on their children, and the long-term benefits of developing good financial habits.
Beginning good saving habits – Whenever I received money as a gift, my mum would make me put at least half into my ISA or Premium Bonds. I was always reluctant, but it taught me the importance of saving from a young age. Fast forward 20 years and I’ve continued to save and grow these pots of money which have massively helped with the purchase of my first home. Poppy Whitbread, Marketing Manager, UK
Understanding value – From a young age, my mum taught me to consider what I’m buying and gave me £2 pocket money each week. If I spent it straight away and asked for more she’d refuse, which I thought was pretty mean! But then I wanted to buy a game and her advice was to encourage me to save for a few weeks until I had enough. She taught me to think about the value of what I was buying, not just in terms of monetary value but in what it meant to me. Her advice has stayed with me; this year I’m planning a holiday to visit a friend in Bali, so those unnecessary purchases need to take a back seat to make sure I have enough to enjoy my trip. My mum taught me the value of saving and now I always consider what I’m spending and if it’s truly worth it. Russell Delboy, Analyst, UK
Choosing how to pay – The best financial advice I plan to pass on to my daughter is to encourage her to use the money she has, or her savings, rather than credit. Living in Singapore means there are huge social pressures amongst young people in maintaining a particular lifestyle. There will always be people that have more and are trying to keep up with others. Living beyond your means just leads to financial hardship and unhappiness. Aiveen McCarthy, Marketing Manager, Singapore
Understanding money – Ultimately, I want my son to understand that money doesn’t matter but it must be understood. In life, his goals must be driven by his passions, not his salary. So, it matters not a jot whether you are serving caviar canapes or Cheesy Wotsits at your party as long as the people you love turn up. At the same time, he mustn’t mismanage any money he has. Picture the wide-eyed seven-year-old listening intently as his mother chatters on about money today being worth more than money tomorrow and how starting your pension now is a wise move considering the benefits of long-term equity investment. Perhaps I dumbed it down slightly, but he has always had a commentary about money and this will continue. After all, one day he might need to spend some of it on his dear old mum! Lydia Oulds, Technical Compliance Manager, UK
Saving for the future – When I was younger I started receiving red envelops from my family and relatives for Chinese New Year and my birthday. My mum would always tell me to save the money for later in life when I really needed it. Although she wasn’t aware of options such as ISAs, which might have helped my money grow faster, her good advice helped discipline me into saving for the future. Ho-Fung Man, Chartered Financial Planner, Hong Kong
Financial learning for life
Financial education is a critical life skill that many young people don’t get the chance to learn in school. That’s why it’s heartening to see mothers taking on the role of financial educators and sharing their knowledge with their children. With strong financial literacy skills, individuals have the opportunity to make the most of their hard-earned money, and plan for a secure financial future. As a mother myself, I always encourage my daughters, who are now young women, to follow two simple yet powerful tips: always spend less than you earn, and start saving for retirement from your first pay cheque. By developing these habits early on, they will become second nature, paving the way for a lifetime of financial stability and security.
At the end of the day, much of our financial knowledge is gained through the wisdom and habits passed down to us from our mothers and other role models in our lives. As mothers ourselves, we have a unique opportunity to pay it forward and share our own financial insights with our children, helping them to develop the habits and skills they need to build wealth, achieve financial freedom, and reach their financial goals. By continuing to share these lessons and nurturing financial education, we can help ensure that the next generation is equipped with the tools they need to succeed in their financial lives. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the mothers out there who have taken on the role of financial educators and who continue to inspire us with their wisdom and guidance. Happy Mother’s Day!