Mother’s Day Special: Helping My Mom Save Money

Let’s be honest, if you are reading this, you’ve probably come across some great ways to cut back on spending and save some serious cash.  I’m sure you’ve already implemented many things within your daily life to accomplish this.  There are many major ways to get your finances in order that take time and knowledge in order to complete.  However, there are also many simple ways to cut the amount of spending in order to gain a couple more bucks back into your pocket.

Now, if you are still reading this, I bet you also feel like you have advice that would help many people be able to save money and live a better life right?  Maybe you’ve even tried to offer close friends and family members financial advice? *raises hand* I have.

Everyone’s reaction when I start listing ways to save money

And more often than not, my advice has not been welcomed.  In actuality, it is usually considered “crazy” since its so far from the traditional and accepted financial path of mainstream society.

Common phrases I have heard when talking about ways to save money:

“How will I live without [insert money sucking thing here]?” (i.e. cable, fancy car, brand name clothes, cell phone, dining out, etc.)

“But I like my social life!”

“Frugal isn’t sexy!”

But sometimes, my advice actually does work and I can honestly say that one person is better because of it:  My mom.

Before I tell you the story, I want to mention that my family has no idea about this whole FIRE mindset.  They know that we have been cutting back on costs and have become more frugal.  However, they do not know about this blog and they definitely do not know about our financial independence plans.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share this story with you guys.

 

Story Time

A few months ago, I surprised my mom with tickets to the Dr.Phil Show (which she absolutely loved).  (Side note: if you are in LA and a fan of the show, tickets are free and its definitely a fun outing! I even ended up on TV and Mr Wow’s aunt recognized me, made for an interesting Xmas conversation.)  The night before the show, we went out to dinner and my mom shared with me how she wished she could save a little more money every month.  She wasn’t looking to completely change everything and override their current lifestyle, but being that my parents are both retired and living on a fixed income, she really just wanted a little more financial padding come the end of the month.

“Tell me some things that you are spending your money on,” I asked while grabbing a napkin and pen.

She listed out some expenses.

In order to actually help her make a difference, I knew I was going to have to keep it simple, make it attainable and show her the numbers to prove she could save.

 

Keep It Simple

First off, I knew I had to keep it simple.  I knew that if I got carried away and started rambling about everything that she could do, that she would experience frugal overload and would probably completely shut down, not attending to a single word I said.

 

Make It Attainable

I also knew that if anything was too much of a hassle, my mother would probably just skip doing it.  I made sure to pick items that could easily be changed, with minimal effort.

 

The Proof is in the Numbers

After she listed how much she was currently spending on each item, I informed her of how much she could save by eliminating or changing this expense.

 

The Chosen Culprits

I pinpointed 3 things that I knew wouldn’t be too much effort to change, but would have a big impact on the amount she saved.

  • Cable/Internet= $100/month
  • Cellphone= $70/month
  • Gardener= $140/month

 

The Results 

Do it, do it!

After a few phones calls (and the cable company pleading to keep my mom as a customer) she eventually cut the cord and completely did away with cable.  There’s an extra 100 bucks a month.

She then ditched Verizon and signed up with Page Plus, cutting her cellphone plan in half.  Another $35 every month added to the bank.

Finally, she switched her gardener (who she wasn’t particularly happy with in the first place) and saved another $70 a month. (Side note: she absolutely loves her new gardener and is spending less so I call it a win win!)

 

Bam! $205 saved each month! 

My mother absolutely loves hearts! What could be better than saving money and then making a heart with the money she saved?

My mother was ecstatic! She called me up after she had made the changes and was so proud of herself.  I was just as happy to have helped her make that difference.  These small, simple changes ended up saving her over $2,400 a year.

I know that not everyone is willing and wanting to hear financial advice. I have definitely learned that lesson, but even just helping one person means a lot to me.  Thinking about all that my mother has done for me, it just feels good to be able to return the favor.

 

Have you every given financial advice to a friend or family member? How was it received?

8 Comments

  • My Sons Father May 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Great post. Goes to show what an open mind and some flexibility can do for your finances. Too often people think “I can’t live without…”, but don’t try it out to see what would happen.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW May 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Totally! I definitely had a few things that I was really not wanting to get rid of and I thought my life would suck without it. Don’t miss it at all now.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Need2save May 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Clearly there comes a time in many parent child bonds where the student becomes the teacher. Your mom sounds awesome and has a caring and supportive daughter! You both rock for helping each other.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW May 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      My mom is awesome! Thanks for pointing that out 😉

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach May 15, 2017 at 6:24 am

    That’s awesome she listened to you! I’ve never had ANY luck with trying to impart my financial wisdom on anyone! I think for the most part people fear change, or more importantly, deprivation. Although we both know it’s totally NOT about deprivation!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…How I Spend My (Bleep!) Bucks!My Profile

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW May 15, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      She even mentioned this weekend how much more she loves her garden now, especially in part that it is costing her less! #winning

      Reply
  • Mr. Need2save May 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    We were at my parents yesterday for Mother’s Day and my dad mentioned they were paying Comcast around $260 a month for their ‘bundle’. I think I threw up in my mouth when I heard that. Now I’m on a mission to at least get that cut in half (don’t think I can convince them to cut the TV cord completely)
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…3 LEGACY GIFTS FROM MY MOMMy Profile

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW May 15, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Holy moly! That is a lot of money every month. Baby steps with them. I have been working on getting rid of this bill for my parents for years and it finally took.

      Reply

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