I went over to visit my “more life-experienced” friend the other day. Valerie actually was my mother’s best friend and is quite a bit older than I am. She was born between the end of WWI and the stock market crash. She grew up during the depression and was a young teenager when WWII started. She knows about going without and getting by.

She came to Canada with her husband and young children and had to start over. She lives in a house she helped build with her husband over 50 years ago. She worked hard to build her life in her new country. She knows about facing life head-on. She didn’t always have everything she wanted but she had everything she needed.

Today she lives a comfortable retired life. I know that this is a woman who knows how to manage money so I asked her to share some words of financial wisdom. This is the list she gave me:

  1. Work hard – Be willing to sacrifice for something better
  2. Keep track of your money
  3. Save! Save! Save!
  4. If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it
  5. Pick up side jobs when you need extra money
  6. Trade or barter with others for what you need
  7. Learn how to haggle – A dollar saved is a dollar more in your pocket.
  8. Reuse what you have or make it over into something else – Buy second-hand items.
  9. Avoid debt
  10. Only buy what you need – If you have to make payments, you don’t need it.
  11. Overpay on your mortgage (or other loans) to get rid of debt faster
  12. Be happy with what you have – Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses

I agree…it’s so nice when someone else’s philosophy matches exactly with my own? It makes it so much easier to follow the advice.

Have you shared your words of wisdom with your family members? What one thing do you hope your children learn from you when it comes to money?