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Dave Ramsey

Suze Orman

David Bach

What do these people have in common? They're financial gurus and millions of people consider them their financial mentors. I've read their books and agree that you can learn quote a bit about finances from them. However I have different financial mentors.

For me my financial mentors are people I've grew up with – family and friends who've taught me by their own examples. I just want to highlight a few lessons I've learned from my family. I hope they're as helpful for you as they are for me.

My Grandma – Make Savings a Habit

My maternal grandmother had a regular habit to set aside a chunk of her income for savings. No matter the amount, she made sure that she also kept a buffer in her checking account.

Even though other may have higher income, she always had money in the bank. She showed me that income alone doesn't solve your financial problem. Knowing how to use it and save it has a bigger impact.

That counteracted my belief that if you had a limited income (like I did as a college student) you couldn't really saved. Paying yourself first sounds simple, but for me it had to be automated for me to get it done.

Grandma -Save Before You Buy

My grandmother loved having a few nice things. She lived a minimalist life and so anything that she bought was high quality and something that she loved. that meant a lot of thought went into her purchases. She typically saved up before she bought something.

The other option was layaway. Being in debt was not an option in her mind. Paying upfront also helped her negotiate better deals on her purchases.

I had to learn the hard way that impulse buying and the ‘buy now pay later' system was hurting me financially. Worse, I had a bunch of junk that I really didn't want once the reality set in.

Mom- Help Others When You Can

My mom is a giver by nature. She loves to help others. As a teacher, she's set aside a portion of her budget for extra school supplies for her students. She is the first to offer help to others and offer a listening ear.

I love her generosity and her big heart. It's one of her most precious qualities. (I just love my mom! )

I'm glad that she passed this trait on to me. We have charities that we support and we hope to increase what we can give as our finances improve. My goal is not to just give to more charities, but to support a few causes that have a big impact on others.

Husband- Learn to Be Objective with Financial Decisions

My husband has some wonderful traits, but for the sake of this topic, I'm going to highlight his objectivity with money. He typically makes decisions based on long term consequences. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever, but he usually makes the right choice when he does it his way.

He's generous when helping others and its tempered by his objectivity in seeing what would be the best way to assist someone. Loaning money to family and friends is tricky business. He's been able to see if money is the solution or if we need to take a different route to help someone.

Being close to others, I can get swept up in the situation. Having a knee jerk reaction can be more harmful than helpful. I love my husband and appreciate his advice.

Who are Your Financial Mentors?

Earlier this month I asked on Twitter and Facebook, who were other people's financial mentor(s) and I got some wonderful responses:

  • Financial Samurai: My parents are my financial mentors. They taught frugality and also spending in what's important.
  • My Journey to Millions: Reading other people’s successes and failures inspires me to be held accountable to the 15K+ Readers I have per month.
  • Super Frugalette: My sorority sister. She taught me about mutual funds my last year in college!
  • Barb Friedberg: Definitely my mom and dad are my financial mentors. Dad sparked my interest in investing and both taught me sound money smarts.
  • Grady Pruitt: Some of my favorites, though, have been George Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon), David Chilton (The Wealthy Barber), Suzy Orman, and Dave Ramsey. Regardless of who your mentor is, though, you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t take action!

I'd love to hear about your financial mentors? who are they? What did they teach you? What financial lessons do you want share by your example?

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

9 comments add your comment

  1. It hard to say… my parents to some extent, but then most recently my father-in-law. He is a CPA and super responsible with his money. He is helping me set up life insurance right now.

  2. Mom was my mentor because died when I was 12 years old. She was a business lady who shouldn’t have succeeded. but did through tenacity and determination. I learned how to save, buy what I needed vs. wanted and unbeleivable determination.

  3. I wouldn’t look to a soul in my family as a financial mentor or role model! I’m the one in the best financial shape and I wouldn’t hold myself up as a paragon of virtue! It’s stressful, though, because I had no close, good example of a husband and wife managing money well together — just examples of couples fighting bitterly over money. Thankfully my fiance and I place a high value on saving and neither of us has consumer debt. His parents have built a small fortune over the years together and I would turn to them for advice and and guidance for us.

  4. My father is my financial mentor. Not to say he made perfect decisions, but he started with nothing and managed to build up to a solid, middle class lifestyle. The recipe was hard work, thinking long-term, and discerning wants from needs. I’m a big believer in how we were raised impacts our financial foundation.

  5. My grandpa is my financial mentor, or at least I definitely respect how well he’s been able to do. He was born in Kentucky to farmer parents, didn’t graduate high school, yet he scrimped and saved and has owned his own business for the past 30 years (from which he continues to make a good living, even at 88!). I’m just amazed at how well he has done.

  6. I have no financial mentors. No one in my life was good with money. I am still learning but most of what I have learned came from blogs, message boards and books.

  7. Awesome article. I suppose I learned the most through my parents… I learned to save, to invest, and to be generous… the last of which is the most challenging in our day and age I believe.

  8. I think being objective is probably the most helpful tip, if you can manage to do it all the time. With our own finances between my wife and I, our feelings and emotions sometimes get in the way.