This coming Sunday we celebrate our moms on Mother’s day. I’m grateful to have a number of wonderful moms in my life, including my own mom who’s in her mid-seventies, my wife who’s a great mom to our three children and my mother-in-law, who after an interesting start we have formed a great relationship.
I have chronicled my parent’s financial history before, and since my dad passed away back in 2008 I have had a bigger part in helping mom in with her finances. That’s two years before we took the plunge and got our financial act together. I guess you could say we were in a bit of denial, but at the time I was focused on helping my mom.
I’m the youngest of five children, I’ve been teased over the years and called a lot of things by my brothers and sisters, the baby, spoiled, etc. You get the point. Having four older siblings pave the way for you and has some advantages. There’s not much you can say or do that your parents haven’t seen or heard before, so I did get off easy.
When we were faced with the fact that our mom would be moving forward without our dad back in 2008 a lot of the responsibly fell on my oldest brother and me and still does today. That’s okay, I’m glad I’m in the position to help whether it’s with advice, time or a little tech support. It was certainly interesting to be put into the role, the one the once called the baby, was now being asked to help guide mom for her future.
Ignorance isn’t Bliss
I recall my mom always managing the money. She wrote the bills, and balanced the checkbook. I don’t recall my dad taking an active part. He made the money, from his regular job and side jobs. Always making sure there was enough money to cover bills and vacations.
When I dug in to help my mom I found a number of outstanding credit cards bills and a car loan. What was strange was they had cash in the bank and a few streams of steady retirement income coming in each month. It just seems like there was a disconnected between them and their understanding of their use of credit cards. My dad did to a go job of making sure mom would be set in the event of anything happening to him.
I helped my mom sort through it all. We cleaned up all of the outstanding bills and closed account. We build a budget and gave her a plan for moving forward. It really helped give her peace of mind to know at least from a financial standpoint that she would be okay moving forward.
It’s Never Too Late
It’s now eight years later and my brother and I continue to lend a hand with our mom. For a woman in her mid to late seventies I’d say she’s doing pretty good. She does most of her banking and bill paying online via her iPad. She even texts and facetimes her grand kids with it too. Don’t get me started on the number of games she plays on that thing.
She’s on more planning committees and social groups then I can keep track of. Between bingo, cards, day trips, and dances I don’t know when to call her because she’s never home. Sure we get the occasional phone call to help her on remember her Wi-Fi password, needs a ride to the store, or how to reboot the iPad, but for the most part she’s doing really well.
It just goes to show you it’s never too late to learn new things and have a plan for your money. We will be celebrating mother’s day will a home cooked brunch for my mom this year. Happy mother’s day mom. Love you!
Have you ever helped your parents with their finances? What are your mother’s day plans?