Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Handbook for Catholic Moms Question: Family Banker Advice?

The Mind section of The Handbook for Catholic Moms has a chapter on financial stewardship, since many moms are the "family bankers" of their families.  I especially like Catholic financial guru Phil Lenehan's sidebar advice for moms to be good financial stewards for their families.

I thought it would be neat to explore here some good financial advice you practice or received as advice that you like, even if you aren't able to put it into practice.  What's a good way to save or spend money wisely?

Your advice can be serious or light.  

The one I'd like to share is quite light and fun.  We have a Discover Card in our family, and part of the rewards of this is a "Cashback Bonus."  You can the "Cashback"  for cash, a reduction in your credit card bill, or in the form of gift cards with a higher value, say a $45 card for $40 of your "Cashback" money.  Since we don't carry a balance on our credit cards, we don't use the bonus for the credit card bills themselves.  So as a treat, I use our Cashback Bonus to get gift cards for my favorite coffee shop so when I buy coffee "out" when I'm on the run all day or when we are traveling, and it is "free."  I know that it actually isn't free, but there's something nice about having a gift card for something that is a treat.

What's some good and/or fun financial advice from your family? 


  1. We work hard at always asking ourselves "is this a true need or a want" before any purchase, large or small- and have passed this advice on to our kids as well!
    This method can help with something as small as me thinking I might WANT some coffee as I'm out running errands today, I better brew some at home and take my travel cup. (vs the 5.00 starbucks!)
    This thought process has also helped our entire family recognize why we might be spending money. Are we bored? feel as if we need a reward? feel guilty that we don't yet have "that" ? (item that every other family seems to have) Is this a book or DVD or audio I can check out at the library?
    If our answer is that the item is a need, we can still discern from there. We needed a new car recently, but I feel we saved thousands by focusing on what were the most important needs for this car,(safety, gas milage) vs what would fall into a want category for our family. (comfort, brand recognition, good looks).

  2. The best advice given to us that we are so grateful for, is to stay on a budget. To help us do that, we use a very easy program called "Budget" - nothing surprising but very user friendly. The 2nd best piece of advice given to us, is to tithe faithfully. This last bit was hard to swallow at first, especially knowing that there are so many other things we can do with that money. However, the freedrom gained from tithing is amazing and God ALWAYS provides what we need.

  3. Britta, I absolutely agree that tithing can be tough someimes. We have always tithed, but it has just recently made its way to 10% We would add $10 a month to our tithe so it wouldn't be as much of a shock to us. I do sometimes look at that money and think, "But I could save up for my table, lamps, and bunk beds so much faster if I didn't tithe!" I think tithing is supposed to be a little painful. It helps purge our selfishness.

  4. One of my sisters wanted to share this article from the Washington Post about good financial advice. I get a weekly email from Michelle Singletary, and I love her no-nonsense and frugal approach.


  5. I'm not really sure how to put a link into a comment, but I just checked this and if you cut and paste the link in your web browser it will bring the article up.