Financial Independence

Money Management Lessons from my Mother and Me

7 Oct , 2015  

Smart Money Management Tips for The Independent Young Woman

Are your pockets overflowing with many, many extra dollar bills? If so, congratulations. If not, this blog is about money management and setting you up for financial independence, starting with two lessons from my mother and me.

Lesson 1. Be shopping smart (tip from my mother) :


Girl Considering Her Options for Purchasing based on Money Management principles

Thankfully, I was taught the importance of money management well at an early age. When I was a young girl growing up in India, my mother sent my siblings and me to the market to buy a few items for the house. I was tasked with picking up a pound of vegetables. When we returned home, my mother asked all of us many questions about our purchases and asked me quite a few about my reasoning behind selecting and paying for the vegetables I had bought, including:

•  How many stalls did I look at before I bought that pound?
•  What methods did I use to check that the vegetables in question were fresh?
•  How did I know that I had actually received a pound of vegetables and not a lesser amount?
•  Did I negotiate on the price? (In India, you always negotiate the price. It’s basically a sport).

This experience taught me skills about shopping wisely, and I still ask myself a version of each of these questions prior to making any purchases to this day.

While you may not be planning on heading to an actual market anytime soon, you can still use variations of these questions in any “brick and mortar” shop or before clicking “pay now” in an online store.

Lesson 2. Become a skilled online shopper (tip from me)


Girl learning better money management through smart online shopping

Whether you shop online frequently or just every once in a while, there are five money management steps you should take to make the most out of every purchase:

1. Develop different categories for the items you buy online: You will want to categorize your online buys (i.e. food, clothing, household items, office products, furniture, tickets, etc.) and make a list of 2-3 trusted vendors for each category.

2. Determine which items are worth buying online and which are worth heading into an actual shop for: Personally, I never buy shoes online. I really need to try a pair on in the store before I decide to whip out my wallet. I drive the sales people nuts, but I don’t care. So take a step back and start weighing whether the convenience of buying from an online shop will be worth the risk of getting something a little less than high-quality than you were expecting/something too big or too small. You may want to return the items you didn’t like, but returning anything to an online store is a real pain and a waste of time and money, since you may also have to pay for the return shipping.

3. Make sure that you know a vendor’s return policy before you buy ANYTHING from them. It’s better to be safe than sorry on this front, always.

4. Don’t become too loyal to a given vendor. Online vendors know what you have been searching for and buying. And vendors want to keep you coming back. If you turn to another vendor every once in a while, the original vendor may try to woo you back with special coupon codes and lowered prices which will help you with personal money management.

5. Fill your online carts with items, then just exit out of the website. Today’s customer is made extremely powerful by one little thing—their mouse. If you abandon the shopping cart the online vendor knows it and will try to get you back to buy with a special coupon or by reducing the shipping cost.

In my next blog I’ll talk about 3 Things You Can Do Now to Get Set Up for Financial Independence.

Please share the lessons you have learned from shopping in regular brick-and-mortar stores or from online shopping.


Other Valuable Resources for Money Management Skills

  1. 8 Financial Tips for Newly Married Women

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13 Responses

  1. Keisha says:

    What’s up to all, since I am genuinely eager of reading this weblog’s post to be updated daily.
    It consists of pleasant stuff.

    • Shaku Atre says:

      Thank you very much Keisha. I am writing a blog once/week – mostly on Wednesdays. Because I spend quite a bit of time in creating good material which is, hopefully, useful to the readers. I very much appreciate your comments. Please let me know whether you have read other blogs already published on this site . I look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards

  2. Shaku Atre says:

    Brenda: The same thing happened to me too – and how strange also with lamps. I too didn’t look at measurements because visually they looked perfect for our living room. And stupidly, or maybe to save shipping costs the second time, ordered two of them. I was very excited to open the boxes and my excitement turned into big disappointment when I saw these gigantic lamps which would have been perfect for a hotel lobby . I learned a hard lesson also with color of a blouse – instead of a pleasing pink it was really “hot hot pink”. And time to pack, shipping logistics, made me really mad. That is why the warnings in the blog.

    Thanks Brenda for taking the time to share with us. Best Regards, Shaku Atre

  3. I learned online buying lesson the hard way. Bought lamps with shades that were way too large (why didn’t I look at the measurements rather than the photo?). Had to pay $200 to fed ex to return them! Ouch!

    Good advice in this blog post!


  4. Chaitanya says:

    The website looks great !

  5. Ilya Zhurbinskiy says:

    Very helpful article.

  6. Susan Bell says:

    Interesting! My mother, too, was sent shopping at a very young age, and hence learned how to do math in her head. I agree with you about not buying shoes online.

  7. Judy Bell says:

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information about things to keep in mind while online shopping. It’s too easy for me to just make impulse purchases and then regret it later and have to pay expensive return shipping or be stuck with non-returnable items.

  8. Samantha Akiha says:

    Great first blog! I like the look of the site also. -Samantha

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