From Mother to Daughter Money Advice Guest Blogger Elkinsette “Elkie” Clinton

July Guest Blogger: Elkinsette “Elkie” Clinton


For most of my daughter’s life money was an issue in our family. I was a single mom trying to make ends meet. When she was younger, she did not understand that. I did a good job hiding my money issues from her. She had what she needed. We had a place to live and food in the fridge. It was the mounting credit card debt she did not know I accumulated to keep up with costs and the Joneses. Or that because I owed her daycare $4,000 she almost got kicked out. It cost nearly $12,000 a year to send her there. All she knew was “Mommy had money.”

A New Pair of Shoes

I knew I had taught her a really bad money lesson when she was five years old. She needed a pair of black shoes as part of her uniform for the Catholic school. I gave some money to my sister to purchase the shoes and asked that she not spend over $25.00. My sister spent a little over $50.00. They were a nice brand shoe. After a week, my daughter’s shoes were scuffed, and the bottom was about to fall out.

My sister asked her what happened. My daughter’s response at the time was “Mommy can always buy me another one; she has money!”. Imagine the horror I felt that my little 5-year-old understood this much about the way money showed up in our house. Somehow Mommy made money appear so why not purposely ruin things because she will replace it. I knew I had to be a better teacher when it came to money.

Teaching Her

As she got older (she is now 10 years old), I decided I had to not only teach her how to value her things but to also understand money management. I talked more openly about money with her. I would explain if I said no to a purchase it was not to be mean but to consider that my money had other priorities. And I wanted to take care of our needs before spending it on clothes or eating out. We would need to wait a little longer to go certain places.

My Little Budgeter

I even introduced her to budgeting. We went to Whole Foods more recently to pick up view items. She happened to have $20.00. She offered to use her money to purchase some items she wanted. I said, “Okay let’s see what you pick.” She loves almond butter, so that was the first item. It cost about $8.99 at the time. Then she wanted Kombucha tea. Well, that is another $3.99. She picked a jar of pickles, a cup of soup, and some fruit.

At this point, she has made it way past the $20.00. So, I pulled out my calculator and began to total the amounts. As she sees the numbers go up, she gets nervous. I asked, “What happened?” She gave a smirk and said, “Wow I don’t think I can get all this.” I said, “Okay well you will have to make some tough choices.” I reminded her this is what Mommy does on many occasions. I make choices to get what we need with what I currently have. It is not always what I want, but it’s what is best.

She got her almond butter but had to say no to the Kombucha tea. My daughter did not get too upset. It seems she understood more than I expected. She even stated, “Food costs a lot of money huh?” I let her know that you become a bargain shopper when you must be resourceful.

What She Learned

I knew I taught my daughter some valuable lessons that day;

  • Be mindful of how you spend your money.
  • Budgeting sometimes requires some delay satisfaction. You can work towards getting what you desire later on when you are disciplined with your money. Her $20.00 could only get so much.
  • Saving money is so much better. She was so happy she received some change at the end of her transaction. The sense of pride that she could pay for things she wanted was written all over her face. I not only taught her money management but financial independence as well.
Elkinsette “Elkie” Clinton

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One thought on “From Mother to Daughter Money Advice Guest Blogger Elkinsette “Elkie” Clinton”

  1. Very excellent blog! Lots of lessons to be taught to kids today; the importance of money management and how this can impact their lives in the future . I am going to recommend this blog to her nephew and his friends though ,he had no choice but learn about money and saving because mommy didn’t have it like that and has always talked about budget. Many moms could benefit from these simple but powerful lessons to past down to their kids! Well done Elkie.

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