Giving Thanks for Financial Advice

What are you grateful for? It's a question that looms large every Thanksgiving, prompting responses such as "family," "friends," and, of course, "food." But what about financial advice?

Sometimes, pearls of wisdom from a trusted source can help a person get on the path to financial success. With this in mind, The Alert Investor reached out to consumers across the country to learn what financial advice they're most grateful for. Here are some of their responses.

Save Before You Spend...

"Save first. Spend later. My mom told me to direct a portion of each paycheck into a savings account and then live off the rest. She was right — it's much easier to save that way."

--Anna Graubart, New York, New York

...and Watch It Add Up

"Start saving SOMETHING now, even if it is only $5 a week. Once you get into the habit you will find times when you can save $100 a week and other times when you can only save $1, but that all adds up and will one day keep you from hitting bottom."

--Sarah Cottrell, Winterport, Maine

Teach Your Children How to Save, Too

"Start teaching your kids to save as early as you can. This was the best lesson my parents gave me for financial stability. If I made $50, they said save $5. It was always what appeared to be a small portion, but it adds up over time. My girls save all their change and at the end of the year we deposit the money into their accounts."

--Jazmin Flores-Galan, Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Don't Underestimate the Importance of a Budget...

"Budgets are necessary. Without them, it's the same as living fingers-crossed and eyes-closed while you're behind the wheel of the car."

--Alexandra Rosas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

...and Live Within Your Means

"My father used to tell me, if I couldn't afford to buy what I wanted with the cash in my wallet, I have no business buying it."

--Linda Maltz Wolff, Los Angeles, California

Know Your Weaknesses

"My mom once told me, 'You can't buy everything.' I was in high school and begging her to buy me a whole new wardrobe for school. Her comment made me realize that I'll never be done wanting things. There will always be something I want to buy or go shopping for, and once I've bought it, I'll want something else. I tend to have strong shopping tendencies so that advice helps me curb that impulse."

-- Zina Kumok, Denver, Colorado

Protect Your Credit Score

"My father hammered into me how important it was to have a sterling, near perfect credit score, and that has paid off for me in spades throughout the years.”

-- Sarah Netter, New Orleans, Louisiana

...and Don't Be Weighed Down by Credit Card Debt

"My grandfather told me, 'When you get a credit card bill, pay it off.'"

--Dave Hopping, Glenside, Pennsylvania

Decide Whether You Should Rent or Buy

"I am most grateful for my first employer encouraging me to buy a house instead of renting. I still own the house I purchased at 25 and I've been able to rent it out to cover the mortgage and expenses."

--Jaime Shatsman, Painesville, Ohio