Dad jokes aside, many of us learned valuable financial lessons from our fathers that we carry with us to this day. So in celebration of Father’s Day, we asked a few of our fellow employees to share the best financial tips they learned from their dads. Here’s what they told us.
“Set Money Aside for Retirement”
My dad is a financial advisor, so from an early age he talked to me about investing, budgeting, and living frugally. At 15, when I got my first job, he explained the importance of checking my paycheck regularly and setting money aside for retirement. At the time, I didn’t understand the value of these talks. It wasn’t until later in life, when I found that my friends hadn’t had similar conversations with their parents, that I realized that my dad was preparing me financial success ever since I was a kid. When I have kids of my own, I want to make sure that I talk to them about money and get them familiar with basic financial education early on. It really pays off in the long run.
Manager, Marketing Creative
“Save Up for What You Really Want”
I thank my dad for teaching me the value of delayed gratification and the pride you get when you save up for something you really want. He really loves music, and would sometimes sneak away for hours to enjoy his sound system, which took up nearly an entire wall of our living room. As a child, I was transfixed by all of the lights, buttons, and switches on the various components, but they all clearly came from different companies and different eras. When I asked him about this, he explained that he never could have afforded to buy everything at the same time unless he bought cheap stuff that wouldn’t give the best sound. Listening to music was so important to him, he only wanted the very best—which he couldn’t afford. So instead, he kept saving up until he could buy one component, then saved again for the next, and so on, until over a decade later he finally had the system he wanted. It took time to get exactly what he wanted, but he finally got it. I could tell he was proud of his accomplishment, and suspected it made the music sound all the better. And of course, he still enjoys his hard-earned sound system today!
Director, Marketing Creative
“Don’t Buy on Credit”
Here are a few pieces of financial advice that my father, of blessed memory, shared with me:
1. Make your decisions with your partner. He and my mom were a team and no big decisions were made unilaterally.
2. Don’t buy on credit. The only debt he and my mom carried was their mortgage.
3. Save for the future. They put money aside out of each paycheck for investment and retirement savings.
4. Give to charity. My dad believed that taking care of others is an important financial responsibility. He and my mom regularly gave 10% of their income to charity.
Managing Editor, Bills.com
“Spend Wisely and Don’t Waste Money”
Over the years, my father has given me lots of great advice. He was the main source of any personal finance education that I received growing up. There are a few of his financial tips or values that stick with me. First, I don’t have credit card debt. The interest rate is too high and doesn’t make sense from a math or economic perspective. Second, spend wisely and don’t waste money. It is fine to indulge or buy nice things if you can afford it, but my father hated wasting money. This could include fees, not taking advantage of sales, or generally not being able to ascribe some value in what you are spending. Third, he said to plan for the ups and downs of the future because your career or family situation likely will not be a linear path. This can include having an emergency fund to investing in passive income where you do not need to depend on a paycheck later in life.
VP, Business Development