The Best Financial Tips We Learned from Our Dads
- Dads recommend savings for retirement. It will pay off.
- If you want something badly, save for it. If you don't want it badly enough to save, you don't want it that badly.
- Avoid buying on credit and spend wisely.
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 for 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.
Cosmo Spinosa, 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.
Maureen Grodzki, 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:
Make your decisions with your partner. He and my mom were a team and no big decisions were made unilaterally.
Don’t buy on credit. The only debt he and my mom carried was their mortgage.
Save for the future. They put money aside out of each paycheck for investment and retirement savings.
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.
Daniel Cohen, 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. Here are a few of his financial tips or values that stick with me:
Don’t accumulate credit card debt. The interest rate is too high and doesn’t make sense from a math or economic perspective.
Spend wisely and don’t waste money. It’s fine to buy nice things if you can afford it, but my father hated wasting money. This could include fees, not taking advantage of sales, or not being able to ascribe value in what you’re spending.
Plan for the ups and downs of the future. Your career or family situation likely will not be a linear path. This can include having an emergency fund to invest passive income where you do not need to depend on a paycheck later in life.
Ed Chang, VP, Business Development
Take it from your dad, financial planning pays off
If your dad has helped you learn how to deal with debt, manage money, and plan for your future, then you’re one step ahead. But there’s always more to learn. Our simple-to-follow guide will help you find the tools you need to realize a better financial future. Get started by downloading our free guide right today.