5 Financial Lessons from a Financial Advisors Dad

Father’s Day is right around the corner. I love my Dad. I cannot figure out what to get him every Father’s Day.

However, he did pass along a nice gift to me. I am grateful that he taught me a few financial lessons in the 21 years I lived with him. I didn’t know it at the time, but a lot of what my Dad said, did stick with me into adulthood and my financial practice.

Here’s what this financial advisor’s Dad taught him about money:

1. Money doesn’t grow on trees. My Dad must have said it at least 50 trillion times when I was growing up. What he really meant was don’t waste anything. He was really sensitive about not eating all your food. My Dad grew up poor, so his family had to be careful. He would get really upset if I left a few bites of anything on my plate. The point is, you only have a finite amount of financial resources. Don’t squander it on things you will not use.

2. Try to fix it yourself first. My Dad always wanted to show me how to fix things. In particular basic car repair. Now when I was in high school I really didn’t care to learn how to fix it. I just wanted to get in it and drive it where I wanted to go! Learning to repair cars, household appliances, and plumbing can save you a small fortune. It will help you to know when to call someone and when to fix it yourself.

3. Show up and work hard. I get my work ethic from my Dad. He was hardly ever sick and never skipped work. If he did stay home sick, it was time to call an ambulance because he was probably near death! I learned that you should stick with your job and have pride in doing it even when you don’t feel well. Financial success is much the same way. Show up, work hard and don’t quit. 

4. Spend money on what you care about. My Dad always liked cars. He had some really nice ones when I was little. That was something he loved and spent his money on. He cared about his family too, so he invested in us. My Dad always said, spend money on the things you want and value, ignore the rest. Always seemed like great advice.

5. Make sure you record everything in your checkbook. Many decades ago, there was a new invention. The amazing ATM machine. I remember begging my Dad to let me push the buttons every time we went to the ATM. The funny story is that my Dad wouldn’t record the ATM withdrawals in the checkbook. I bet you already know where this is going. Bottom line…I learned to record stuff in my check book.

My Dad will never be a rich man, but the financial lessons he taught me have made me the person and financial advisor I am today. If he finds out I wrote about the infamous ATM story he’s going to kill me! I thought my Mom was going to have a heart attack when she found out all those years ago. Thanks Dad and Happy Father’s Day!

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