Unfortunately, my Dad passed away not too long after I wrote this post, but I am glad I wrote it, just to help me remember what he did for me.
My Father turns 8 decades plus one year old, and as usual I almost forgot his birthday. It’s interesting that Fathers always make sure that kids send their Mothers cards and such, but Fathers kind of get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life. In the days of Long Distance being a big money-maker for phone companies, it used to be that Father’s Day was the day the most collect phone calls were made, but I digress.
What do our Fathers teach us about money (those of us lucky to have Fathers)? That depends on how your Father chooses to teach you things in life. A lot of Today’s Fathers tend to be very hands-on and will tend to tell kids about life lessons in general and money in specific, in a very direct manner, which I think has it’s merits. Many times we need to be told about the perils of money directly, because you just might not know what problems you might be creating by a bad decision on your part.
In my case my Father rarely directly said much to me about money, he preferred to teach by example, where he worked hard, and made sure all the bills were paid and we had what we needed to live on. He did on occasion intervene but not directly, usually by asking leading indirect questions or telling stories (remember the The Parable of the Singing Horses), but he rarely intervened directly.
I can’t really say which is the better way for Fathers to advise their kids about money, I think my Father’s ways worked OK, I think I would have liked some more direct advice from him, but then again, would I have taken the advice? Some things are best learned in the school of hard knocks as well.
What have I learned from my Dad?
- Hard work is rewarded, eventually. He worked hard every day, and sometimes he got the short end of the stick but mostly he reaped the rewards from his hard work.
- Panic is a luxury that you cannot afford, no matter what. My guess is my Father did have some anxious days in his life financially (in the beginning), but I never knew about it. Do my kids need to know when there are financial issues? I don’t think so, unless it may affect their lives directly, then they need to know.
- Pay cash for everything, I rarely saw my Dad use a credit card, but I am also paranoid about walking around with large amounts of cash, so that one is a little harder to live up to.
- Education is power, there was never any discussion about whether I would go to a post-secondary institution, most of the discussion was on what I might study. He commented directly here stating, “… there is no bloody way I worked my ass off to get off a farm, to have my son go back to one!”, when I mentioned Guelph Agro-Engineering program.
What did your father teach you about money?
What did I get my Father for his birthday? Sh*T My Dad Says, it’s not meant as a commentary on his advice to me, it’s just a funny book.
‘Why the f**k would I want to live to 100? I’m 73 and shit’s starting to get boring. By the way, there’s no money left when I go, just fyi.’ – From the book