smart spending

Readers: Best money advice from Dad

When I was 15 years old, my father caught me smoking cigarettes. He said he wished that I wouldn't take up that habit because it was very expensive. It has been 30 years that I haven't smoked -- cigarettes were around 75 cents a pack, now they are over $2 or more.
-- Della

"Spend some and save some." I retired at 52, thanks to Dad.
-- J.

When I was a kid, I remember my dad saying, "Every time you step off your property, you end up spending money. Stay home and you automatically save."

Family of Wendy I.
Family of Wendy I.

Now that my dad is retired, he once mentioned that he checks his online credit card and bank accounts every single day. Now, my life is way too busy with kids to check my online accounts every day, but I liked the basic idea of checking in on a much more regular basis on -- what I consider to be -- the reality of my accounts.
-- Wendy I. 

"We all get paid by the hour, but it depends how much you want to get paid in that hour. Hit them books hard."
-- Jirema A.

"Save a lot more than you spend and pay in cash." The latter part took a little more time to sink in.
-- Greg J.

My father gave me so much advice about money and about life. So, how does one isolate just a single piece of information from his 80 years of wisdom on this Earth? It is hard. I have to really sum up his ACTIONS to accurately reflect the "advice" dad gave me about money. I would have to say first and foremost of his money tips was to pay cash for the things you need/want or don't buy them. Be smart about the things you are buying. Find ways to save. Have a nest egg. Probably most importantly, have a plan. Life doesn't have one, so we should be prepared when things do not go our way.

As I said earlier, it was dad's actions that inspired me well beyond his words. He was a high school graduate. He and my mom raised us three kids on one salary. We never NEEDED anything. We attended the best schools and colleges. Our parents gave to charity instead of expecting handouts. They paid for everything with cash in hand. It wasn't easy for them. It was a lot of late night and weekend work for pop. He took all of their extra money and invested smartly at each opportunity. At his passing four months ago, he and mother had assets, cash and investments valued at well over half a million dollars.

I don't know how to really say the one definite piece of money advice from dad. Again, his examples of saving, hard work and investing were the largest factors in dad's financial stability.

At nearly 40 years of age, I am debt-free and have approximately $150,000 in assets.

My mom and dad are my heroes.

There is a song that goes, "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind. It's what you leave behind you when you go." My dad (and mom) gave me the world!

Forever grateful daughter,
-- Christina M.

Tami M. and dad
Tami M. and dad

Father? Financial advice? Hope not. Filed bankruptcy at age of 48. No retirement.
-- Karine K.

"Money doesn't grow on trees, young lady. You'd better start saving for your future now!"
-- Tami M.

My father was a great man. He served in World War II, and when he came back and married my mom, they struggled financially. He always taught me to have as little credit as possible. If I couldn't pay cash for it, I didn't need it, and never buy more than you could pay for and to pay my bills on time. He stressed that good credit was an essential in life. I am now 65 years old and my husband and I have perfect credit and have paid every bill we ever owed well before it was due. I was an accounting manager most of my working career. If I say so myself, if I had owned the business, I would have hired myself because I cared and couldn't stand waste. My dad was a big influence in my life, and the lessons he taught me made me what I am today.
-- Judy B.

"Don't buy books, use the library!"
-- Debbi

"Stay away from the stock market." I have never been sorry.
-- Anonymous

"Use cash only."
-- Carol A.

My father, a carpenter, once said that interest on a bank account was the easiest money he ever earned, much easier than swinging a hammer all day every day. I was a teenager at the time, am now in my 60s, and have never forgotten that remark. It's served me well for many years. Thanks Dad!
-- Margie D.

"Don't use credit cards!" Wish I listened to that!
-- Bryan K.

Happy Father's Day from Bankrate!

Have any tips from your dear old dad that you'd like to share? Send them to editors@bankrate.com.

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