Fathers: The men who often raise us are known to teach their kids a lesson or two along the way to adulthood. Those lessons, whether about how to “put a little elbow grease into it” or the secrets to becoming the ultimate grill master, tend to be remembered for the rest of our lives.
Those life lessons can sometimes be money lessons, too.
In honor of Father’s Day, we asked readers in our Money Masters group on Facebook for the best financial advice their dads ever gave them. Below are some of the best money tips that dads of all kinds have shared over the years — and are still true to this day.
1. Live within your means
“My dad’s best advice was unspoken. He demonstrated living within your means, saving for retirement early and often, and never paying a finance charge by paying your bills in full every month. His worst advice was also unspoken. Meaning, he never talked about finances at all to his kids, so we had to pick it up on our own.” — Richard G.
It’s no secret that Americans have a tough time making ends meet. A recent Bankrate survey found that 60 percent of Americans wouldn’t cover an emergency expense with savings — a scary statistic that’s spawned as the result of carrying too much debt and not saving enough in the short-term.
(Need help building a budget? Here’s how to create one for short- and long-term goals.)
2. Get smart with saving
“My dad told me, after buying my first car with payments, that once I pay it off, I keep contributing that money into my savings and by the time I need a new car, I’ll have money saved for it and hopefully not need to have payments.” — Katie M.
Saving can be difficult, especially when finances are tight. But no matter your overall money situation, stashing away some cash will help you in the long run.
Read up on Bankrate’s top tips on how to save money in 2019.
3. Know where to stash your cash
“The best advice was to start saving money in a bank account when I was younger. The worst advice was never put money in the stock market. Now I’m a portfolio manager.” — Frank H.
Keeping your money in a bank account is smart, not only because it’s insured, but also because many banks today are offering higher interest rates than they have in the past. Not sure where to start with choosing a financial institution that works best for you? Check out Bankrate’s bank reviews and ratings.
4. Plan for the future
“My dad always stressed how important a job with a pension is. The sad thing is he died the day he retired, but my mom has reaped the benefits of his pension and Social Security.” — Sherry E.
Retirement may seem far away, but starting to save as soon as possible will keep individuals on track to retiring comfortably. Through the power of compounding, money saved for retirement has the opportunity to grow beyond what it would be without it — so time is of the essence.
Starting to save can be intimidating, so experts recommend breaking down the larger goal of retirement savings into smaller ones. How much do you want to have saved by the time you’re 40? 50? Work with smaller numbers to make savings goals more manageable each month.
5. Think before you buy
“The best advice my Dad gave me was to save more than you think you can, don’t try to keep up with the Joneses and don’t make impulse purchases.” — Glenda Z.S.
It’s true — department stores have sneaky ways they trick you into spending more money. For example, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s likely because it is. Always calculate the percentage of savings before jumping toward a dollar-off deal. And, remember, a sale that’s “ending soon” likely isn’t, so don’t feel pressured to buy.
Brace yourself — and protect your wallet — with these expert shopping tips.