I’ve been struggling to write much about my personal finances lately, with everything else that’s been going on. But with yesterday being Father’s Day, I figured there was no better way to start this week off than to tell you about the person whom I’ve had more conversations about money with than anyone else: my dad.
My dad is the person who cutout articles about TFSAs for me when they first came out, encouraged me to contribute to my RRSPs, and emailed me at work to tell me Dave Chilton was becoming the newest dragon on Dragon’s Den. And today I’d like to share five of the many things he has taught me about money.
1. You Have to Work
When I was in high school, I hated my job and wanted to quit. “Do you want to keep driving your car? Well, then you need a job.” Towards the end of college, I wanted to quit my job again. “Do you like having a cell phone? Well, then you have to work.” Needless to say, I’ve been employed since I was 15 years old. (And I’m thankful he never let me quit.)
2. Please Pay Attention
I have vivid memories of flipping through my old magazines and finding chunks of paragraphs highlighted yellow. Or coming home from school or work to a fridge covered in cutout newspaper articles. Why? My dad had gone through them and highlighted or cutout anything he wanted me to pay attention to; this often related to personal finance or the economy.
3. Do Talk to Strangers
Ok, not strangers exactly. But my dad always encouraged me to talk to financial advisors. I saw the relationship him and my mom had with their bankers, due to the multiple visits they made each year. So I mimicked that behaviour and now have great relationships with both my investment girl and (future) mortgage guy.
4. Save (at Least) 10% of Your Income
Ok, so I’m still not quite at 10%. But I do expect to be in the 10-20% range soon. I recently made a big decision and I know he will probably be happy to hear (/read) that I finally want to start saving for a down payment. It’ll take a few years but I’m ready to make a savings plan… and stick to it!
5. Let’s Talk About It
Plain and simple, the best lesson my dad taught me about money was to talk about it. Finances, both personally and economically speaking, have been a part of breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea conversations, for as long as I can remember. No topic is off limits and everything is up for discussion. This is probably the biggest reason I was scared to tell him about my former debts but is also a huge reason as to why I became a personal finance blogger. And look at all the opportunities that has given me.
Thanks, Dad! And Happy Father’s Day.