Money Personal Finance Relationship

Money lessons – What I learned from dad since childhood

It’s Father’s Day after 2 days. This year, I haven’t bought any gift for him. Instead, I’m dedicating this post to him. It’s my ode to my dad. It’s my way of saying ‘Thank you’ to dad for teaching me so money lessons right from my childhood. Without him, I wouldn’t have been where I’m right now.

Without wasting any more words, let’s talk about the money lessons I learned from my dad.

1. Save money instead of living paycheck to paycheck.

Dad has always been a firm believer of following a budget and saving money. Initially, he didn’t get a fat paycheck. But he lived frugally and saved money diligently. Never in his life did he borrow a payday loan, and that helped him to avoid debts. He took all the steps to save a significant amount every month and created an emergency fund. He spent money only on the necessities and curtailed money on luxuries. That helped him to lead a life on his own terms.

2. Be self-reliant instead of being dependent on anyone.

Dad has always taught me to be self-reliant instead of being dependent on anyone. He used to always tell me, “Stacy, I have taught you to the best of my ability. I have sent you to a good school and college. Now, you should earn your bread and butter. It’s easy to catch a rich and handsome hunk and get married. You can lead a comfortable life henceforth. But where is the respect? What’s the utility of studying so hard for many years? What if your husband leaves you or dies before you? No can predict the future. You should work and be self-dependent to lead a life on your own terms.”

I have not forgotten these words. I work hard and earn my own money. Even if I’m in great trouble and I have to borrow money, I return it as soon as possible.

3. Verbal words are useless. Keep everything in writing.

Dad learned this lesson the hard way. So he made sure I learned it before I stepped into college. Once dad was scammed by a stockbroker, and he faced a lot of problems in proving his innocence. Back in those days, dad used to do stock transactions over the phone and relied less on writing. That went against him because verbal agreements are not legally binding. When he formally lodged a complaint against the broker and the arbitrator asked for proof, dad couldn’t show any proof since he worked on mainly on verbal agreements.

I feel this is a vital money lesson dad taught me. This lesson has helped me to avoid several scams in the last few years. Fraudsters would never go for written agreements, and I refuse to work without one.

4. Invest only when you have extra cash

People invest to accelerate their income. Dad got a good return from his investments. In most cases, he made a huge profit. But that is not the complete story. He also incurred a huge loss just before his retirement. Fortunately, he survived because that was his extra cash. He had never invested his retirement savings on risky ventures like stocks.

I can still hear his words, ‘Stacy, when it comes to stock investments, do it only when you have extra cash, and you can survive a loss. If you’re not in a position to take a risk, then invest in treasury bonds, fixed annuities, CDs, etc. You won’t earn a huge interest but you won’t incur a loss as well.’

That’s not all

Dad belonged to the tech world, and I belong to literature, but both of us bonded over finance, not technologies. A brilliant engineer and senior officer at a reputed organization, he made sure that I learned important money lessons at a very early age.

In fact, he used to send me with mom to banks so that I learned the basic banking operation right from childhood. After writing a check, he used to show it to me. He used to explain to me the various nitty-gritty of writing a check, and that helped me a lot when I was in college. Unlike my friends, I could do all the banking operations smoothly without making any fatal mistake.