“Enjoyed the article, thought I would write one of my own.”
What money lessons did you learn from your father?
By Deanna Di Lello
When I was seven or eight years old my father took me to the bank to open my first savings account. I had been given ten dollars as a birthday present and it was going in the bank to earn interest!
When the account was set up I was handed my very first bank book. Whenever I had Christmas or Birthday money – in the bank it went and I watched the number in my book go up and up. My father taught me to save, but that’s not all he taught me.
The value of money
I earned an allowance as a kid and when I was old enough I got a paper route. Buying a toy with the money I had earned was much more satisfying than having it bought for me. Plus, I learned how much things cost compared to what I had earned. (I think I asked for my allowance to be raised on more than one occasion…)
Things really were better “back in his day”
When my brother and I were in high school we were told that when my dad was in university the money he earned from his summer job paid for his tuition. Those days were long gone. He asked us to work part time during the year and during the summer to earn money for school. He would cover the rest of our tuitions so we didn’t end up with student debt. We were extremely fortunate in this case as many of our peers did not have that luxury.
Pay the full amount on your credit card, not just the minimum
When I was nineteen and about to enter university I received my first credit card. I was told to use it to build up a good credit rating… but not to use it too much and to definitely pay off the full balance. I know many people drowning in credit card debit because they did not follow this advance.
Choose a partner who is good with money
The number one argument couples have is about money. My parents bicker sometimes, but not about how they spend. My mother’s values are in line with my father’s.
My husband had student debit from both his undergrad and post graduate degrees. As he changed jobs and earned more money, he would increase his payments. It was always a priority for him and as a result of his dedication, it has now been paid off.
It is better to give than to receive
For my parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, my father contacted my mother’s favourite charity and organized an award in her honour. This prize is awarded annually to a lucky recipient and my parents often attend the ceremony. It wasn’t the cash prize that moved my mother, brother and I to tears. It was the thoughtfulness of the gift. It was the knowledge that someone else’s life would be made just a little bit better thanks to his love.
Money doesn’t buy happiness… but neither does poverty
My father didn’t say this, but it’s true. His financial success was never motivated by the lure of bigger houses and more expensive cars. He only wanted to make sure that his wife and children were provided for. That if there was ever an emergency that required a last minute financial expense, he could cover it.
My father taught me this and so much more.