My Dad turned 60 on Father’s Day this year and the older that I get, the more I realize that most of my interest in personal finance came from lessons that he taught me. Here are four things that I learned from my Dad:
I remember being about five years old and opening up my first savings account at the bank. A lot of the first deposit into my savings account came from change that my Dad taught me how to wrap. I got really excited about coin wrapping as a kid and I still get excited about saving coins to get fee-free gift cards at the Coinstar machine.
My Dad is the first person who told me about investing. He bought me some P&G stock as a birthday gift when I was about 12 and I watched it daily for a while. I’m still grateful for that gift and it was way better than getting a Caboodle or whatever I was into at 12.
RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BUY
My Dad researches most of his purchases. Consumer Reports is usually on his nightstand and he got me a subscription to the kid’s version, Zillions, when I was in elementary school. I LOVED Zillions. It had tests of kid-friendly products and talked about personal finance on a kid level (I still used the tips I learned about saving for Christmas gifts each year), and it’s a shame that it isn’t around for kids to read today. I love that I can ask my Dad about buying a computer and he’ll email me a PDF of a Consumer Reports story about computers. This lesson has kept me from a lot of regrettable, impulse purchases.
Flipping through the Sunday sale ads has always been a part of my parents’ routines. My Dad isn’t a serious couponer, but he clips them when he sees one for something he typically buys. I’m also grateful that he give me the coupons from his newspaper each week.
I’m so grateful that I was raised by someone who thought it was important his kid to learn about saving, investing and responsible spending (Thanks Dad!).