4 Important Money Truths That I Learned From My Dad
1. Never Underestimate the Power of a Hard Day's Work
My dad worked his butt off (like many Americans do) while I was growing up and still does to this day. He holds down a day job, has his own construction business on the side and even DJs. It was humbling to see the lengths he went to provide for us as we were growing up. There aren't many handouts that will come your way. If you want something, you have to have the drive and determination to work for it –- and that includes handling your finances.
2. Why Pay Someone to Fix it When You Can Do It Yourself?
I've nicknamed my dad "Tim the Toolman" for a reason. If something is broken in our house, very rarely is it replaced with something new or taken into a shop for repair. Research is done or the item is examined very closely, and then if we're lucky -– it's taken apart and fixed in the right way. If we're not lucky, masking tape and a couple of nails will do the trick. Sometimes we're quick to replace items that are worn with those that are new and shiny, when in reality, the old items still work perfectly fine after some elbow grease. Spending your money on something new may not be worth it if you can save more than half the amount and buy something a little worn or take a few hours of time to fix it up yourself.
3. Learn a Craft -- Any Craft
Since I can remember, my dad has always been a master at building, fixing and refurbishing things. Since I was a kid I've seen him redo kitchens, tile houses, update swimming pools, build playhouses, design storage cabinets and more. Carpentry is his craft. And he's pretty darn good at it. Even though he's had jobs in other industries over time, he's always had this skill to go back to. If he wanted to bring in some extra money, he'd take on a few side projects to fund our next vacation. He honed his skills over time and used his expertise to supplement income, market himself and ensure he's had a cushion in times of need.
4. Care for Others Like You'd Want to Be Cared for
This may not sound like a financial lesson, but it is. Giving back of yourself, whether it's of time or money, has been one of the best lessons that my parents could have taught me. Even though it may seem like there are more days left than paycheck at the end of some months, my dad has taken in the homeless, spent hundred of hours in assisted living centers bonding with the residents, let numerous friends of my sister's and I move into an unoccupied room when they had nowhere to go and has loaned out cars, money,and more to those in need. He's taught me about being thankful for what you do have because even when you think you're living on little, there's probably someone living on less and that it is possible to live simply and happily on less.
Mary Beth Storjohann is helping Gen Y make smart choices with their money. She's a certified financial planner and the founder and CEO of Workable Wealth.