What My Dad Taught Me About Personal Finance


father-daughterToday’s post come from Karen. She blogs over at MakintheBacon. I have been reading her blog for some time now and really enjoy doing so. I highly suggest you check it out as well.

As I have commented in numerous posts on my blog, my parents didn’t really teach me too much about money while I was growing up. I have vague memories of putting spare change into my piggy bank. I remember opening a savings account with Canada Trust, before it became TD Canada Trust. Before online banking, there were bank books. You would give them to the teller to update it for you, in order to see your transactions. Or you would insert it into the ATM to have the book updated.

My parents placed a huge emphasis on investing in a post-secondary education. During their time, it was the thing to do in order to become successful.

We never discussed anything about saving and budgeting. It wasn’t until I was living off-campus during university where the idea of saving, budgeting for groceries and paying rent really hit home. Sometimes you have to experience things for yourself in order to truly understand the importance of them.

My dad has many habits that I adopted without even realizing that he was the one who I adopted them from in the first place. I never really gave it much thought until I came up with the idea to write this post.

Financial Lessons From Dad

He would brag about getting a good deal on something and stockpile it for my sister and I. It was never to the point of extreme couponing, but he was always able to recognize a good deal and take advantage of it. Like father, like daughter – I too, brag about how I much save on a deal and stockpile the item if it is something that is non-perishable and it’s an item I use regularly (i.e. toothpaste, toilet paper, dishwashing detergent packs).

He thought it was pointless to keep up with the Joneses’. He didn’t care about fancy cars, designer clothing or big houses. He was content with what he had. It was the simple things in life that made him content: such as his family or Tim Horton’s coffee. I did care about the Joneses’ for a brief period in my life, but I never went as far as to actually try and keep up with that kind of lifestyle. I learned from him that the simple things are the ones that provide the most happiness.

He did care about quality though. He would spend the money on things that he needed and were of good quality to last him a very long time. He is a Baby Boomer. He came from the generation where brands stood for long-lasting and good quality. It’s so true when people say “they don’t make them like they used to”. I am still using my parents’ mustard yellow blender that they got as a wedding gift in the 1980s. That thing can still blend like nobody’s business.

He is a generous man who had compassion and always donated money to the hungry and homeless. I probably don’t do this as often as he does, but I will give my spare change to the less fortunate from time to time. Once I even bought a homeless person a French vanilla cappuccino and donut from Tim Horton’s.

He doesn’t like to waste things, especially food and would always point that out to me because I was a very picky eater from day one and still am to this day. Growing up, he would always tell me about how I should be thankful I have a lot of food to eat, because there are so many starving children in the world. I’m not going to lie, I still throw out food here and there, like the majority of North America, but I feel terribly guilty for it because of what my dad would always tell me. However, I try to take home unfinished food from restaurants for leftovers. Heck, I’ll even take home friends’ and family’s unfinished food. Food is food. The once in a blue moon times I cook, I try to use leftover stuff in the fridge and pantry.

I get my quiet, introverted nature from my dad. My mom and sister are more on the extroverted side. He’s a man who doesn’t say much, but you know from his actions, he is a very loving and generous person.

About The Author

Karen is a personal finance/lifestyle blogger who enjoys writing about her thoughts and experiences in life and finance at MakintheBacon. When she’s not blogging, she can be found at the gym motivating people, in the kitchen baking cupcakes, riding her bike here and there, traveling to an exotic destination or on the couch reading a good book.

[Photo Credit: photostock/Free Digital Photos]

2 thoughts on “What My Dad Taught Me About Personal Finance”

    1. I completely agree with you Jayson. The education system should make learning the basics of personal finance a mandatory course in both elementary school and high school. If parents aren’t comfortable teaching their kids about personal finance, then they should at least provide them with resources (ie books and certain websites), where they can learn about it on their own.

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