What My Dad Taught Me About Money

My dad retired a few days ago on April 1st at the age of 65. I am extremely happy that my parents are in a secure enough position that he can choose to retire on social security at the “normal” retirement age, and I am hopeful that he will really be able to enjoy his retired life. His retirement is a milestone that causes me to reflect on all the awesome ways he’s influenced my life, and remember everything he taught me about money.

First and foremost, my dad sacrificed to make my life better, and I will always appreciate that. He gave us a great home, provided all the necessities (and quite a few luxuries) for 4 children, and helped pay for me to attend college and get started in life. He worked a full time job throughout my life, sometimes at places he didn’t enjoy, and he has made my life better through his sacrifices.

Not only did he provide for us, but he has also been a great source of inspiration in my life, helping shape my views on money, work, and living a satisfying life. I learned to “hustle” by emulating my dad: despite his full time job, he tried dozens of side business ideas throughout my childhood, and he always dreamed of working for himself. I was able to watch my dad through his successes and failures and learn a lot of important lessons. He taught me about the magic of compound interest as a teenager. He encouraged me to invest my money at a young age. He was an inspiring model of frugality, bringing as much sanity as he could to the household budget. He read the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” book to our family, and he bought the “Rich Dad” Cashflow game so we could all play it as a family. He genuinely wanted to teach all of us about the value of buying your freedom by being smart with money. He helped me open a savings account when I first started getting an allowance and earning money. He helped me learn patience, and he taught me to save up for big purchases.

My dad also taught me about entrepreneurship, and was always encouraging and supportive of my early business ideas. At one point I decided that I would grow pumpkins in the summer and sell them at Halloween. I experimented with promotion, pricing, growing different varieties of plants, and more. I ended up making a lot of money every fall for 3 or 4 years in a row, and my secret weapon was my dad supporting and guiding me. He instilled in me a deep and rewarding entrepreneurial spirit that I will always be thankful for. I’ve never stopped dreaming, trying out my ideas, and making money.

Dorky me, proudly posing with my cash crops.

Proudly posing with my cash crops.

So really I want to say thanks dad for all the ways you’ve enriched my life and everything you taught me; if I ever have a family I hope to share the same wisdom with my kids. Hopefully because of your awesome guidance, I will be able to reach my goal of financial independence and early retirement to a life of entrepreneurship. Congratulations on reaching the next chapter of your life!

[featured image: tibbygirl]

Posted in Musings