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In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to celebrate all the sage financial advice that dads give us growing up, even if they didn’t know they were giving it. Yes, dads are known for cheesy lines that often don’t make sense, but there is a lot of wisdom wrapped up in those one-liners. Here are 5 perfect examples of familiar dadisms that are chock full of great advice.
Well, of course money doesn’t grow on trees. If it did, we’d all be rich. But you know where money does grow? Savings accounts, 401Ks and other investments. Investing your money in a solid, dependable interest account can help you grow money with the money you already have. Just be careful to stay clear of the volatile stock market unless you know what you are doing. If you are looking for an account with a high APY so you can earn more money, check out a money market account like EverBank, which offers a 0.89% APY for the first year and a 6-month 1.10% APY bonus. If you are looking to get involved in investing, sites like OptionsHouse are good at explaining the basics before you start spending any money.
What does that even mean? Well, dad was usually referring to not wasting food and finishing your dinner, but it could apply to a lot of things. For example, you should keep a close eye on what you are spending your money on so you are not wasting it. Are you still paying for that magazine subscription that you don’t use anymore? Or a membership to a gym you haven’t stepped foot in for years? Or do you buy brand name groceries instead of the items on sale? Just wasting $3 a day could add up to $1,000 a year that you are wasting. If you cut the waste from your financial life, than you will have the money to do the things you want to do.
Sure, dad was talking about raking leaves or mowing the lawn, but the same principle applies to your finances. Of course, working hard for your paycheck is expected, but we’re also talking about working hard when it comes to your finances. Most people try not to think too much about their finances, letting automatic direct deposits and payments do their thing in the background. While automation is great, it can end up leaving you blind to errors or ways to cut down on certain costs. Do a little extra hard work this weekend and sit down with your finances and see what you are really paying for. Try signing up for a site like Manilla or Personal Capital. They monitor your accounts to see what you are spending money on, and can help you determine what you can cut.
My favorite memory of my dad is when he would haggle with the car dealer to try and get a better price. My dad was the king of negotiation, and this is a skill I’m truly glad he taught me. Negotiating is key to getting the best price on certain things. Of course, you wouldn’t negotiate when paying for a fancy dinner or for a loaf of bread at the grocery store, but there are some key places where you should be a master of financial negotiation. When buying a car, of course. When discussing the terms of a loan. And most importantly, when dealing with credit card companies. If you are in over your head with credit card debt, it’s always a good idea to call your credit card lender and try to negotiate a deal for you to pay down your debt. Even a novice can do it, since most credit card lenders are more than willing to haggle in order to get their money. Just make sure that you agree that they report your account as “paid as agreed,” otherwise it could negatively affect your credit score.
It’s true, money can’t buy happiness. What it can buy is security. The old adage isn’t meant as a “money is evil” warning, but as a reminder not to waste your life chasing money. Think of it this way: Money can buy you the security to find your happiness. It’s a balance. Don’t obsess over money, but also don’t ignore it, or your happiness might be short-lived.