The Money Lessons My Dad Taught Me

The money lessons that we have learned when we are an adult, were taught to us when we were growing up. Most of these lessons are taught to us by our parents - mom and dad. But we also pick them up from TV shows, movies, the media, friends, friends' parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents - basically anyone else who is using or talking about money around us.


These lessons are also stored in our subconscious and we don't know that they are there until we actually pause for a minute and see what lessons we have learnt and why we do certain things with money. Your money story is being formed and edited every single day.


But you also have the ability to rewrite your money story so that it's one that you really want to carry around with you.


When you rewrite your money story, you have to know the money lessons that you've learned to be able to rewrite them.


I learned a handful of money lessons from my dad while I was growing up. I want to share the most important lessons I've learned (as well as lessons that a few other bloggers have learned) to help you realize that you aren't alone in the money lessons that you've learned.


Our parents taught us what they knew. I've never blamed my parents for teaching me bad money lessons, because at the time they knew nothing different. I know different now, so I can make changes as I see fit. And you can too.


Here are some of the money lessons that my dad taught me:


You have to work hard to make just a little bit of money.


My dad grew up on a dairy farm and then he bought the farm from his dad when I was about 8 years old. So I also grew up on the farm. And a dairy farm is a lot of work. It's long hours every single day of the week.


There also isn't a lot of money in farming. So all of the hard work that we put in, very little was rewarded for our efforts. This really helped to cement in the idea that you have to work hard, just to make a little bit of money.


It has taken a lot for me to work through this money lesson, because I always work hard and I work smart too. All through college, I worked 2-3 jobs just because I was used to working so much. Then after college, I was working full time and getting my masters degree. And now I still work full time and run my own business as a side hustle.


But now I know that I can take breaks. I don't need to work myself to the bone. Plus working on my side hustle isn't hard work. It's my passion and it's something I absolutely love doing. It never really feels like work to me.


That was how I made the switch in my mind about working hard all the time. When the work you are doing doesn't feel like work, it's enjoyable, then it isn't hard at all!

If something has a little life left in it, no matter how broken it is, we are still going to use it.


My dad does not like to replace anything, no matter how broke it is. And once it is no longer functional, we can't throw it away either.


For most of my life, I had the hardest time throwing things away, whether they were old and broken, or still usable. I kept everything. But no more. I don't keep everything and I actually want to live a more minimal life (not complete minimalism, I'm NOT getting rid of my movies and books!), but I do want less stuff, especially stuff that I don't use, cluttering up my space.


This lesson was probably the easiest to change because I learned that I didn't like to have stuff just laying around. And I really don't like having broken stuff just laying around.


You don't need to keep track of your money, what's there is what's there.


My dad has absolutely nothing to do with the finances, unless he is actually going to the store himself and buying something. But this happens about two, maybe three times a year.


He relies on everyone else to keep track of the money. But he can spend the money as he sees fit.

Being an accountant (plus a lesson I learned from my mom), I keep track of my money. I saw how my dad handled money when I was growing up and I knew I wanted nothing to do with that type of handling money. So this a lesson I learned, but never actually picked up.


It doesn't matter if you are sick, injured, etc. the show must go on.


Having a farm means daily, 365 days a week, of work. And it doesn't matter if you are sick or injured or having any other kind of issues. You still have to work.


I don't know how many times I've shown up to work, both looking and feeling like death, and have been told to go home. I learned while growing up that it doesn't matter how you feel, you still go to work.


This has since changed, I take care of my health and when I need those days to rest and recuperate instead of going to work, I take those days.


Rest days are not only important for your physical health, they are also important for your mental health. And I make sure I take them.


Holidays and vacations don't matter.


This lesson has always been the hardest for me to get over since moving out of my parents' house. My dad didn't celebrate much of anything when we were growing up and we rarely ever went on vacation. If we did go on vacation, my dad didn't really go.


I remember one vacation where we went as a family and my dad went. And for several years, we would take one day and go to Knoebels for the day as a family. But then that stopped too.


Yes the farm is a a job that needs to be done on a daily basis and the animals don't care if it's a holiday or not. My dad had this attitude too. It doesn't matter if it's a holiday or not.


Over the past few years, I actually started to hate most holidays because of this. I usually have the day off from my full time job for these holidays, but they never feel like a holiday. It doesn't feel like a day that should be celebrated. And I want to be able to really enjoy the holidays for what they are - something to be celebrated.


I also want to be able to take a vacation and fully enjoy it.


So this is a money lesson that I'm still working on. It's not an easy one to change, but I know my kids will not learn to hate holidays and vacations when they are growing up.


It's not good to ask for help.


My dad has never liked to ask for help, whether from my siblings, my mom and I, or from other people outside of our immediate family. And I definitely picked up this trait.


If there is something that I know I can do myself, I'll do it. And even if I don't know how to do it, I'll find tutorials and teach myself how to do it, instead of asking someone else to help me.


This is another one of those lessons that is hard to get rid of. I've always been a self-starter and finding my own answers and knowing how to do things before I ask for help is just a part of who I am. Sometimes I want this to change, but most of the time, I like being this way and knowing all of aspects of what is involved in running my business or working the jobs that I work.


In my experience, most of the lessons I learned from my dad around money weren't the greatest and are ones that I either needed to change or am still working on changing. But this is what my dad knew when I was growing up and he had no other way of teaching me.


Here are some of the money lessons that other bloggers have learned from their dads: 

"Maybe the most annoying money lesson I've learned from my dad...but I'll never forget it. 'The money that you earn in life is never fully yours. You'll have to share it with someone or something else along the way somewhere!' GAH!"

Thena Reading-Franssen -

But you don't always have to share your money. This is a money lesson to get rid of! There is no requirement anywhere that you have to share your money with anyone. But a lot of people think that if they have money and someone asks them for money then they need to share it. Totally not true. You don't have to share it if you don't want to.


"The best money advice I ever got from my father and one that I passed onto my children, 'If it were fun, they wouldn't have to pay people to do it.' Great advice for anyone complaining about their job."

Ellen Lafleche-Christian -

Very true. There are fun jobs out there, and then are the not-so-fun jobs. But in my experience, it doesn't matter if the job is fun or not, there are always going to be people who are going to complain about their job. The job needs to be done and the person needs the money, so they are going to continue working. And the people who do the jobs that most people really don't want to do can end up getting paid even more.


"My dad taught me about compounding interest and how a little bit saved over time can have a profound effect. He would put $20 every month into a mutual fund for me. When the statements came in we would go over how the fund was doing. For my allowance I had to add it into a kid’s checkbook register to keep track of it. I then would write a check to my dad in order to pay for toys that I bought."

Steffa  -

I love these lessons that Steffa's dad taught her. They are such a good key to having good financial responsibility as you grow older! I totally wish more parents would teach their kids this, but like I said before, you're parents are only teaching you the things they know.


"My dad always said that dads don’t have money!! Haha! As I got older my parents taught me that how to stretch my money. They gave me $20 for lunch at school and whatever else I needed for two weeks. If I spent it in the first few days then that was it. I didn’t get more until their next payday. This helped me learn that I had to watch what I spent and how I spent it."

Cate Shadder -

This is a roundabout way of budgeting, which is simply getting money and making a plan to spend it. You can be told all day long that you need to create a budget, but until it really clicks for you, making a budget and spending your money wisely just isn't going to happen.


"My father taught me to recognize and seize financial opportunities. He would say that the worst thing that can happen is if you don't put yourself out there and try. I think of his words whenever I consider new investments. I still do an analysis and weigh the risks, but I ignore the naysayers who are scared because they've never done it before (including myself!)."

Jacqueline Gilchrist -

It's not always easy to recognize a financial opportunity, but when you do and then you seize that opportunity, you can end up with a very good situation. Weighing the risks of anything money related is a very good skill to have.


The money lessons you've learned from your dad don't have to hold you back anymore. You don't have to teach the same lessons to your children that you learned while growing up.

Or maybe you didn't learn the negative lessons from your dad like I did or even some of the bloggers that are mentioned above.


Either way, you always have complete control over who you are right now and what lessons you want to continue to carry with you.


What money lessons have you learned from your dad? Are you going to continue to carry it with you, or are you going to make changes to it?

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