What My Father Taught Me About Money

Tori Dunlap

father's day

When I say my dad is my best friend, this is not a hyperbole. We have the same personality — we quote the same movies; are entrepreneurial and ambitious; and are both obsessed with being smart with our money.

Over the years, both my parents have focused on teaching good financial habits. I have my dad to thank for fostering my entrepreneurial spirit — I even started my first business at age nine with his help! In honor of Father’s Day, here are 5 financial best practices I learned from my dad.

1. Never spend what you don’t have

My dad made sure I understood you only bought things that you could comfortably afford. My parents have never had credit card debt, and demonstrated how to properly use a card. I pay my balance off in full every month, and only spend the money I have after savings.

2. Always check your statements

At the end of every month, my father sits down with all his credit card statements. In addition to analyzing his spending to see where he and mom can cut back, they sure that every expense is accounted for. Both my parents and I have noticed being double-charged, and I often find a subscription I forgot I signed up for (that I promptly cancel.) This practice helps you know where your money is going, and makes sure your statement is accurate and your account secure.

3. Invest like a woman

Statistically, women wait longer to invest than men and invest less (and of course, earn less.) The lack of confidence is what often keeps women from investing, but my dad has made sure that I understand the different retirement plans, stock markets, and accounts. He even acts as my broker, and we work together to invest my money wisely.

4. Negotiate EVERYTHING

Almost monthly, my dad calls up his phone, cable, and internet provider and negotiates a better rate — and it’s awe-inspiring. He’ll threaten to leave because of high prices, mention how loyal of a customer he has been, and waits for the customer service rep to do their magic. My parents even sat for 3 hours negotiating a price of a car — and they won. #goals

5. There’s no need for a debit card

When I tell people I don’t have a debit card, their mouths typically fall open. But my dad has never had a debit card, and passed this practice along to me. If I need cash, I go to the bank to get it. By only using credit cards (and paying them off in full every month), you earn rewards, can easily see where your money is going at the end of the month, and can report fraud if need be.

What was the best money advice you've received from your dad? Tweet us!