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What My Dad Taught Me About Money

My dad is a money guy. He spent his working years in banking and accounting and continues to serve his church on their finance committee. His financial knowledge, skill, and integrity have been a blessing in his life, and in many others.

He helped me open my first savings account, certificate of deposit, and checking account. He dutifully collected cash that was given to me for my birthday or Christmas and took it to the bank for me. I’m a saver by nature, a trait I inherited from both of my parents. He helped me budget for college and helped me shop for my first car at age 20. He even haggled a bit to get the car salesman to come down $100 since I was paying cash.

He taught me about giving when he let me put his folded check in the offering plate on Sundays. He taught me about frugality when he bought us McDonald’s sandwiches from the Dollar Menu to take home and eat with chips and drinks we had at the house. He taught us about delaying gratification when he saved our Christmas money for season passes to Opryland the next summer (the best memories money could buy). He taught us the value of hard work when he had the four of us kids roll change for him for an hour and then divided an hour’s minimum wage between us. That also taught us the importance of having a written contract instead of a verbal agreement!

He’s the reason I haven’t made big, painful money mistakes, and the reason I value Ben’s careful thinking about money. He’s been generous to me, as any good father wants to be to his children. He provided well for us, helped pay for my college education, launched me into adulthood, was my safety net when I was blindsided by a chronic health condition, filed my taxes until I got married, gifted me a beautiful wedding, and twice spent a week of his vacation along with my mom to come and stay with my older kids when I was in the hospital giving birth to our youngest kids. Those are just a few highlights. There are a lifetime of lessons and gifts sprinkled along the way, most of which have been forgotten, but their impact remains.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me about money and providing a stable and secure home for me. Your influence continues as we teach our children the same principles of financial stewardship. You are one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. I love you! Happy Father’s Day.

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