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12 Women Share The Best Financial Tips They Learned From Their Fathers

money tips from dad

Growing up, you probably heard a lot of advice from your father, from what boys to date (if any!) to how to manage your money. Often, lessons we learn as kids have an impact on us as adults. Regarding money, we asked 13 women to share the best financial tips they learned from their fathers. Perhaps you do some of them yourself — or you’ll start to soon.

1. Suzanne, 50

“In this age of job hopping and career infidelity (meaning, no one stays with a company longer than 2-3 years anymore), my father told me to stay with a company at least as long as I could be vested AND to contribute the maximum amount my salary allowed toward its pension plan. I have worked for three companies in my life. I stayed the minimum at two (five years) and for more than 10 years at the other. I maxed out my 401(k) contributions every year and, not only was able to lower my tax bracket each year due to the contributions, but I look forward to the checks I’ll be able to collect when I turn 65! Sure, this meant I had to cut my expenses to make the investments, but they will certainly pay off in the long run.”

2. Elizabeth, 48

“My father doled out a lot of great financial advice, probably because, with four kids and one working parent, money was often a struggle. Beyond his ‘start saving now, not later’ mantra, he said that when you start making some money, find a lifestyle that makes you comfortable; then, even when you have more money, don’t just spend more because you have it. I love this reasonable advice because it’s a very good self-assessment check of pausing to think: ‘Do I really need this?’ More often than not, I don’t. That said, it gives me a nice balance between having what I want and need, along with money in the bank.”

3. Michele, 52

“My father was a multi-faceted genius who, during the depression as a teen, tap danced outside of Radio City Music Hall in New York City, which opened doors for coveted employment there. His advice was to follow your dreams and use talent and skill doing your best without hurting anyone along the way. I’ve always lived by my late parent’s philosophies, and it’s enabled me to follow my dreams, live without financial stress, and experience gratitude daily.”

4. Lauren C., 26

“I was always taught to come to an interview prepared with a salary range that’s applicable to the job I’m applying for — and ask for a specific salary within the range based on experience. My dad told me to do this because he knew that employers tend to lowball their female applicants, and this would show the interviewer that I would be unable to be taken advantage of financially.”

5. Mani, mid-50s

“I am a retired HR/financial executive. Although I had a career providing financial advice and support to major corporations, and am a career coach today, I received the first and best financial advice from my parents. For instance, my father taught me to always pay myself first; plus, the power of maximizing your savings by maximizing contributions to tax-sheltered retirement plans. Even when I had a modest salary, I followed his advice, and enjoyed the benefit of getting an immediate tax break and the continuing benefit of watching my nest egg grow over the years without having to pay tax on the growth in value. I passed on these lessons to my daughter, and she is now following the same advice.”

6. Lauren R., 31

“My dad is super generous financially, but he’s not at all showy about it and usually gives anonymously. What I’ve learned from him is that generosity will make you so much happier than when you spend money only on yourself. And today, I work as a financial coach, which I love.”

7. Holly, 57

“The best financial tip I ever got from my parents, mostly my dad, was ‘Pay off your mortgage early.’ At 93, he still shares this story with me. He saw an article in the Saturday Evening Post that said if you put just a few dollars extra on your mortgage, you’ll save thousands of dollars in interest. He added $5 to $7 to each mortgage payment and paid off a 25-year mortgage in about 18 years. (Keep in mind this was a mortgage of about $9,000 in 1959.) I paid my 15-year mortgage in just over five years and my 20-year mortgage in just over seven years. Those thousands of dollars saved have given us a great start on our retirement savings. It’s a tip I recommend, just updated a bit: If your current mortgage payment is $725, round up to $800 or more. You’ll never miss the difference and you’ll save thousands in interest.”

8. Ilene, over 60

“My dad would say, ‘Just because I earn the money doesn’t mean you get to spend it.’ This was his response when I thought he, as a VP at the largest company in the area, should buy ME a car when all his peers were buying their kids cars. Now, I’m a financial professional, wrote a book called Wealthy by Choice: Choosing Your Way to a Wealthier Future, and conduct webinars at”

9. Sarah, 25

“My dad’s tip: ‘Money is neither good or bad, it’s simply an opportunity.’ During my college years, I went through a stage where I almost felt guilty about going to an expensive university with wealthy classmates and convinced myself that making money was ‘bad.’ I was volunteering with a lot of non-profits and community initiatives and felt like the only way to be a ‘good person’ was to swear off a good salary and dedicate my career to some sort of service. While my dad was supportive of my endeavors, he was worried that my limited viewpoint would limit my potential. He gently guided me through that time by encouraging me to be open to pursuing a path that would lead to a larger salary because money doesn’t do good OR bad things, people do — and money is an exchange of energy that enables someone to do MORE of that good or bad thing. Since that time, I have been able to be more open and creative in cultivating a career and lifestyle that fulfills my financial goals (now significantly more lofty), and my ideological ones.”

10. Cynthia, 60

“I learned to have a monthly financial plan to save and pay off debt first with every paycheck — what’s left over is what is available to spend; it’s not the other way around. Nor did I spend money I didn’t have in the bank. As a result, I’ve got a nice retirement nest egg, paid off all my student loans (heaviest interest rates first), have tons of equity in my home, and never let my expenses outpace my income. My dad was a real estate appraiser who valued real estate as an asset: Any money made from selling a house was put into another house. As my husband and I moved from New Orleans to San Diego and then to Sonoma County, CA, we did just that. We never used home equity for consumer items or travel; home equity stayed in the home. The few times we took out home equity loans, it was to improve our home property. When interest rates became really low, we refinanced — we did not pull out equity but, instead, took out a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year one. When we reach the retirement age of 65, our home will be paid off! And, it’s worth so much more because all home equity loans were plowed back into the property. Thanks, Dad!”

11. Joyce, 57

“I am a money relationship expert and have been helping people get out of debt for over 10 years with the tip my father gave me when I was very young. My father owned his own business and the best tip he gave me was, ‘Your word is your bond and your credit score is just as important.’ Many people don’t realize how important their credit score really is — a credit score of 760 or higher is like having an extra $100,000 worth of buying power on their side. To this day, I still teach this phrase to my clients.”

12. Gayle, late 50s

“Simply put: ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’” I must have heard that phrase from my father hundreds of times, because it stuck!”

Now, it’s *your* turn. What’s the biggest financial tip you learned from *your* father? Let us know below!