Ever since I can remember, my mom has been the chief financial officer in my family. Sure, major decisions were made by my mom and dad together, but for the most part, my dad earned the paycheck, and my mom paid the bills. My mom used to joke that the bank would call if my dad ever wrote a check.
But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn some important lessons from my dad. The lessons I learned from him have had a deep impact on my finances, and I hope that I can pass them on to my boys.
Teach a man (or woman!) to fish….
There’s a saying that goes, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” My father is an avid fisherman, who has taught me how to provide dinner for my family with a rod and reel. And he’s also taught me the importance of learning how to do things for myself. While he often helps me and my husband with projects at our house (we’re a bit inept with tools), he also knows when to back off and push us to tackle things on our own. It’s a special person that can give you wings, teach you to fly and let you go out into the world to explore.
The early bird catches the worm.
When I was a little girl and money was tight in our family, my father would head outside after a rainfall and gather up all the night crawlers he could find. He’d use them to catch fish for our family, but he’d also sell them to make extra money. He’d scour his garage for scrap metal he can turn into cash, or gather up his aluminum cans for a few extra bucks. He taught me how to be resourceful and work hard, and he taught me that when you get up early in the morning, you can get a lot more done than when you’re just laying around.
Always do your best.
My father was a millwright by trade, and while he wasn’t in love with his job, he did it, and did it well. He rarely ever called in sick, usually took any overtime that was available, and was a dedicated employee. He did all of this because he knew that the job afforded him the ability to do the things he liked to do in his off-time and live where he wanted to live. Now that he’s retired, he’s still dedicated to doing what he feels is best. And he still works hard. He’s always determined to find the best way to do things, even if it costs a little bit more. He refuses to give up on a project, and I’m blessed to have been one of those projects he kept working on.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I’m grateful for the lessons you’ve taught me and the support you’ve given me over the years. I love you very much, and I hope you (and all the other dads in the world!) have a very happy Father’s Day!