Parents aren't always great role models. However, our mother and father are usually the first people we look to as we're trying to learn new things -- driving a car, hitting a baseball, playing an instrument, whatever.
When it comes to money, it's no different. That's why, in honor of Father's Day, we asked some experts from the personal finance community -- including some from our own team and those with our sister site, StreetAuthority.com -- to share with us the financial wisdom that their fathers shared with them. We were thrilled with the response and put together a list that includes bloggers, authors, TV commentators and more.
And if you've got a great story, we want to hear it, too. Share it with us by leaving your comment at the end of the story. Or just tell us which one of these was your favorite.
"Best advice my dad gave me was/is twofold:
1) His advice wasn't spoken, it was done. He took me to the local bank to get my first savings account and passbook when I was 12 years old. I had to speak to the bank manager, sign papers and manage my own savings -- at 12! What wasn't spoken was done -- start saving early, pay attention to your money, be responsible for it and don't be afraid of banks.
2) The heavy and very cool side of him doing that with/for me? He signaled to me that gender is not an issue or factor when it comes to money. Here I was, a girl, opening her own bank account at 12 years old. In the 1980's. I, a female, was being put in charge of my own money, very early on. I didn't realize for years just how powerful that was until I'd tell that story to female audiences and I'd hear from them that, gender-wise, it was amazing that my dad took his daughter to do something so powerful for her independence so early."
"Every Saturday morning, my dad and I would sit at the kitchen table. He would tell me the name of a stock, and I would look up the closing price in the newspaper. Armed with a clean sheet of paper and a sharpened No. 2 pencil, he would tally up the week's gains and losses.
We rode out good markets and bad at that kitchen table. During market corrections and economic downturns, my father would always say the same thing:
'Amy, when they raid a house of ill-repute, they take all the girls to jail, even the piano player and the cook. But if they get a good judge, the piano player and cook will be out in no time.'"
"Best advice from father: Always max out your 401(k) at least up to what your employer matches. Not only will it help YOU get going with retirement, but it's pretty much like getting FREE money from your employer too! Who doesn't like that?
Sadly, it took me three years to finally take him up on his advice, but here we are, almost 8 years later, sitting on over $150,000 because of him. ;) Gotta love dads!"
- J Money, BudgetsAreSexy.com
"The best thing my Dad ever taught me about finance had nothing to do with money. It was all about planning. 'You have to think about the interim steps to get to the big dream. Build it in pieces. Set milestones and measure your progress.'
After spending a few years in the financial industry, I've realized that these lessons unlock the secret to personal finance. "To keep future options open, work is required now." Want to retire comfortably? Invest early. Want to improve your credit score? Try to pay back a little more each month. Want to buy that dream house when you finally find it? Better start tucking away cash for the 20% down payment.
He also taught me the most important thing about planning -- that you can't get down on yourself when your well-laid plans don't work out. "Things can be perfectly in place and not turn out -- everything needs that little extra random ingredient. When things don't turn out, don't get frustrated. Ask how you can improve the process."
- Meredith Margrave, executive editor, InvestingAnswers.com
"My father always told me to carry at least $40 in cash -- a $20 bill, a $10 bill, a $5 bill and five singles -- in my wallet, even if I have a debit card.
It lets you leave exact change plus tip on the diner counter and make a hasty exit if necessary. It's enough to pay for a cab or enough gas to get you home if you're stranded. And it makes splitting a bill with friends a breeze.
Even today, as we move closer to a cashless society, not having this cash cushion in my wallet makes me nervous."