Just in time for Father's Day:
Money Advice from a Dear Old Dad

Image of Bill Partin
by Bill Partin
President/CEO
Sharonview Federal Credit Union

June, 2019

I suspect most fathers, like me, don’t want their children spending money on a Father’s Day gift. I’d prefer they spend time with their mom and me … and bring the grandkids when they come.

As both a dad and someone who’s spent a career in financial services, I’ve doled out plenty of unsolicited money advice to my 35-year-old daughter and 33-year-old son over the years. And I’m still gratified when I see evidence that they’ve paid attention and are making good financial decisions.

When I was growing up, it was my mom who paid the bills and kept track of the family finances. She was the CFO of Nancy and Bill Partin and family. My mechanic dad taught me how to change the oil and repair the brakes. He could fix anything – and saved our family a lot of money because of it. I’m grateful for all the knowledge each of them passed along.

With Father’s Day approaching, here’s my fatherly advice on personal finance.

Have a budget

And I don’t just mean in your head. It helps to have a written budget – whether in old-fashioned hard copy or online. My son uses Excel to create a budget and keep track of his expenses. Another option: download and use a budgeting app like Mint by Intuit or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Use whatever way is going to make it easiest for you.

Dad walks with kid on the beach

Use credit cards wisely

Don’t carry a balance. If you get into a bind one month and are unable to pay it all off, then use the card judiciously (or not at all) the next month. And pay off the balance in full as soon as you can. It’s all too easy – especially when you’re just starting out – to rely on credit. Don’t do it. Living within your means is a less stressful way to live.

Beware DIY finance

Budgeting apps are one thing – great tools. But when it comes to something as imperative as saving for college or retirement, it’s a good idea to have a professional in your corner. I know there are some day traders who’ve hit pay dirt, but it seems a little risky to me. Solid financial guidance from a trusted partner is a winning combination.

Make saving a habit

Start early. If you’re lucky enough to have an employer who will deduct a set amount from your paycheck and divert it to your savings account, take advantage of that. And if your employer will match your 401(k) contribution, even better.

Get in – and stay in – a retirement mindset

Planning for retirement should happen when you get your first paycheck from your first job. There simply is no substitute for a nest egg allowed to grow over time. Compound interest is magic. Happy Father’s Day to my fellow dads. The best gift we can give our children is a solid foundation in personal finance. And children, no matter how old you are, the best gift you can give your dad is saving your money. And spending time with him.

Happy Father’s Day to my fellow dads. The best gift we can give our children is a solid foundation in personal finance. And children, no matter how old you are, the best gift you can give your dad is saving your money. And spending time with him.

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