It’s been a blessing, and debatably a curse, to have grown up with a dad who made me listen to Dave Ramsey on the radio every day on the way home from school. Despite growing up with the conservative principle of personal responsibility, I’ve made a lot of terrible financial decisions. Here are some financial tips from my dad that I wish I would have actually followed earlier in life:

  • Get “plastic” surgery.

In other words, cut up your credit cards and don’t ever look back. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to let me get a credit card when I turned 18 (definitely not my dad – I actually got one against his will), but here I am, several more credit cards and almost ten years later, still paying them off. Trust me, they’re a trap. You absolutely do not need a Victoria’s Secret or Best Buy credit card. Quite frankly, if you can’t pay for it in cash, then you can’t afford it. That’s the tea on that.

  • Invest when necessary.

It’s better to purchase a slightly more expensive but good quality couch, or purse, or jewelry than to have to buy more of the same product in a few months because you were being cheap. Although it will likely cost you more up-front, it will save you money in the long-run.

  • Money is one of the main reasons why marriages end in divorce.

If you’re married or engaged, you know how terrifying the statistics are. Usually one person is the spender and one is the saver, so it is highly important that you are transparent with each other about your money habits and goals. Always remember that money is not worth compromising your marriage over. It comes and it goes, but as long as you take control and are a team, it will work itself out.

  • Live below your means by keeping a monthly budget.

In other words, spend less than you make. It is the key to saving, building wealth, and living financially free. A monthly budget is a great tool to help you evaluate your spending habits and cut costs where you should. EveryDollar and Mint are two great budgeting apps to help you get started. You’ll be surprised, and mortified, at how much of your income you spend on daily coffee runs.

  • Save, save, save.

Don’t just put money in a savings account but save in other ways. There is absolutely no shame in saving a few of your hard-earned bucks to later allocate in other, more important areas. It is actually great stewardship of your money. Go ahead and be that crazy coupon lady! I will be right there with you.

  • Give.

Give to your church, favorite charity, and others. It’s what we’ve been commanded to do. Plus, there have been studies that have found that giving actually makes us happier than spending money on ourselves.  

  • Treat yourself.

I know we all hustle and work hard, so of course, we deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor – preferably in the form of cute shoes or a spa day. It’s all about balance.

As I celebrated my dad this past Father’s Day weekend, I found myself grateful for his unconditional love, patience, and conservative life lessons. Cheers to all dads and father-figures for their unwavering generosity but most of all, for always being there to get us out of the messes we create.

Rebecca M