Things your father taught you about finances

For many adults, parents and older family members were the first people they went to when they were younger for advice on applying for credit and taking out loans, for example.

“Depending on the advice given, one can often trace how it has impacted the way you earn, save, spend and give money” says Kaibe Mollo Head of Marketing: African Bank.

In honour of Father’s Day, Mollo, himself a dad of 2 children, provides the following quotes many of you may have heard your own father say when you were younger and a few ideas on how to apply them to your life:

  • “Money doesn’t grow on trees” –  all about earning 

Did your Dad ever use this line after you’d asked him for money to buy a pair of shoes or for permission to buy a ticket to a social event? Growing up, you may not have understood this, but now that you’re earning your own money and have certain responsibilities. You will know that there really isn’t a money-growing tree and that the general idea is to spend less money than you earn and maybe even to save and invest some. One of the best gifts a dad can give his children is to teach them this same lesson as early as possible. In fact show them that chores can make the perfect “first” job. By helping around the house,  whether it be taking out the rubbish, cleaning the table or taking the dogs for a walk, they can start earning commission to spend on things they want. Mollo says we need to stop giving kids money for just being and teach them that if they want money to buy things they must earn it.

  • “Being in debt is bad” – all about saving 

Most children and teens today have started to understand the concept of saving. Debt is not really a reality in their life but if dads can spend time teaching their kids the value of saving they will be giving them an invaluable life lesson. When they finally head off to university, college or just move out of the house they will understand what it means to save and understand the value of money and budgeting far better. “Open a savings account for your child and let him/her manage it online. It is the best way to learn about saving. They should ideally be taught how to save early and often,” says Mollo.

  • “Giving is the best medicine” – all about giving back

Mollo says growing up his dad was a frequent volunteer and charitable donor. He was a big believer in giving back at home and to those in need. “Teaching our children humanity through banking is important and we should try and encourage them to either contribute a small portion of their money to a worthy cause,” he says.

Mollo says it is always important to do research and acquire advice from those more experienced than you when making decisions that could potentially have long-term consequences. On the occasion of Father’s Day, dads should appreciate the important role they play in instilling many of my financial values and habits of their children —habits that will continue to shape the decisions they make for years to come.

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