3 Great Money Lessons from My Father

by Guest Blogger on 2011-06-0119

Mikael is one of our most active commentators here and I am happy to present to you one of his works. He is one of the guys behind “The Financial Blogger”, a Canadian personal finance blog. He currently works in the financial industry and enjoys exploring various ways for building wealth. What follows is a peek at his world.

I’m sure it’s happened to you: you are about to make a big move in your life and your parents are right there telling you what to do and what not to do. Like it or not, most parents are behind their children to provide them with advice. While my father has never been a financial genius (in fact, he is much better at spending money than making it), he always found a way to make things work out even during rough financial times. Here’s what I learned from him over time:

“Whoever holds the purse strings makes the decisions.”

Every teenager gets into a “fight for their rights” (to paaartyyyy!) with their parents. When I used to complain about stupid household rules, my dad used to tell me this very truth. Whoever has the money holds the authority. This concept also relates to financial freedom.

When you have enough money to pay for what you want, you are in the driver’s seat. If you pay for something, you become responsible for it. You want to take care of what you own and you deserve to defend it. Once you make your own money, you can buy the house you’ve always wanted, the car and clothing you’ve always desired.

Power, freedom and responsibility: these are the things brought by money. While power and freedom seem pretty appealing, the most important thing that money offers to its owner is responsibility. You become responsible for your family and other people around you, and also for helping those who need help the most. The greatest thing about having money is that it gives you the power to give back to society.

my father, dad

“If you are about to eat @#!$; eat it on your feet, not on your knees.”

Sorry for the big words here but it would not bear the same meaning if I modify my father’s quote ;-). My father is well known for often getting himself into uncomfortable financial situations. But somehow, he always ended up transforming his bad luck into financial opportunity.

He never bowed down to anyone even if it meant losing his job and I respect him for doing so. I did this once myself when I quit my first job and the only thing I can say is that it was one of my best moves ever. There’s this saying that we should think and talk before we act. Well I’m telling you, I made the move and things couldn’t have turned out better!

Waking up every morning telling myself “I hate my job” is the pure definition of cancer for me. Life is too short for you to be P.O’d by your boss or your work environment. I have noticed that people who are doing what they like are more productive, earn more money and definitely live a much happier life!

“Why do you have to work so hard? You should think instead!”

My father is lazy. It is because of his laziness that he’s found ways to make more money with less effort. What I basically learned from this: Use your brain and think.

There is only one great way to make money and it is by leveraging. I am not talking about just leverage strategies here but about the bigger concept of leverage. Why do you think company owners are making such a killing? Because other people work for them and the value of what their workers produce is more than what their workers are paid. While this may seem like slavery, it is a pretty fair system.

The guy who creates the company is the one with the system or the idea that will make him rich. Plus, he is working the extra hours to make things happen while taking all the risk (who’s going to go bankrupt if the company fails?). With great risk comes great reward. Some of these company owners will cash in and profit greatly.


So I hope you liked my piece for today. I hope these three lessons help out in some way as you walk your path to financial freedom. At the very least, I hope you were entertained for a minute or so!

Image Credit: news.bbc.co.uk

Created November 16, 2007. Updated June 1, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

moneymonk November 16, 2007 at 1:04 pm

I received and heard the same concepts over the years. It was just said a little differently.

I would always hear people say. “I pay the cost to be the Boss” LOL the ruff version of “Whoever holds the purse strings makes the decisions.”

I knew at an early age, that money equaled freedom!! The more money you have the more freedom for you.

curiousgeorge November 16, 2007 at 5:49 pm

What if you hate your job and you have no marketable skills; i.e. you don’t really have any better options?

the baglady November 16, 2007 at 7:57 pm

yup, being lazy makes you find ways to do things faster with less effort. So then since time is saved you can earn more!

The Financial Blogger November 17, 2007 at 8:44 am

Curiousgeorge, every body has marketable skills, you just have to find them. It is not true that ones is not good for anything.

Start with your passion and believe in what you do, that is the very simple secret of success 🙂

Let's Discuss Money November 17, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Curiousgeorge, the internet has created endless possibilities to make more money (without necessarily giving up your job).

For example, you can learn how to build a website or blog, which is easier than you might think, and learn as much as you can about promoting affiliate programs, getting website traffic, etc.

PinoyTech November 17, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Right now, I love my job and it also gives me opportunities to earn money in other ways. My boss even encourages me to create a business using my strengths (designing and web development).

He was even my first client.

Las Vegas Guy November 17, 2007 at 11:24 pm

Hmm…reminds of the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Still very relevant.

Silicon Valley Blogger November 19, 2007 at 8:46 am

I would love to say that my Dad told me these lessons and one day I will come up with my own post regaling and celebrating what my own father has taught me. This article was written by The Financial Blogger, which I need to emphasize, since I’ve realized that some of you may have assumed that it was a personal write up I’ve published. Mikael (one half of The Financial Blogger team) wrote this great post and his father taught him more than a few great lessons about money and life. I would like to thank Mikael for sharing this wonderful piece with us. Please subscribe to his RSS feed for more enlightening stories. 🙂

Btw, The Financial Blogger turned one year old today! HAPPY 1st BLOG ANNIVERSARY!

Heidi November 19, 2007 at 9:38 am

My parents had great sayings like this too! My mom was the one who told me “Whoever has the money, has the power” – something I think about ofter (it maybe why I am obsessive about earning at least twice as much as my finance).

My dad was always talking about the time value of money and inflation. Good memories.

FourPillars November 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Hey FB – great guest post!


How To Build A Website March 10, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Nice post.

What I would like to add is that it is not as easy as it used to be to make money online, and who holds the purse is the cause that so many are still chasing fake dreams.

Many are purchasing high priced products and have not earned a penny, sometime it just make sense to start by building your own website and testing the waters, and learn from your own mistakes.

But, I don’t believe in working so hard, that is why I have chosen the internet, to make my life much easier.

Lauri May 20, 2010 at 8:39 am

I agree, sounds a lot like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” The trouble for me is, I have these wonderful ideas, but never the money to invest in them.

I also know a very lazy person who makes great cash. He mostly sits on his laurels rather than anything else. I don’t know that he used his brain to get there, but he was at the right place at the right time. He holds a cushy job with very few demands. He doesn’t care to move up the ladder. It is very frustrating to see these types that say “work smarter, not harder” and yet, they just got lucky, no skill was involved.

Good-reading.net June 2, 2011 at 6:48 am

Sound advice. If only we’d listen and apply 🙂

One thing about thinking though: Overthinking? Think again

Do it for brainstorming ideas, do it for new concepts, but don’t get hung up on thinking. Doing is what pays.

Bethy June 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I like it! So true. Except for one thing.

Not everyone doing what they love to do will make more money. I was speaking to a teacher this morning who tried sales (a 6-digit salary) for a couple of months, but hated it, so he went back to his $40,000 teaching gig. It’s all relevant.

I can’t wait to write my own post about financial lessons I’ve learned from my dad.

Adam @ ThisIsWhyImBroke June 3, 2011 at 7:16 am

Your father sounds like a cool man. I definitely agree with the points he made. Work smart, not hard! =)

Silicon Valley Blogger June 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

Nice to see you here! 🙂 Yes, it is quite true that you are limited to the market rate that your salary provides. I guess the “doing what you love” thing typically applies to those who set up a business or have a job that is in high demand. The key is to find work in an industry that has a lot of demand.

Thanks for stopping by! I’d probably say work smart and hard. But then again, working hard for a long period of time can cause burn out. So we should aim for work/life balance.

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