Fast forward a number of years, and I’ve built myself a pretty sizable emergency fund over time. That money has bailed me out of many situations, like the time my car died in the middle of the woods or when a pipe burst in my basement. My emergency fund also helped me cover a surprise property tax hike that came at a time when money happened to be tight. Even though my parents never had a ton of money, they always made a point to have savings. And once I started earning money of my own as a teenager through babysitting, I, too, made sure to stick a large chunk of it into the bank so it would be there for me in the future. I’m really thankful my father was always so adamant about having savings. His words of wisdom have, through the years, spared me a world of debt.
1. Always have emergency savings
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Maurie Backman: My father never went to college and didn’t exactly get a stellar financial education as a kid. Nevertheless, he’s always been savvy when it comes to financial matters, and one thing he taught me from an early age is the importance of having money in the bank. Get free access to the select products we use to help us conquer our money goals. These fully-vetted picks could be the solution to help increase your credit score, to invest more profitably, to build an emergency fund, and much more.
While it may seem contradictory, my dad was as passionate about planning for retirement as he was about making my mother comfortable following his death. Whether he survived into his golden years or not, he wanted to make sure his wife was in good shape. Fortunately, both of my parents were able to enjoy the fruits of his efforts in retirement. He began investing as a young man even when it appeared he didn’t have enough to invest, and it paid dividends. I think of my dad every day. And while I’d give anything for five minutes of specific investing advice, I’m beyond grateful for the example he set. I grew to understand that my father prepared for two things: death and retirement. And investments played a role in both. The first time he signed a last will and testament was when he was 17, shortly before shipping off to fight in the Pacific. After three decades of war and retiring from the Marine Corps, my dad continued to pore over the financial pages.
Dana George: My dad studied financial news and investment strategies with an enthusiasm that confused me. Dad was not rolling in money; he spent most of his career in the Marines, and after military retirement, he took a job as an office manager. I was never sure why he was so interested in investing. 2. Prepare for retirement like it’s a sure thing
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