Should have listened to dad…

by J. Money - Published September 19, 2019

mustache

Saw a funny message yesterday that brought back some memories ;)

should have listened to dadHAHA… yup! Sounds about right! Cars were right up there along with beers and girls for me and my friends too in the post high school years ;) Who wanted to SAVE their money???!

And similar to Brandon, I too had a few #shouldhavelistenedtodad moments in the pre-J. Money days. Which I’ll happily share here to remind everyone that I suck with money too at times!

No one is immune!!

Flop #1: not listening to my dad about 401(k)s — Yearrrsss ago during one of my very own first “real” jobs (ticket agent for Contintenal Airlines), he advised me over and over again to contribute to my 401(k) at least up to the amount they were matching (3% I believe), and over and over again I told him “I will Dad!! Stop pestering me!” Only to then never actually do it, even though I thought I had.

One day I just told him I did it to finally get him off my back – fully intending to do so the very next day – however that next day I completely forgot while my brain subconsciously believed I had indeed checked it off the list. It wasn’t until a year later when I was looking for the balance to boast to my dad how much of an adult I was when I couldn’t find it anywhere on the pay stub. I strolled into the HR department asking where the mistake was, where they very kindly informed me that it was ME, haha…

My dad wasn’t very entertained by that ;) Although from that point forward I never missed a retirement contribution since! And in fact it was my 401(k) which actually gave me my A-HA moment years later when there actually WAS a balance to be staring back at, lol..

Flub #2: Not listening to my parents about moving to Virginia Beach without much money. One day after college I got it stuck in my head that I just HAD TO move to the beach and get an apartment with my friend – even though I had no sources of income whatsoever. The plan was to move down there with the whopping $800 I had amassed from generous graduation gifts, and then quickly land a gig and live happily ever after by the sun-soaked sand.

My parents warned me that it really wasn’t the best plan considering rent and food alone would eat up a bulk of the money within the first two weeks (no mind the fact that it takes WEEKS to even get paid from new jobs, and that’s if you started them right away which almost never happens!), but bless their hearts they let me go off and learn some real life lessons on my own…

And true to their premonition, I was moved back in with them 3 weeks later with $15 to my name after not being able to scrounge up enough to pay the next month’s rent, haha…Which I still feel bad about to this day – not for myself, but for the poor landlord that had to put up with me!! What a jackal I was!!

But the lessons didn’t sink in quite yet…

Flub #3: Not listening to my parents about moving to New York City without much money! While I did last much longer this time around (almost two full years!!), I pretty much upped the ante on myself and tried to see if I could “make it” in the most expensive city in the world, because obviously I was a master at this ;)

And while to my credit I DID have an actual job this time around and somewhat of a decent plan on where I was going to live (friends’ couches – d’uh), in the end I too failed on this mission, though I’d never take it back in a million years… Sure I ran out of all $$$$ and was probably the unhealthiest I had ever been up to that point (NYC partying gets to you! Haha…), but WOW did I feel alive… And learned a $hit ton about myself in the process. Some things good, while others not so much that needed changing.

I eventually crawled right back to mom and dad when I realized it was unsustainable (and ran out of friends’ places to crash at – hah!), but not once did they ever utter a single “I told you so”, which looking back makes me realize just how fortunate we are to have people who care about us in our lives. Not only who will take us back every time we fail, but who will also take the time to *advise us* even when we’re too dense to listen! ;) I don’t think I fully appreciated this one bit growing up, but I sure as hell see it now. And only hope I can do the same for my kids too as they grow up (but Lord do I hope it takes much less than 30 years for them to catch on! Haha…)

At any rate, I’ll stop the tales of yore there, but just know that we ALL mess up at times, and most especially yours truly despite being a personal finance blogger.

(See a most recent resume of fails here)

I don’t know if we’ll ever stop learning lessons, but at least it gives us something to talk about, haha… And would love to hear some of your flubs over the years too if you’re so willing ;)

What are things you #shouldhavelistenedtodad on??

Financial or otherwise?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate September 19, 2019 at 6:32 am

LOL! I have literally never received one single piece of advice from my dad: financial or otherwise. He is cool. He get along really well. Zero bad vibes. Just not an advice giver. I guess families come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of interesting people doing the best they can!

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2 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:34 am

Haha, I guess so!

Did your mom or someone else in your life take up the role of advising then?! Or did you learn everything about $$$/life on the internets? :)

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3 Kate September 19, 2019 at 10:14 am

No advice ever! I just made it up as I went along. When I bought my first apartment I called the local government ON A LANDLINE and they sent me, IN THE MAIL, a little booklet called “how to buy your first property”. The early Noughties were a different time!

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4 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 11:20 am

AHHHHHH hahaha…

Good for you!!! Amazing how time’s changed with the internets…

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5 Grettman September 19, 2019 at 7:00 am

When I was 18 I landed a government job making a whopping $14,000 per year. Two weeks later I bought a brand new car for…. $13,000 at 12% interest. Dave Ramsey says the value of all your motor vehicles shouldn’t exceed half your income. Screw that! I went for over 90%!!! That’s how dumb I was!

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6 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:36 am

Wowwwww haha… Didn’t even know car loans go up to 12% – well done! :)

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7 Paul September 19, 2019 at 8:58 am

Being older now (close to 40), looking back, I wish I did the property hack. Buy a duplex rent half, move after 2 years, repeat. Id probably have 3 or 4 properties now, instead of 1 with no hope of getting anymore. Cant do the rent and move thing constantly with Kids. Also doesn’t help that in this area (DC Metro) you need either 1 elite income or 2 moderately high incomes to be able to swing more than 1 mortgage… I mean I do pretty well for myself but not 2 mortgages on 1 income well…

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8 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:40 am

It would be pretty interesting to see our parallel lives and where we’d be today if we made different moves :) Though then my mind always goes to “you could be dead right now!” and I quickly stop caring, lol….

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9 Christine September 19, 2019 at 9:09 am

Ha! I’m trying to think of some “should haves” but can’t. I can think of at least one “glad I didn’t” and 2 “glad I dids.” The glad I didn’t was that he and my mom thought moving from an apartment I had in MD to an apartment in DC would be the worst decision ever. It wasn’t. I loved that apartment and lived there 11 years. Their advice came from a place of fear—of crime (somewhat reasonable given where I lived at the time—though I wish I’d had $$ for buying because that would have made it a REALLY good financial move!) and of change in general. They knew the place I was living was nice and safe and that I was happy-ish.

The glad I dids are ironic in a way. In my senior year of h.s. He advised me NOT to go to the University of Pennsylvania and to opt for a small college instead. Rationale (aside from not wanting his naive daughter in West Philly) was that my loans, their loans and payments, were much higher. I resented that decision SO much. I was convinced my life was ruined. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t. And I realize now as an adult that I was not prepared at all to be in a big city or to be in a big university. I had access to great opportunities in an environment that allowed me to mess up and do stupid things in a less dangerous way.

Here’s the irony…6 years later, he also advised me to take the massive loans to go to graduate school at UPenn. I could have gone in state to a school that has a great reputation but was not located in a place that would give the same education opportunities outside the classroom. No doubt, the trajectory of my career would have been very different if I had gone elsewhere. Not bad, but different and probably not as conducive to my interests. His rationale was: “that’s like the cost of one of my trucks and they can’t repossess your education.” Now, I think it behooves people to avoid loans…I sometimes wish I hadn’t taken them…but given the choices I had given myself at the time, I think it was right. I finally paid those off (combined with the undergrad much smaller loans) 2 years ago…or 14 years after I graduated. I think if I did a cost benefit analysis, it would show a benefit.

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10 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

I think so too!!!

And your dad is exactly right – no one can ever take that education away from you :) Love that…

This was very fun to read – thank you!

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11 ERIC D MEYERS September 19, 2019 at 9:34 am

Definite should have listened to my parents about college. I went to Pitt and I ended up racking up a $80K in student loans for a degree in Economics. However, I took their advice when I graduated and paid them off in 3 and 1/2 years while living in Pittsburgh and D.C. (for the last year of them). Had I listened to them I probably would have had next to no debt because I could have just went to an affordable state school for $10k a year and would have just paid cash as I went.

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12 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:57 am

Don’t you think the Pitt degree will help you over time, though?! I know it sometimes depends on the industry, but that seems like a damn good degree to have :) Especially now that it’s paid off! Haha…

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13 Dani September 19, 2019 at 9:50 am

Mine is a “glad I listened” kind of story–my father refused to co-sign on a loan when (my first) hubby and I wanted to buy a house. I knew we could afford the payments–it was what I was paying in rent, but back then, the lending standards were much higher (and we both had 800+ credit scores, so we’re still not sure why we didn’t qualify on our own). We ended up getting a smaller house that we could get approved on our own, but the lesson: never co-sign for ANYONE, has paid dividends for us. Have had friends and even a kiddo that wanted us to cosign, and when we don’t, it’s amazing how they’re able to still figure out a workaround for the time being, and in more than one instance, we would have ended up having to make the payments–so glad we didn’t sign up for THAT!

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14 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 9:59 am

YES!! Very smart of your father, and now you! When people really want something they figure out a way to make it happen within their means. And if they don’t figure it out it’s usually because they didn’t want it enough ;) (Or are lazy – and an even better reason not to co-sign! Haha…)

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15 Joe September 19, 2019 at 10:41 am

He told me to invest in my 401k and I did!
Should have listened to dad? I don’t know? Too numerous to count and I forgot all of them. hahaha!
Oh here, the most recent one. He wants 2 million baht to buy a property in the countryside close to Chiang Mai. That’s about $70,000. Are you kidding? I’m not going to sell stocks to help him buy that. Forget it. He always has some kind of scheme up his sleeve.

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16 J. Money September 19, 2019 at 11:21 am

He did *create* you, though.

That’s gotta be at least worth, 1 million baht, yeah? ;)

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17 Debt Free in RVA September 20, 2019 at 9:39 am

First off, J. Money – congrats on selling the website!!! So happy for you, and I only hope you keep posting at least a few time s a week :-)

Second, my Dad has given me a lot of advice that he learned from making mistakes:

1.) Don’t buy a new car every year. I know this sounds funny, but we have a paid off minivan that is 7 years old and I drive a 15.5 year old Honda Accord. My Dad used to buy a new car every year.

2.) When I was 14 and had my first job Dad told me to put my savings into an IRA, which I did. I think that $ 4,000 has grown to about $ 18,000 over the past 24 years as I had it invested in Vanguard’s Total Stock Market INdex Fund

3.) Dad told me to buy some gold (American Eagle) to diversify in the 90s. That gold has gone from $ 320/ounce to $ 1,550 an ounce.

4.) Dad told me to not invest in individual stocks as you never know what will happen to an individual company. Boy was he right as we have seen so many companies collapse over the past 25 years.

5.) Dad (and Mom) gave me one of the best books EVER. It is called Debt Free Living by Larry Burkett. It was an eye opener to 18 year old me….. it showed me how Debt in most cases is very dangerous, taught me to be frugal and live within my means. Now 20 years later we have a net worth of $ 700,000.

Above all I would say Dad told me to live humbly and righteously. Do unto others. Live at peace with neighbors and Tithe (Donate 10 %) of earnings to Church and Charity. I do sometimes struggle to give away 10 %, but I can with confidence say God has abundantly blessed us. So, I am very grateful to Dad.

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18 J. Money October 10, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Rock on!!!

What a great set of parents to help lead you!! Hopefully we can both carry on the tradition of great money lessons :)

Thanks for sharing this – not sure why it took me a month to see it, sorry!!

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19 Stevo October 10, 2019 at 10:57 am

I know I know I’m like super late to this post (doing my once or twice a month catch-up), but just had to throw it out there that I actually DID listen to my dad’s advice he gave me throughout college – ‘once you get your first real job, sign up for 15% towards 401k from day one. if you never see the money, you’ll never miss it’ That was 6 years ago. Last year i maxed out my 401k for the first time (contributing more than 15%..). Thanks Dad!

p.s. can we get an email notification for replies to our comments by any chance? :p I’ll unfortunately probably never see a reply if you happen to leave one here

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20 J. Money October 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Haha, yeah – we used to have that but it kept breaking the site so we took it off and then like a lame blogger I never found a replacement ;)

Now that I have a team working on the site though let me pass it over to them and see if we can get something up! And congrats on being able to max out your 401k – one of the best things you can do for your money!!!

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21 Stevo October 15, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Came back to check this time haha.. thanks!

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