Things my father taught me…

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By Anita Manley

In follow-up to last week’s blog about “Things my mother taught me…”, I’d be remiss if I did not list all the things my dad taught me.

In January of 1995, when I was 4 months pregnant with my second daughter, my dad died of cancer. My world came crashing down. I was only 30 years old and he was my confidante, my hero and he loved me unconditionally. I miss him terribly, but I’m comforted in the feeling that both my mom’s and dad’s spirits are watching over me.

So here, in no particular order, are the things my dad taught me, to help form the person I am today:

  1. “Everything in moderation” (I’ve passed this onto my children)
  2. How to present a business case. (It started at the age of 13, when he’d said “convince me”)
  3. Be prompt. (Notice the double dose of this – mom and dad – thus, I’m usually early!)
  4. Think like a leader. (He was a manager and would share stories of how he handled difficult situations)
  5. Be honest.
  6. How to write.
  7. “Always vote in every election. Know the issues.”
  8. How to raise concerns to a higher level. (He would often type letters on his old Smith-Corona, to his MP, MPP, etc. if he thought his voice should be heard. Then, he would get me to read it over before he mailed it. This lesson has helped me on countless occasions over the years.)
  9. Be rational.
  10. How to compromise.
  11. He modeled how a good husband treats, respects, loves and honours his wife. (Mom and dad always held hands when they walked together.)
  12. How to be patient and kind.
  13. How to carefully listen to others points of view and to respond respectfully.
  14. How to love unconditionally. (He didn’t always “like” me, but I knew he always “loved” me.
  15. How to manage money and to invest.
  16. How to drive a car.
  17. How to ride a bike.
  18. How to read a map (and to fold one– a real talent!)
  19. The importance of a routine.
  20. A strong work ethic.
  21. How just sitting there quietly, just being there, is showing support and love.
  22. Commitment.
  23. Although he did not personally teach me, he paid for (and my mom registered me):
    swimming lessons, downhill ski lessons, cross country skiing, tennis lessons, soccer team, summer community pool membership. Yes, I do realize how privileged I was. He would also drive my brother and I to a ski hill, 1 hour and 45 minutes away, and sit all day, waiting for us to finish (since he did not ski — he had a bum knee). Now, that’s commitment!

    I am truly blessed to have had the upbringing that I did. As my husband says, I won the adoption lottery!
My dad taught me many things, and would often read to me before I went to sleep.

Finances

Featured

By Anita Manley

Finances– it’s an issue that causes a lot of stress and anxiety for many people. Especially when there never seems as though there is enough money to go around. During this pandemic, many people are sadly stretched to the limit. Food banks are being used by people who never required that safety net before.

I’m not one to give financial advice to anyone, so that is why I’m quoting so many others in this post. I’ve just gathered information that I hope you find helpful.

My naturopath, Sue-Anne Hickey (1) says that, financial expert Suze Orman discovered the facinating correlation between financial stress and weight gain over unpaid bills. Generally there was a 2 pound weight gain for every $1,000 of debt.

Finances affect all aspects of our lives, especially our health. Debt can lead to mild to severe health problems including ulcers, migraines, depression and even heart attacks (2).

Some tips (3):

“Start where you are, with what you’ve got. As with other issues, acceptance and gratitude turn what we have, into more.

Money issues are not a good place to act “as if”. Don’t write checks until the money is in the bank. Don’t spend money until you’ve got it in your hand.

If there is too little money to survive, use the appropriate resources available without shame.

Set goals.

Believe you deserve the best, financially.”

More tips for financial planning (4):

Have a Plan for Spending and Saving: To reach your financial goals you need to track your spending. Even if you have a high net worth, you may be surprised at how much more you could save if you cut unnecessary purchases. It could potentially equate to thousands more by the time you retire.

Find More Ways to Save: Once your budget is soild, start looking for opportunities to save more money. There are typically two ways to do this: decrease spending or increase income. The most effective way is a combination of both.

Invest with Confidence: …having a strong investment portfolio gets you one step closer to reaching your financial goals– and living the life you want in retirement.

I live by the mantra of “pay yourself first”– advice I received from reading the Wealthy Barber by David Chilton, many years ago. I started doing this very late in life, though– after recovering from losing everything– but I’m so glad I took the baby steps about 6 years ago. I am super thrifty: shopping second hand, getting things for free from my local Buy Nothing Facebook group and buying most things on sale (or recently on senior discount days!). Also, as you know, I’m very fortunate and grateful to have a husband to share expenses with– who also happens to loathe spending money! All of these things make it easier– or even possible— for me to save for my future. It is still very hard work– I must admit. Doing without is often not the most fun. We make do, though!

I do know from experience that your self-esteem will increase as you increase your sense of being financially responsible. Start where you are at, today!

Investments: putting money away over time, gaining a return. Begin now to set goals for your financial future. Baby steps…one step at a time.