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EP1143: Dads and Dough

The costs of being a father and why it’s worth it all
Money with Mak & G

SHOW NOTES

Today is fathers day, so I investigate the financial responsibilities of being a father, both in what it costs and the lessons we need to teach our kids…

 

There’s nothing more rewarding than being a father, but we all know it’s not cheap bringing up kids.

 

With COVID forcing us to work from home, it’s brought many dads closer to their kids and made us appreciate all our wives have to do for our kids.

 

Today, I researched the difference between mothers and fathers, why dads are normally in charge of the finances, and what the best financial lessons we can teach our kids really are…

 

“Fathers can teach their kids how to take risks and mothers can teach them the solid safe foundation of love.” – Ben

 

“Every family is different, and each partner in the relationship brings different strengths and weaknesses.” – Ben

 

“Understanding money is one of the most important skill sets your kids can learn.” – Ben

 
Time Stamps:

00:26 – The costs and rewards of being a father.

02:23 – How COVID has brought us closer to our children.

04:09 – The difference between most mothers and fathers.

04:32 – Why fathers day started and why we celebrate it on the third Sunday in June.

05:27 – Why financial management is usually done by the father.

06:13 – How men and women’s financial decisions tend to differ.

08:08 – The best financial lessons dads can teach their kids.

 

Connect with Ben Jones:

 

TRANSCRIPT

Welcome back to Money with Mak & G, don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT on the podcast.  

I’m recording this podcast on Father’s Day.  It’s my day, and I get to do what I want. I want to cover things slightly differently today. I’ve been thinking a lot, which oftentimes gets me in trouble, but it’s MY day, so it’s MY way.

Being a father, if done right, can be very fulfilling and require a lot of work.  As you know, Mak & G became teenagers a couple weeks back. So, I’m officially at my 13-year mark in my fathering career. I’d like to think I got promoted a couple times from diaper changer to advisor.  I also got a couple raises in pay from hugs and kisses to seeing the first steps and the deeper connection that builds as kids mature and understand more about the world and love.

For us, it wasn’t an easy road to have children, when I think back on what happened when we tried to get pregnant.  It was very costly, and I’m glad my wife could talk to me in a way where it wasn’t about dollars and cents.  Surprising, huh? But, with a great deal of luck, the miracle happened.  Thank goodness she was focused, and a fighter, so we made it through.  But, it required jumping through several hoops and some huge disappointments.  But, I’m a dad, and I’m glad. 

Back then, I never imagined the commitment I would need to show day in and day out for years to come.  The estimated costs were always less than reality.  The broken arm, vacations, education, and LaCrosse. My kids??? LaCrosse, really?  Those stinkers cost a FORTUNE!!! Even when I was almost 40 years old as a new father, I thought I understood a fair amount about money and life.  However, I didn’t fully grasp the time, cash, energy, cash and emotions that go along with spending all that cash if you’re a parent. But, I get a lot from it as well. I’ve personally learnt to not let money dictate my life as it has in the past. It’s about balance.  I know there are friends and family who used to say I was beyond a tight wad, and missed out on a lot of stuff because I didn’t want to spend my money. But times have changed.

Compared to 2020, this father’s day seems to be different.  Last year, it was just insanity. Most had never seen anything like it before.  I was entangled in so many unknowns at the time.  I wasn’t able to fully realize what was going on as my head was spinning.  This year’s Father’s Day has led me to a much different place.

For me, and many other father’s, we’ve had a rare opportunity to slow things down. Many days I was at home and got the rare opportunity to participate in the day to day activities with the kids, good or bad.  Due to COVID, there was one gentleman I read about who said “I am fathering so well I am nearly mothering”.  It was due to all the extra time he was putting in.  I thought that was pretty interesting.  He was there for a lot more “day to day” thanks to how COVID pushed our lives around.

For many, our daily commutes have gone out the window, which has put more time into our family schedule.  I’m working from home a lot more, and I have actually been much more in touch with both Mak & G over the last 6 months or so.  I get to hear things happening all around me all day long. If I ask Mak how her day was, and she says “fine”, I have to say bologna.  I walked by her several times, and saw what she was watching, what she was reading, when she was tick tocking or face timing, eating, the games she was playing and more.  For Grant, I’ve heard him screaming at the screen when someone on his team missed some super duper opportunity to get the secret treasure chest while playing a video game. Plus I get the rare opportunity to pick up all their dirty dishes.  What a treat.

Someone has said if mothers get a day to celebrate, then maybe father’s should get an hour.  Ouch. But, in our house that might be fitting, mom pulls most of the burden with Mak&G. I’ve read that fathers can teach their kids how to take risks and mothers can teach them the solid, safe foundation of love.  So, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in June.  Like always, I had to ask why did it start and why that date? Do you know?   It appears to be celebrated in 15 countries on different dates.  It began in the US officially in 1910 after Sonora Smart Dodd, who was the 27 year old daughter of William Jackson Smart wanted to honor her father William who was a Civil War vet, twice widowed and now a single father.  In my research, there appears to be a difference in the number of children he was raising, but I like the one that said he had 14 mouths to feed!! Mother’s Day started in 1908 which was 2 years prior to Father’s Day.  Ministers in the 1900’s wanted enough time between Mother’s Day in May and the new Father’s day in late June to write two REALLY good sermons. It’s weird how things work out.

The burden of money management has historically been with the father.  But, as we’ve spoken about previously, the concept of retirement and other financial planning and management is super new to all of us, which means that men don’t necessarily have a better handle on money.  I had to ask the question, why dad’s?  First off, my mother was clearly the money manager in our family, and my dad even said if he listened to mom more, our financial situation would’ve been MUCH better. Many of my personal money lessons came from my mother.

So, why have Dad’s been the one’s managing funds, and are they the best? I googled it for a half hour with little luck.  So, I looked at who’s better: mother or father.  Some research clearly says that mom’s are better.  Hey, it definitely was with my mother.  As a male, I can say that “us guys” sometimes let our ego get in the way and are a bit too risky when it comes to investing.  

Then you have other articles that say a man is better.  Every family is different and each partner in the relationship brings different strengths and weaknesses.  Men are more confident with money, have traditionally had a greater earning capacity, like preparing for the future, and are a bit more objective.  On the other hand, they usually live for the moment a bit more, love the new gadget, and don’t worry as much about being in debt. Plus, we also are attracted to some status items like cars and TVs while we enjoy spending money on ourselves for the newest Green Egg or back massager..

Women tend to be more optimistic about the future and can help keep the budget on track.  They tend to be a bit more cautious about investing, which may save some of the macho mistakes men may have. Mmmmm that’s a lot of M’s.  Women seem to be more in tune with spending less than they earn. However, it seems like they tend to spend smaller amounts in greater quantities, which over time can add up to a new big screen TV.

From what I could figure, men have taken on the family’s money management role simply because over a great deal of our history, it was a male-centered society.  For instance, when I was younger, my mom and dad wanted to buy a home. My mother actually made more than my father did. But, her income couldn’t be counted in the calculation to obtain a mortgage, which limited the size and location of the house we could buy. Go figure.

Father’s definitely can do a lot of good in a family.  A survey that I recently read had some interesting insights on the best money lessons that children have learnt from their father’s? Sometimes I know Mak & G find my discussion as clearly annoying, but I’m certain it will pay off. Rule #1 for us is to spend less than you earn.  About ⅓ of those surveyed said that was the best money lesson they learnt from their dads.  It was also mentioned that being out of debt was discussed, but I was surprised it wasn’t a top contender.  We need to do better because understanding bad debt, like credit cards, should be a lesson to pass down, since it wreaks havoc on your finances, as well as your relationships and opportunities.  About 20% of those surveyed said their dad taught them to save for a rainy day.  Ding, ding ding, that’s an emergency fund!!

Another 10% learnt that if there is no risk, there is no reward.  So, I’ll call that investing.  Your money has to work for you after you save it which comes out of a budget and a plan.  We want to be intentional about our efforts.  That requires us putting things down on paper which increases our focus on it. Your increased efforts will show your kids it’s important.  Learning more about money will build your confidence and if you share it with your kids, it will build their confidence as well.  Giving kids access to education and information will help them with better decisions.  We’ll have a stocks and bonds course coming out in July, which can help with this endeavor.

I know many fathers take their responsibilities as a father seriously.  And, we should.  That’s one of the biggest reasons we started Money with Mak & G.  I personally believe that understanding money is one of the most important skill sets your child can learn.  I know I would clearly feel better knowing my kids have the confidence and tools to handle their financial futures.

However, it’s more than just teaching your kids how to handle money.  As fathers, we owe it to our kids to have OUR financial house in order.  If you’re serious about your parental responsibility make sure you continue to work on your finances, and have the right structure in place to take care of your family.  This includes having a will, potentially the right insurance coverage, an emergency fund and more.  Let’s give our kids a good example to follow..

When we started the podcast we simply wanted to help and ENCOURAGE people to learn more about money, and take control of their financial situation.  It would be great if this is the year we could do better to help our kids financially.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to lay your head down on your pillow at night and dream of happy, healthy, peaceful, well adjusted kids living the best life they could AND how you played a HUGE role in that.  

Thanks for being here, and Happy Father’s Day to all those amazing fathers out there, making an incredible difference.  

We’ll see you next time on more Money with Mak & G.  This is dad, signing off.

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