Where Good Financial Planning Starts
- Created: Tuesday, 01 May 2001 15:55
- Published: Thursday, 13 February 2014 15:55
- Written by Tom Lipp
Question: Where does good financial planning start?
Answer: Personal finances 101 starts at home. Everyone has learned at least some basic skills in money management which they need to apply and if possible pass on to the next generation. Yet in the vast number of books and articles that I need to read to stay current as a financial planner, I see precious little on the importance of honouring one's parents.
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you.In my case, I have much to honour. When my Dad was 42 years old, he managed to legally emigrate from Poland with my mom and their four young children (see picture, I'm the cute little guy on the bottom right). He left a comfortable senior controller's position in the coal industry to take up a strenuous manual job in Toronto in order to give his children the opportunity to grow up in a land of freedom and opportunity. He taught all his children by example the benefits of hard honest work combined with careful fiscal management as we moved from downtown Toronto to prestigious Don Mills within 4 years of arriving in Canada. His spending guidelines are: "Do you need it? Can you use it? Can you afford it?" To him credit cards are anathema.
Everyone makes mistakes in parenting. Believe me as father of seven children (almost eight) I get many extra opportunities to blunder. My mom's strong faith in God and frugality kept our family inspired and together. She worked day and night, attending school part-time until she held a position as a bilingual legal secretary. The first ten years after we arrived by boat to Canada were real character builders: industriousness, frugality, resourcefulness, initiative, to name a few. Through it all my parents taught us that management skills take precedence over monetary assets. It is through their encouragement that I obtained my MBA and professional accounting designations.
Each family background is different. Everyone makes mistakes in parenting. Believe me as father of seven children (almost eight) I get many extra opportunities to blunder. Yet regardless of the mistakes that our parents have made, we should try to identify any and all skills they may have taught us, no matter how small, and build our financial skill set around the positive lessons of our youth.
Next we need to give dad and mom credit for their input. I have seen that the people who speak well of their parents tend to be prosperous, whereas those who malign and belittle parents are often bitter and are also struggling financially. Just as the saying goes, "Love begins at home" so should money management skills, This tidbit to financial success is embedded in the ten commandments: Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you.."