In honor of Father’s Day, I want to pause, huddle up the dads out there, and give us men a quick pep talk.
We have a massive opportunity to impact our children’s lives, for better or worse. I have three incredible boys, and I want to do everything in my power to raise them well. One of our main jobs as fathers is to teach. We help our children learn to walk, ride a bike, and eventually, drive a car. But there’s one lesson too many dads overlook: how to manage money. And just like handling a car, if you don’t learn to handle money well, you can do some serious damage.
But conversations about money can be tough. You might feel unequipped, and you might feel guilty for mistakes you’ve made in your own life. It’s time to set that negativity aside, and focus on what we can do moving forward. Here are five tips to get the ball rolling:
Dialogue, don’t monologue
It’s easy to lecture, throw a list of rules at your kids, and hope for the best. But these conversations are a two-way street. Listen well, ask questions, and be patient as you explain the “why” behind the what. You may need to revisit these concepts many times!
Have age-appropriate conversations
The Hogan boys learned simple money concepts early on, like how to divide their money into three categories—save, spend, and give. But as they get older, we’ve started to unpack concepts like investing and how to cash flow college.
Share real stories
I’ve learned to be open about my mistakes with money. It’s an opportunity for my boys to make real-life connections, and avoid the same problems that I created for myself.
Widen the circle of influence
If you feel overwhelmed, get some help! Have your children read books like The Total Money Makeover. Bring them to your next meeting with your investment professional, or your tax advisor. You don’t have to share the details of your portfolio, but introducing them to financial experts at such a young age will boost their confidence and give them a head start.
Celebrate their progress
We should intentionally look for ways to celebrate our kids and tell them how proud we are. I love patting my boys on the back when I see them place the “give” envelope in the basket at church. And my middle son, who’s 14, has almost $2,000 saved for a car! Life is short and these moments will be gone before you know it, so celebrate everything you can.
Just like anything in life, the good things are often the hard things. I hope you feel re-energized and excited to love and teach your children. Happy Father’s Day!
Chris Hogan is a national best-selling author, dynamic speaker and host of The Chris Hogan Show. For more than a decade, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, equipping and challenging people to take control of their money and reach their financial goals. His second book, Everyday Millionaire: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth — And How You Can, Too, was released in January. You can follow Chris Hogan on Twitter and Instagram [email protected] and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.