June 12, 2014 by Bill Johnson
My dad is one hard-working guy. Not only did I see him juggle multiple jobs as I was growing up, but even when I’m home to visit now, he can barely sit down. He’s either out in the back mowing the lawn, or in the front washing cars, or taking them apart to reassemble them. In honor of Father’s Day, here are four lessons about life and money I learned from my dad (thanks, Padre!).
1. Never Underestimate the Power of a Hard Day’s Work
My dad worked his butt off (like many Americans do) while I was growing up and still does to this day. He holds down a day job, has his own construction business on the side and even DJs. It was humbling to see the lengths he went to provide for us as we were growing up. There aren’t many handouts that will come your way. If you want something, you have to have the drive and determination to work for it –- and that includes handling your finances.
2. Why Pay Someone to Fix it When You Can Do It Yourself?
I’ve nicknamed my dad “Tim the Toolman“ for a reason. If something is broken in our house, very rarely is it replaced with something new or taken into a shop for repair. Research is done or the item is examined very closely, and then if we’re lucky -– it’s taken apart and fixed in the right way. If we’re not lucky, masking tape and a couple of nails will do the trick. Sometimes we’re quick to replace items that are worn with those that are new and shiny, when in reality, the old items still work perfectly fine after some elbow grease. Spending your money on something new may not be worth it if you can save more than half the amount and buy something a little worn or take a few hours of time to fix it up yourself.
3. Learn a Craft — Any Craft
Since I can remember, my dad has always been a master at building, fixing and refurbishing things. Since I was a kid I’ve seen him redo kitchens, tile houses, update swimming pools, build playhouses, design storage cabinets and more. Carpentry is his craft. And he’s pretty darn good at it. Even though he’s had jobs in other industries over time, he’s always had this skill to go back to. If he wanted to bring in some extra money, he’d take on a few side projects to fund our next vacation. He honed his skills over time and used his expertise to supplement income, market himself and ensure he’s had a cushion in times of need.