He held your hands when you took your first steps; as you start adulting, who better to teach you how to manage your money effectively than your dad
Indian dads are known to be intimidating and their tough love a little tricky to comprehend. But no one can deny the many sacrifices they make, unflinchingly. More often than not, we feel the burn of their hard-hitting wisdom much later in life, and among many other things where we conveniently ignore their wisdom, is in financial matters.
While most millennials and iGeneration yuppies struggle to manage their basic expenses within the monthly paycheck, our dads could run the entire household, pay for school/ tuition/ hobby class, manage sundry expenses, cater to the family’s whims and still manage the ritualistic Sunday movie and dinner plan with all the enthusiasm.
We may not be able to fill in their shoes, but this Father’s Day pledge to learn a few financial lessons we can imbibe from desi dads to become a shadow of the superheroes they have been all their lives.
1. Always work hard
If you’re one among the million middle-class Indians, you’ve seen your father sweat it out for decades on end. He probably tried to inculcate the same habit in you. Every time he let you keep the extra pennies when you went fetching for bread and milk or did other household chores was his way of motivating you. Dad’s help us appreciate the dignity of labour, the value of money and realise the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of our efforts.
2. Have a vision
You probably remember being bribed for scoring good grades at school. It may have been a bicycle for some or a great summer vacation for others. Fathers fuel our ambitions and aspirations for the future and help explore a path to achieve them. They use the same financial vision to save up for various needs of the home including the bicycle he promised you.
3. Stay frugal
Most Indian fathers don’t spend on extravagant clothes or a flashy lifestyle. They manage to shape the lifestyle to suit the financial needs, albeit sometimes with an iron fist. They will go that extra mile and brutally bargain to save every Rupee they can. Every single sacrifice and bargain today goes towards a financial secure tomorrow. That is why Indian dads never miss the deadline of a bill payment or loan repayment and are able to build a beautiful home for us to call our own.
4. Plan ahead
While desi dads are frugal on all other counts when it comes to education and marriage of their ward, no expense is spared. He’s dreamt your dreams before you and planned well in advance. Old school dads had the trusty fixed deposit and post office schemes where deposits were made diligently, that shaped our future. Today we have a larger breadth of investment options and convenient technology, yet we find ourselves struggling.
5. Stay away from debt
Unless there is an emergency or a vehicle/ home loan to repay, Indian dads avoid debt like the plague. They perceive debt negatively and that is why if you think about it, most of our parents don’t even have a credit card. They will manage within their means and never go out of the way to pay interest on a non-essential item.
6. Money is means to an end
Indian dads don’t splurge but never crib over the lack of money either. They will not let the rest of the family feel the strain of the financial burden and power through rough times. From them, we can learn to enjoy what we have, rather than sulk about what we don’t. Take courage from your father’s perseverance and contentment to tide over financial stress.
We learn a lot from our fathers about every aspect of life. Sometimes we observe and emulate them, at others, we unknowingly inherit some qualities. Our desi values place immense importance on the value of money and if you haven’t picked up the tricks from your father yet it’s time to revisit old memories. His methods may have been a little conservative but everything he has done plays a big part in where you stand today.