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Fathers, Daughters, and Financial Planning

What did your father teach you about financial planning?

Women recount their experiences, good and bad, with their fathers and finance in “Father, Daughters and Dollars: How Dads Influence Our Views on Money.” Amy Keyishian, the author of this article from LearnVest, wrote it as a followup to an article she wrote about mothers and money but found that the women she spoke with were less lighthearted when it was time to talk about their dads and dollars: “It seems that disagreements over finances can damage a father-daughter relationship as much as it can damage a marriage.”

After consulting with psychology professor, Keyishian found that many men still attach their self-worth to their earning potential. And when men and individuals and society as a whole see a man’s role as providing financial stability, this can get in the way of the more emotional aspects of parenting. Some fathers spend less time at home in order to earn more. Others may feel that as long as they are earning enough, it doesn’t matter how much time they spend with their children.

The women interviewed talked about money lessons they learned from their fathers. Sometimes these lessons came in the form of what NOT to do (don’t forget estate planning, don’t overspend). Some lessons came as great advice (learn the lesson when you make an unwise purchase, put something aside for savings as soon as you get your paycheck). One woman said having her parents divorce when she was an adult freed her to find her start making her own financial decisions because her anger over the split meant that she relied less on her father for financial advice.

The psychology professor interviewed encourages adults to try to view their family’s financial past from an adult perspective. Some of us still hold onto when we thought as children but as adults we have a broader worldview and may be able to see the bigger picture about our family’s ways of handling money.