Asked on 11 Jun 2019
Pretty sure many of us want to show appreciation to the person whom we most lovingly call 'papa', 'pops' or 'lao dou' (in Chinese). But he also wants us to practice financial prudence in spending, so don't break the bank this weekend when you bring your dad out for dinner!
Dad was (and still is) a taxi driver. If anything, it would be the value of working hard. Even if things knock you down (you won't believe how many people I've heard run off without paying the taxi fare), life will still go on and hence grit and determination are important factors if you want to succeed in life.
And he led a simple life by most standards. I think a clear distinction between wants and needs will help remind us (his sons) what's important in life and how to make every cent count. That daily $7 Starbucks is replaced by a 30cent nescafe coffee stick. That weekly $20 uber ride is replaced by just setting off for your destination 30 mins earlier. All that adds up.
But nothing would beat a good meal with him. That's just once a year after all.
My Dad taught me the value of working hard. He works really long hours, even now in his 60s - finding fulfillment in what he does. When I was younger - I thought I worked hard, and he showed me over and over again that I didn't even know what that meant.
Even though he wasn't around as much as my mum, I felt his presence through what he provided - literal food on the table, amongst other things.
He also saved tremendously during regular days and spent quite lavishly on us during holidays. We had at least two vacations a year, even if they weren't particularly expensive places like Europe - he and Mum always emphasized that it was important for us to experience what they never got to do when they were young, and to do it properly (which I guess was to spend more to get a better experience LOL).
Typically I do most of these things today as well.
My dad always has the following requirement for food: Cheap and Good. This stems from my father coming from a humble background, and drawing a modest salary as a foreman at a little above $1k a month.
Because of that, we always make our Daddy + Daughter adventures to check out all the good eats at hawkers in Singapore. Having these dinner dates also ensures that we spend time with each other, especially in this day and age where it's easy to 'be busy' and overlook quality time spent with loved ones.
I recall when I was overseas for work, and I missed our usual Sunday kway chap breakfast together as I had to fly out early to US. My heart sank a little when I whatsapped him asking how his Sunday went, and he replied,
'The kway chap is not quite the same when you aren't around; it feels different'.
I always remember that, and always make it a point to spend time with my loved ones, especially my dad, because of that.
My Pa told me
Dad will always look out for their children.
My dad was a taxi driver and his discipline in recording and tallying his "accounts" everyday after work was just amazing. He wasn't well-educated but with his basic knowledge he would record down his earnings and spendings (i.e. petrol costs, repair costs, etc) in notebooks neatly.
As a small child, I never knew what he was doing everyday after work and what those notes and numbers were but I understood the importance of this now that I'm working!
My favourite learning from my dad who used to be a business Owner doing paper trading.
similar to the mantra in sales: “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”
also known as: “don’t celebrate too early!”
can be linked to finance in every single aspect when it comes to playing the long game.
Dad taught me to live below my means and save consistently for a rainy day. The ability to save an emergency fund and invest for the long term gives me the confidence to choose work life balance over a demanding job. Thanks to Dad for being a fanstastic role model!
My dad taught me the importance of frugality. He also taught me that the main purpose of money should be to bring joy to those important to us. So he doesn't skimp when it comes to spending on those he loves. 🙂
One thing I've learnt from my dad is to not be 'penny wise and pound foolish'. While my family is not well to do initially, there are times when my dad makes quality purchases for long-term items (e.g. a good pair of sports shoes, or a quality printer) that makes a lower average 'cost per use' - despite the higher upfront costs, these items generally last longer from higher quality purchases.
Food wise, might be better to go with what your dad enjoys! price is the amount you pay, but value is the satisfaction you get! (for my dad, a nice bowl of porridge n dimsum with the whole family together makes his day! )