21st Century Dad
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Dad Needs to be Financially Responsible Too

March 4th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad
Photo: Valentin Mosichev, iStockphoto.com

A 21st Century Dad must also be in charge of the family finances. I’m not saying it’s a man’s duty specifically, but if it does fall on you, you better be good at it. There’s a lot more on the line than your own well being.

Guys like J.D. at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Dad and Mike over at From Mike focus on personal finance. I enjoy writing about the variety of topics that a father today is interested in.

Where Does Your Money Go?

Years ago, I did a revealing exercise. I tracked every dollar I spent, down to the penny. It wasn’t hard to do. I ended up spending less because it meant having to write it down and tabulate it later. All of a sudden, that one dollar here and there for a soda ended up becoming $40 at the end of the month.

Track your spending for a month. You’ll find there’s a lot of fat you can cut out. You may be shocked at where your money goes. The Starbucks Latte is a favorite target of personal finance gurus. It may or may not be what’s sucking you dry. When you examine your spending, you will certainly find things to cut out.

Plans and Goals

It’s called “personal finance” for a reason. Everyone’s needs are different. Based on your spending analysis and your current needs, you will need to come up with a financial strategy for your family.

  • Do you need to save up to make a down payment on a new home?
  • Do you need to pay off debt?
  • Are you making a nice chunk of money but still living paycheck to paycheck?

Where to Go From Here

We didn’t learn much about personal finance in school. I spent many of my supposedly adult years being ignorant of money matters. My own education about money started with the exercise I described earlier and reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The book taught me a few things. The most important lesson I learned was that I knew very little!

A great place to start is the blogosphere. I let my personal finance education fall off a little bit… and yes, I’m feeling the burn. I’m a little sloppy right now. These bloggers have inspired me to revisit personal finance and tighten things up.

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