Heads Up Dad – Money

by JamieList on January 27, 2010

Hi all, and welcome to Heads Up Dad, Money.

The intent of this section is to generate some discussion about the financial strains of parenting.  Believe it or not, parenting and finances generally don’t mix.  Kids are expensive, and there are not a great deal of programs that help parents run the finances and their families at the same time.  Canada is a great country to live in, and we are lucky to be able to raise kids here (one year parental leave, etc), but financial literacy has only recently come into the foreground in our education system (too late for us!).

Some ground rules about this section:

  • questions are always appreciated, and gives lots of ideas about future posts
  • feel free to post comments publicly to generate discussion and debate
  • feel free to contact me directly if you feel the question is more discreet
  • let’s keep this away from an investment forum (you can try my company blog for that – see RSS feeds to the right)

So, Dads, what we have to do is find time to negotiate the various pleasures and pitfalls of parenting, and also understand that money is an integral part of keeping a household running smoothly.  Money does not buy happiness, to be sure, but lack of money can create stress and strain in even the strongest of family relationships.

The main focus of this section will be to try and shed some light on some common strategies and opportunities to help you make the money problem a little easier and more enjoyable to deal with.  Most people agree that they will remain healthy if they eat wisely, stay hydrated, and get lots of sleep—and if they do all of that, they will have a better than average chance at a long and healthy life.  The good news is that, with similar simplicity, your wealth and financial success is going really to come down to how you approach three broad elements:

  • planning
  • discipline
  • tax

Avoiding, reducing, or simply dealing with taxes can be the single most important way to help you bolster your wealth as you move forward.  Planning and discipline you can supply on your own, perhaps with some coaching. Keep your eyes away from the financial junkfood that you see day-to-day on TV about “the markets” and how people who claim they have a one-size-fits-all solution that can help you achieve your retirement goals – picking the “hot stock” or latest investment product will not make your financial situation any better.  Instead, trust your gut and instinct, stick to some simple, straight forward basics, and you should be well on your way to making money—an situation that enhances your experience as a Dad, not one that frustrates the journey.

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