Father Sez

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Giving my elder girls a firmer life foundation

Monday February 4th, 2008 by fathersez

Recently Madison at the Dollar Plan and some of her blogging friends got together and came out with an excellent series of articles chronicling the financial strategies that should be put into place as we fall into various age bands.

This has made me review my own plans for helping my children lay a better foundation in their own personal finances and lives.

The two eldest girls are now in their final year of undergraduate studies, both of them on Pa & Ma scholarships. Sadly I was seldom around when they were growing up as I was working overseas. Thankfully some foundations have been laid by my wife and I want to see how it can be taken to the next level. Right now, the girls are on course for forming / mixing around with a peer group that takes pf seriously.

I have read and digested Mrs. Micah’s College Money Matters, Cash Money Life’s  Money Tips for the Twenty Something Crowd and Remodeling this Life’s Financial Advice for Your Twenties.

Having these resources have been a great advantage, thanks guys!

What should I focus on now?

a) Further studies

Along wants to do her Masters in Educational or Child Psychology, whilst Azah wants to do her CFP in Islamic Finance.

Should they do these part-time, or should they seek study loans, scholarships or employer paid tuition to pursue these?I have to give some thought to this.

b) Career Plan

This is an area where I have personally failed badly. So I have no intention of not guiding my children. I have to discuss with them and explore their preferred careers, identifying the companies or organisations where they want to work, preparing their killer resume, going the extra mile to secure the interview, preparing for it and then doing well at the interview are all matters that have to be addressed.Then there would be the matter of discussing how to manage their colleagues and bosses.

c) Finance

The first would be budgeting with the paying yourself first element firmly entrenched.  This may be based on the envelope system to start with. I would also like to suggest the “James Plan” of savings with a virtual employer.Then a major discussion on the power of compounding and how it can be made to work for us or if we are not careful, against us.   They also have to be introduced to checking accounts and how to balance their books. 

Then on creating the emergency fund, basic investing knowledge like mutual funds, index funds and ETF’s.  Some background on insurance, mortgages and loans should round it up.

Emily made a telling statement.

To quote her, 

This is the best age to be frugal because living frugally early on is the foundation for the rest of your life and will give you the opportunity to live well while also living below your means.


And Trent over at the Simple Dollar reminds us that the age between late childhood to settling down with a family is the best age for entrepreneurship.

This is in line with what my wife and I would prefer. Still it’s the girls’ lives, so they would have to make the final calls. So far they have not indicated any signs of the Donald in them yet.

I have to now think carefully about crafting a series of lessons or posts (as my daughters and their friends read my blog) on how best to achieve this. Lessons that they find acceptable.

After all, the most memorable quote on advising children I have read is (I am sorry, I can’t remember the source now, but it must be from a blog), that the best way to advice children is “To find out what they want to do, then advice them to do it.”

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7 Comments for “Giving my elder girls a firmer life foundation”

[…] Original post by Father sez…… […]

by Patrick
On February 4, 2008
At 8:12 pm

I didn’t have a career plan either. I believe I have done well without one, but certainly not as well as I could have. I think helping your children with their careers is one of the best things you can do. A little direction goes a long way! :)

by fathersez
On February 4, 2008
At 10:42 pm


I certainly agree that our ability to earn income is our biggest asset. However, managing our career well will no doubt make our life easier as far as our pile of moolahs go.

Someways, the mantra of FMF on our career is our greatest asset does have a ring of truth.

Thanks for your comment and a lot more thanks for your article.

On February 5, 2008
At 3:16 am

I found that the scholarship money was plentiful for my masters program, and I was able to get my degree basically for free. Make sure they call the department (and not just the school) to see what scholarships are available. I almost missed out on that one because I didn’t know the right person to ask.
I’m looking forward to your lessons that you write! I hope you include the one about saving like crazy while you are young… that one has almost single handedly secured our financial success. Thanks for mentioning the series!

by fathersez
On February 5, 2008
At 5:16 am

Thanks, Madison for your advice. I forward your comments to my daughters.

And on the lessons I’ll do my best. The motivation is very strong to provide all that I can for my kids.

There are not many young people who include savings, much less saving like crazy in their radar. You are a special driven person.


by Emily
On February 5, 2008
At 11:31 am

Thanks for the link and I am glad you were able to take some value from my post. I know there are a LOT of things that I wish my dad had told me when I was 16 instead of waiting until I was 26. I think my parents just assumed I’d take the same financially responsible path they had but I didn’t know any better and if they’d just sat down with me and explained things more 10 years earlier, I can only imagine how different things would have been and would still be for me. I love your blog and admire your dedication to passing on wisdom to the next generation.

by fathersez
On February 5, 2008
At 4:15 pm

Hi, Emily.

I should thank you. You have given a very good list of issues I can address with my daughters.

I love your quote “that the 20’s is the best time to be frugal.” It also looks like Madison built up her pile of moolahs by being frugal when young.

I hope my kids can see that it is possible to be frugal and yet have a resonably good life now.

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