Finance Do’s and Dont’s for Dads

Finance Do’s and Dont’s for Dads

By: Anthony Hayes

I’m certainly no accountant. I do however know a thing or two about credit cards, student loans, and what it feels like to be buried in debt.  

DON’T: Spend what you do not have. 

It all started over a decade ago. I was 20 and I racked up about 16k on several different credit cards. Not to mention the few thousand dollars to Johnson and Wales University for my loan I had taken out circa 2003.

Your credit score is more important than your SAT score.

I was always good about making my monthly payments missing very few, if any, over the years. I knew paying the minimum was out of question, due to the fact that it would take me forever to dig my way out of the financial hole I created.

DON’T: Miss a monthly payment. 

  • More than the minimum is always best. Your monthly statement should include a table telling you how long it will take you to pay off said bill, and how much in interest it will end up costing you.

DO: Contact your creditor.

  • Almost everything in life is negotiable.  All they want is to get paid. Oftentimes, just a phone call can save you a lot of unwanted stress, uncertainty and money. You may be able to negotiate your minimum monthly payment or due date just by asking for your options. Keep your contact information updated. Tackle this head on don’t try and hide, it won’t magically disappear; trust me I’ve tired.

If you have an iPhone do yourself a favor and ask Siri “What is 0 divided by 0?” If you are on another operating system here is the answer you will receive:

“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.” -Siri (iPhone artificial intelligence) 

It’s hilarious and depressing at the same time, as that sums up what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. I started making a dent about 7 years in, but wasn’t out of the woods yet. It would take me about 11 years to make a more manageable, monthly solution toward being debt free

DO: Track your expenses.

Once I got my debt totals (which I kept track of using an Excel Spreadsheet) around 8k, I approached a small banking branch about a personal loan. Keep in mind this was an informed decision based on numerous sources of numerical data. I complied my current bill amounts, due dates, and their annual percentage rates (APRs). This was not a debt consolidation service. Do your homework.

With my given creditors, and the number of variable APRs (some as high as 22.9%), I was able to secure a low fixed percentage rate in the form of one reasonable monthly installment.

DO: Plan for the Future

The future starts today!

Whatever retirement plan, 401k, medical, or financial planning your job offers jump on it. Your contribution has the opportunity to grow with each passing day so don’t pass it up. Especially if your place of employment has some type match program.



Your Challenge:

Take on positive step today toward securing your future financial freedom. Open a savings account in your child’s name. Small steps often lead to bigger payoffs.

“Control the controllable, as for the rest Keep on flowing…Just be.”

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Author, Podcaster, Blogger, Dad, Mental Health Advocate.

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