We recently surveyed 15,000 students, asking them for their top tips for savings. Many of their responses featured savings tips from Dad. From ways to save money for college or as a college student, we received a ton of money-saving tips from students passing along their fathers’ (and grandfathers’) advice. Check them out and weave them into your own arsenal of financial know-how.
Are you a student — or maybe you know one? Why not apply for the next Coupons.com scholarship — Dad would be proud!
Where would we be without advice from dear ol’ Dad? Whether he’s extolling the virtues of hard work, setting an example for his kids, or tag-teaming with Mom on budgeting household expenses and activities, Dad makes it look easy. In reality, a father’s advice is based on years of hard-won experience that he wants to pass along to his loved ones in the hopes of making their lives a little easier.
Father’s Day is around the corner, so why not thank Dad (or Granddad!) for all the great advice he’s shared over the years by treating him to one of these 45+ restaurants where dads eat free on Father’s Day — or having some fun together at one of these 30+ places where dads get free admission on Father’s Day!
To share the love, we’ve collected several of our favorite money-saving tips from dads right here. Let us know what your favorite tip is, or share with us any financial advice your own Dad gave you in the comments below!
Dad’s Advice on Saving for a Lifetime
He’s always there for you with words of wisdom: Urging you to get back up when you fell off your bike or preparing you for the world after graduating high school or college. Your father often has some terrific advice for saving for all of life’s big and little moments, and treasuring those lessons along the way.
See the bigger picture. “Whenever I’m tempted to spend my savings, I always look back to when I was a kid and my dad and I would go play at a local arcade. Every week we would save our tickets. Even though I was tempted to spring for the bouncy ball or pencil top eraser, he [taught] me to save for the thing that I really wanted. That mechanical robot still sits on my dresser today.”
“Do you really need this?” “When I first started working at age 14, it was the first time I ever really earned my own spending money and it felt great. I bought all these nice clothes and shoes and didn’t have any money left for my freshmen year of high school. I could never really ask my parents for money because I know they are struggling to keep our family afloat, so my father came to me when I was 15 with great advice. He told me, ‘Before you buy something, ask yourself if you really need this or could you live without it?.’ This message has stuck with me ever since and I think for me at least this is the best way to save money.”
Pay yourself first. “The best tip I have ever received on saving money came from my father on my wedding day. He told my husband and I to always pay ourselves first. He didn’t mean for us to disregard bills and responsibilities, but rather to make sure we take any extra money we have and save it for ‘a rainy day.’ That rainy day could be comprised of a family emergency, a future family vacation, unforeseen school costs, etc. This tip has allowed us to save for our future from the first day we were married up to today. I thank him every time we evaluate our budget each month. Great advice!”
“Staying out of debt is the key to a happy life.” “The most helpful piece of advice that has been given to me came from dad. He told me early on: ‘Do not buy anything unless you have the cash in hand to afford it. Staying out of debt is the key to a happy life.’ This is something I have thought about in all my choices and purchases. I realize that sometimes debt can’t be avoided, but I try and do it the best that I can. Not having any debt gives you the freedom to be able to move jobs without being worried about running out of money. It allows you to save up a nice cushion fund in case of an emergency.”
Coupon-Cutting Tips from Dad
When it comes to finding deals, Dad set the golden standard. The students who responded to our survey gave us some great insight as to how their fathers have incorporated coupon-clipping into their families’ weekly routine.
Are you new to couponing? Check out these great strategies from moms everywhere, then read up on our Couponing 101 guide and start saving with grocery coupons and retail coupon codes from Coupons.com!
The family that coupons together, saves together. “One way my family saves money is by taking advantage of coupons, deals, and price matches in local stores. Every Sunday, my dad brings back the weekly deal papers from work, and immediately my family goes searching through the dozens of store deals. I am quick to grab the handy scissors and clip out all the coupons for my favorite foods and any other small goods I want. Also, seeing the weekly deals for all the electronics always excites me for anything new on sale. Whenever I want something new, my dad always asserts, ‘Wait for it to go on sale.’ Hard work searching through papers and papers of deals can be a pain sometimes, but it can definitely help.”
Make couponing a family tradition. “One tip that helped me save money is by watching my dad clip coupons every Sunday when the newspaper comes. Ever since I was little I could always hear the snip snip of the scissors that indicated he was cutting out coupons. It seemed that tradition passed on to me because now we both cut out coupons for the things that we want. For me, it is usually coupons for makeup or shampoo. For my dad, food. I also notice how my parents spend their money and it is not on stuff we do not need. They use it wisely which has left an impact on me. I do not want to be a careless spender so I keep an eye on what I am doing with my money.”
Dad Says: Be Big on Budgets!
The ability to budget for yourself or a family doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a skill that’s acquired over time. Fathers have a knack for offering tips on balancing your budget and instilling those values in you from an early age. Check out some of Dad’s tips for balancing your budget.
Are you a budgeting newbie? Not to worry, everyone starts somewhere, and our budgeting 101 guide is the perfect place to learn how to budget!
Cut yourself a piece of pie (chart). “One tip that helped me save money is more of a strategy I was taught by my father. He said that within every dollar, you should see a pie chart. In this chart, you should allocate a percentage of that dollar to savings, to spending, and to expenses. Of course, this is the simplified version, but the lesson is that if you want to save money…you must separate it. For example, if you have all your money in one place, you think that that is as much as you can spend; however, you will end up spending money that was meant to be saved.”
Make a budget and stick to it. “When I was struggling, my dad advised me to write down my budget in order to get an idea of how much I can spend per week while still saving most of my money. Once I wrote down my weekly income and the amount I was willing to spend, it became a lot easier for me to consciously think about sticking to my budget.”
Early lessons become good habits. “One tip that has helped me save money is to budget yourself. This way, with the money I take in regularly per month, a set amount gets put into savings, while the rest can cover expenses. The best part is that when I don’t spend all of the money I have allotted for myself to spend, it can also be put into savings. When I got my first job, my father made sure I understood and followed this rule. After following this for about a year, saving money comes easy to me.”
Dad’s Tips for Living a Frugal Lifestyle
Dad may be the co-quarterback of your family, but when it comes to his kids and their dreams, he will almost always be your biggest cheerleader. Sometimes saving money involves earning money — and finding creative ways to save a buck. Check out some of Dad’s tips for carving out opportunities to grow your bankroll.
Saving money can be easier than you think, and with these easy saving tips you might be able to save more than $700 each month! If you’re a college student, you can also save with these 90+ student discounts.
It starts with self control. “My dad told me in order to achieve any goals you set for yourself, the main thing a person will always need is self control. If you see an awesome outfit and you feel like buying it, ponder whether or not if you need that outfit. He would always tell me, ‘Do you still have decent clothes that fit? Are your shoes still in good condition? How often will you even wear that outfit if you do buy it?’ It makes sense to think about whether or not that money is really ‘burning a hole in your pocket’ or not. Meaning, do you have to spend the money, or are you just wanting to spend the money. Self control is what helps with that decision.”
Make something and earn something. “My father suggested I make even more money by making more cards and selling them, which I am planning on doing very soon. My father encouraged me and first gave me the tip of making the cards which made me over 700 dollars for my school funds.”
Pack a lunch! “My dad has always told me that eating at home instead of going out to eat is very financially responsible, and this advice has really helped me save money. I always take my lunch to school, and I take my own food whenever I know I’ll be somewhere for a long time. It also reminds me to spend less when I do go out to eat because I am more aware of the costliness. I also stopped drinking sodas and that significantly reduced my spending at restaurants. I always grab a water bottle when I leave the house, so I never waste money on a drink.”
Find fun for free & value experiences over possessions. “My dad told me to save money for experiences and not to spend lots of money on material items. This has really resonated with me. Since a young age, he has made sure to show me the world through taking me places and having experiences. Traveling is very costly, but some of the best travel experiences are going to free events. Hiking, museums, and sightseeing can be some cost savers while traveling. Something will cost money, but by going to free or low cost local museums or activities, it is cheap and fulfilling. On top of this, wanting to go to these events has motivated me to spend less money on material items and save more money for experiences that will count.”
Good Grandfatherly Advice
Where do you think Dad got all of his ideas from? Grandpa likely grew up during a time when you couldn’t check your bank account balance on your phone and relied on cold, hard cash to make purchases. If anyone would know the value of a dollar, it’s Grandpa!
Write it down! “The most helpful tip I have ever gotten about saving money would be from my grandfather. He told me to pick a certain percentage and every check I got I would take that percent of the money out of it and put it away in a different account. He also told me to write the percent down on paper and keep it in my wallet. This way, every time I use money, I am reminded that a certain percent is not at my fingertips for use, which in turn helped me to save.”
“No money means no funny.” “My great-grandfather passed away when I was six, but there is one tip that I can not seem to shake that my mom always tells me in an impersonation of his warm Polish accent: ‘No money means no funny.’ This is actually very true! In order to spend money and have fun at the same time, I have to save enough money up to feel comfortable and secure while spending it. For example, I would feel a lot better about going to the movies if I didn’t just have twenty dollars left to my name in my bank account. I would be able to enjoy the experience more if I didn’t have to worry about what would be left in my bank account when I left the cinema.”
The secret to saving money. “When I was young and had just began to learn how valuable money was, my grandfather gave me his ‘secret’ to saving money. He told me to always put half of any money I come into in my savings. This began with putting a $5 bill in a jar when I did chores and now I regularly deposit half of my paycheck directly into my savings account. My grandpa once asked if I was still going by his secret and when I told him I was, he just laughed and smiled. He then told me that he had never had the self restraint to save like that and he told me when I was young so that I might save better and earlier than him.”
Today’s pennies become tomorrow’s dollars. “When I was young, my grandfather shared a wonderful tip to save up all of the coins that I receive as change. Since I was a college freshman, I have collected all of my loose change in a container. When I finally cashed in all of my coins, it totaled upwards of three hundred dollars, equivalent to one month’s cost for utilities and groceries. Often times, people have the notion that the change one receives is not valuable enough to save. As a math teacher, I have happily proved that misconception wrong. This has taught me the importance of being mindful with my purchases and how even a seemingly worthless penny can add up to a substantial amount of money.”
This Father’s Day, take stock of the financial know-how Dad gave you and let him know how much he means to you in so many ways!