Personal Finance

Lessons from Dad: The best money advice CNBC anchors received from their fathers

By June 14, 2019 No Comments

When it comes to learning about money, parents have a big influence on their kids.

In fact, 65% of U.S. adults learned about saving from their parents, a survey by found. And about 45% were schooled about spending from them, according to the survey, which polled 2,694 adults in the U.S.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we asked our CNBC anchors and reporters the best money advice they received from their dads.

The responses ran the gamut, from dealing with debt to being a good negotiator.

Have ‘mad money’

Sharon Epperson and her father

Source: CNBC

Sharon Epperson’s father told her to always make sure she had “mad money. “

“He meant he wanted me to have a $20 bill in my wallet at all times so that I never had to ask anyone else to get me home or get me what I needed,” the CNBC senior personal finance correspondent said.

It’s a lesson that stays with her to this day.

“I still try to keep a $20 bill in my wallet all the time and every time I pull it out, I think of Dad.”

Live below your means

Beware of debt

Dominic Chu and his father

Source: Dominic Chu

For senior markets correspondent Dominic Chu, the best money advice he received from his dad was to make sure he didn’t accumulate a lot of debt.

“Sometimes if you have to take it out, make sure you can pay it off as quickly as possible,” Chu said. “So for me, every time I get a chance to pay off some of that debt, I do.”

How to be a good negotiator

Steve Liesman’s lesson from his father came when he bought his first guitar.

Liesman, CNBC’s senior economics reporter, was trying to negotiate with the salesman and wasn’t getting anywhere. That’s when his dad stepped in, took the salesman to the side to have a “nice conversation” and got the price lowered by $50.

“I just learned from that to treat people nicely in negotiations and listen to their side,” he said. “It worked out really well, but I still don’t know to this day what he said to that salesman.”

Small changes make a difference

Contessa Brewer and family

Source: Contessa Brewer

Correspondent Contessa Brewer’s father never really talked about money when she was growing up, but her parents did open a savings account for her when she was young.

He also taught her through his actions.

“He showed me by example that small changes make a big difference. How? We weren’t allowed to order drinks when we would go to a restaurant,” Brewer said. “That saved our family at least $6 every time. That adds up.”

Watch your wallet

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