This Sunday is the day we celebrate that male influence in our lives: your father. Every dad is different, and likewise every Father’s Day festivity and gifts are different. There is a chance the celebration entails you not even see him the whole day. Personally my father likes to receive a card, and then be left alone until treated to his favorite Italian or Japanese restaurant. And this works for me and my sister, but it can still be a costly day – the man loves his shellfish. So how do my sister and I split the check? By knowing we have the savings to do so.
Start Saving Early
Sometimes it feels like you just keep getting hit by expensive months – the Holidays in December, Valentine’s in February, Mother’s Day in May, and now Father’s Day in June (it keeps going for me as I like to buy a lot of fireworks for July 4th). During those off months, you should try saving and paying off your credit cards. January and March can be good times to save, and if you work like me, the concept of Spring Break has been foreign for far longer than it was relevant so that frees up April.
But if you know you’ll be dropping expensive gifts on mom and dad right after each other, it doesn’t make sense to just start saving for dad after paying for mom – starting early means more for everyone. More importantly it could mean more to your credit score. By paying off on time what you spent, you could see an increase to your credit score, which is a gift of itself.
You Pay, You Get Reimbursed
If you have siblings, there is no reason to all buy separate gifts if you can all chip in together. Just make sure you are the one who pays for it and gets reimbursed. By charging it to your card, you get any rewards you may have on the card, and by your family reimbursing you, you can quickly pay it off which means better credit. I’m all too familiar with this method: it is what my sister prefers to do.
You Love Him, but Your Wallet Doesn’t
Things can go out of hand real fast if you aren’t careful: brunch at a nice restaurant, a set of $300 golf clubs, dinner at his favorite restaurant. Yes, he is your father, but no reason to bankrupt the family. Make sure you have a plan. And if you have siblings, bring them in on the plan as well. Try to split it evenly, or if things are tougher for some, you work within everyone’s means.
He has his birthday, the holidays, and Father’s Day – three days a year isn’t too bad to dedicate towards the old man. He may make comments about working real hard to get you to where you are today, but make sure your hard work for him is paid off – literally. Talk to your family, or do things your way, but make sure whatever the Sunday plans are, they are within your means. At least spend some time on the card – my parents have no problem telling me and my sister who gave the better card.
Michael Cohen is the Content, Community and Social Media Manager at myFICO.com.