As you all know Girl Ninja and I are heavily involved in a high school outreach called Young Life. We’ve gotten pretty close with our freshmen over the year, and as such, they’ve really started to open up to us about their lives. If there is one common thing I’ve noticed in each of these kids’ life stories it’s this: Most of their dads suck at being dads. 

Walking away from your marriage is one thing, but walking away from your entire family brings you to a whole new level of douche-ism. From physical, verbal, and sexual assault, to drugs, infidelity, and neglect; these kids have dealt with more than any person, let alone a 15-year-old, should ever have to.

I was talking with one of my guys about his parent’s pending divorce (his dad cheated on his mom with a prostitute), when he said something pretty darn mature. He said “While I don’t really have a good example of what a father figure should look like, I’ve feel like I’ve learned from my dad what NOT to do when I have kids.”

While it totally sucks that this kid doesn’t have a solid father figure in his home, I’m encouraged by the fact that he understands that his dad is a crappy dad, and uses that as motivation to NOT follow in his father’s footsteps.

Isn’t that a lesson for us all really? Heck, I bet we can even apply that to our personal finance journey, can’t we? Who amongst you has learned WHAT NOT TO DO in regards to your money, spending habits, etc from someone else’s terrible choices? Who was that “bad example” in your life; mom, dad, sibling, grandparent? We love modeling ourselves after people like “insert cliché Personal Fiance Guru here”, when in reality people like Nicolas Cage can be just as influential…albeit for a completely different reason.

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