From time to time, a reader is encouraged to tell us what they leanred about money, from podcasts, other bloggers or finance books. They have broken credit cards, wiped out giant debts, improved at their jobs, and changed their financial lives to never turn back. This is Diana’s story:
This is a sad story. Not the kind of love and heartbreak. Of disappointments, yes disappointments. And above all money.
Yes, although it may not seem like it at first, one of the central lines of this story is merely money. And taking advantage of the fact that you have just touched on the topic of when children leave home, I encouraged myself to write to you.
My father was one of those people who with hard work and effort achieved a good heritage at a good age. Of course everything fell apart (from my perspective) because of his pride and blurring of reality. It may read very dramatic, but it was. It was dramatic.
My grandmother died when he was 15 years old. My grandfather, from a taxi driver went to work as a seamstress, perhaps to take care of his children a little more closely. My father started working whatever it was and looking for a way to get a technical career as an electrician, which in the end he couldn’t finish.
He married my mother and at the age of 20 I was born. Shortly after, he quit his jobs as a construction electrician to help his father with sewing. Over the years, he not only improved his, then precarious situation (we had an adobe kitchen), he bought sewing machines, he built to have his house and his maquiladora. I buy land, cars, for my own use and for taxis. So far it is a success story.
He was unfaithful to my mother repeatedly.
He has 3 women apart from my mother. He has children with all of them. He put 2 home. We are 9 children of father. Remaining like this: 3 brothers of mine and 5 half-brothers. It was never one of those telenovelesque unfaithful men who treated the mistress in turn well and bought him things.
Until that, she treated us all the same. Wrong. All the mistresses each made up at home. My mother not only worked in the maquiladora longer than any worker, she also took care of the house and the children (although there was a time when we had a maid).
My brothers and I also worked in the workshop, of course we went to school, we even had first places in grades. But that was not enough for my father, although he did demand it. I once got an eight on a bimonthly high school exam and it was like I had failed the year. School holidays were full time in the sewing shop. The rides, prizes, and treats were practically non-existent.
DAD, MONEY AND ITS TEACHINGS
The best way I have to exemplify how my father taught me about money is through his phrases, which for his children are not legendary:
“The day you want to be an asshole, spend YOUR money not mine.”
Read “make an asshole” as: go to a birthday party, play games, go to the movies, watch television. The typical “What do you think money grows on trees?” many times accompanied by “you only know how to stretch out your hand to ask” these 2 applied every time we had the misfortune to ask for money to do a school job or to pay for its cooperation.
To my mother I apply several times the one of “While the cow of milk, although it kicks true”. And one of his favorite maxims: “My weights don’t lack zeros” he resorted to this whenever he asked us for an explanation of why, out of our miserable 9, that what we lacked to make it 10 because he did have to give for tuition fees and for us to go to school every day, and that’s when the “My pesos don’t lack zeros” came in. Eh?
WHAT DID I LEARN FROM MY TRAUMATIC CHILDHOOD?
1.- Money costs work, a lot of work, sometimes more than it is worth.
2.- Money is money, grades are a number.
3.- Freedom in broad strokes is often reduced to financial freedom, because until I began to obtain MY money, I was able to decide the course of my actions.
4.- If your family and friends are with you for money, treat them as something you have bought, but why do it? It is also sadder when they treat things and money better than people.
5.- Everything in this life is paid. And not always with money.
Diana’s story reminds us that we don’t always have the best financial life example to follow. However, it is up to us to change the patterns or “lessons” that our family has carried and taught for generations.
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