#003 – This episode is dedicated to Mayra’s late mother Esther. Things she learned growing up and how most was caught than taught. Mayra is a mother of two teenagers and reviews the importance of being intentional in teaching children how to handle money wisely.
[0:04] Hello, hello, welcome to the All Things Money Podcast. My name is Mayra Alejandra Garcia, and I am a financial coach that wants to inspire you to reach your goals, grow your net worth, and be wise with money. Onto today’s show, we’re gonna be talking about how more is caught than taught. And this applies to our childhood. This applies to our parenting styles, and how our children are watching us and the way we manage money. And if we look back at our childhood, we can see that sometimes we just inherit some of these habits from our parents, and not necessarily because they told us to do these things, but because that’s what we saw. And like I said, more is caught than taught.
[0:57] There is… money is a taboo topic in a lot of families. I know, for instance, in the Hispanic community you don’t talk about money, you don’t talk about a lot of things. And that was definitely the case with me. I knew that my mom was disorganized. And I picked up on when I could ask her for things. Like for example, I knew that I could ask for clothes and shoes and whatever it is that I wanted right around her tax return season. And it was sad, because I knew that if I didn’t just take advantage, I didn’t… Not that I took advantage, but not… if I didn’t ask for the things that I needed or wanted, I was most likely going to get a no if it wasn’t at that time of that season. So I just knew that if I showed her that this was a need… She was not very… she wouldn’t hesitate, she would just say, “sure, go get it.” And so I know that my mom was definitely a free spirit. So she was most likely to say yes to things, but just disorganized when it came to other responsibilities. She was great. She was a great mom, very loving.
[2:20] I do remember this one time where she forgot to pay the power bill. I was in high school and I had a final that I had to study for. And she just completely forgot to pay the power bill and got home and there was no power. So I had to go out to the street light and plop a chair out there and read my books and study. And I just remember being so upset and so angry. And I just remember thinking like this cannot happen again. And I just thought like, what can I do to help my mom? And I was only like, what, maybe 13/14 when this happened. And I remember the very next day, we got our power turned back. And it was one of those times where… most of the time, because it wasn’t the only time our power went out… But this was the last time I remember it happened because I sat her down and they said, Okay, I need you to teach me how to write a check. Because I had seen my mom write checks, and I had seen that she would pay the bills. And she would do this once in a while. So I knew that she paid by check. So I said, “Well, I can help you just write a couple of checks.” And I just had her, once she taught me how to do one, I said, “Okay, I need you to just sign a couple blank checks for me. And when I see the bill come in the mail, I will write the check out and mail it.” And because I would take the city bus to school, I had a mailbox near the corner of Whittier and Arizona. That’s where I lived in East LA. So I just remember thinking, I could just drop it off by the bus stop and keep going to school.
[4:08] So in my mind, I had found a solution to help my mom. I didn’t know anything about budgeting or anything, I just knew my mom had the money, she just didn’t pay the bill because she forgot. So anyway, I just wanted to… it was one of the things that really impacted me because I remember thinking this never happen again. Another thing too, is that fast forward a few years, and I just remember trying to tell my mom and help my mom organize her money. And it was just one of the topics that just she didn’t want to talk about. She would criticize my budget, and she would say, in Spanish, Hay tu y tu presupuesto tan agarrado which means you and your tight budget. And it wasn’t that I was tight because I don’t ever feel deprived, but to her, a budget was depriving. That’s the way she viewed it.
[5:05] And that’s when I realized that there is this mindset that you have to shift, you have to see budgeting as an opportunity to make decisions and choices before you actually spend the money. And for you to be… make the wisest decision, when you’re not caught up on emotional stuff, because when you’re at the store, you get so caught up with: I want that or I need that, and if you have a plan ahead of time, just like anything else, right, you have a plan, then you know where you’re headed and that’s exactly what a budget is. And so when I realized, my mom sees a budget as something restrictive, it just hit like a bell. I just remember thinking, oh, that’s how most people see this. All right. So maybe I need to change the words. Or maybe I need to use a different word, instead of budgeting, because it’s a trigger word for some people.
[6:11] So I want to encourage you, what are the things that you saw growing up? What are the things that you need to change and shift from? What mindset choices do you need to make to shift and have that paradigm shift that’s going to allow you to change and make wise choices with money? Because it doesn’t have to be complicated. I have a very easy way of budgeting and I have had client, after client, tell me, oh, my goodness, I get it now. I understand how this works. It does not have to be hard. And I just want to encourage you, if this is something that interests you, that you let me know. Go to my website, or send me a DM and let’s talk about what is it that is blocking you.
[7:05] Sometimes we have to think about where did these habits come from? Is this something I saw growing up? Or is this something that I just fell into, because you get a credit card, and everybody gets a credit card when they go into college, or everybody’s telling you that you need to build your credit, and everybody’s broke. I mean, that’s the reality, most people are broke, and that is not wise. And it’s not wise to build up debt when you’re young, because it’s hard to get out of it. And once you build up those habits, it’s really hard to break them. So it’s really important to also teach your children that because they’re watching you. They’re seeing your spending habits, just like I saw my mom spend all of her tax return at department stores and at the mall because… and I knew that I had to ask during that time, they’re watching your spending habits, they’re seeing when it is that they can ask for things, and if they have a good chance of getting whatever it is that they want. So do you have a strategic plan on how to show them how to be wise with money? Do you… do they know how to give, save, and spend wisely? And these are the three things that you have to teach children… that you have to give, you have to spend and you have to save. And when you give allowances, you have to have a little bit in each category. And so, it’s really important to teach these things, because, once again, more is caught than taught. What legacy do you want to leave your children? Do you… Are you gonna leave them with debt? Are you going to leave a paid off house? Are they going to be able to go to college without any debt? And it’s really important that they know what their options are. They don’t have to get a car loan, they can buy a car cash, they can save up. So all these things we’ll be talking about on the podcast. I’ll be going more in depth about how you’re able to get a car and save up and pay for it cash. How you can avoid credit cards, how you can pay for your child’s college, how you can retire with dignity. Because that was a whole nother thing that I caught from my parents. I can see that my mother was not wise with some of her money management and unfortunately, she had to use government assistant to pay for her retirement convalescent home at the end of her life and that’s a very sad situation, like I know that I don’t want to be at the mercy of the government. That was not the best location for my mom. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the means to put her in a private place because those are like thousands of dollars a month. But I know that when I hit retirement age, I want to have the ability and the funds to be in a nice place, should I need to go into a convalescent home. Like, you know that, like that was the case with my mom. And so, I want to have these options, right? So I’m learning from that. And I’m planning for that, so that my children, I’m not a burden on them either. And that they don’t have to think about these hard choices that we had to do for our parents, or for my mom, really.
[10:49] And I want to dedicate this podcast episode to my mom, I’m gonna try not to cry. But she passed away two years ago, September of 2018, and although I’ve shared some things that are hard, and I don’t want it… I want to respect my mother. She was great. She was very loving, very caring. I do. I did learn a lot from her. And unfortunately, I learned what not to do. But outside of that my mother was great. She was very loving, and caring. I never went without. I just wanted to dedicate this since this is going to be released right around her second year anniversary of her death.
[11:38] Thank you so much for listening. If you are enjoying this podcast, please head over to mayraalejandragarcia.com. I’d love to stay in touch with you. And make sure to drop your email address so that we can stay in touch. If you have a question, make sure to leave that on my website as well. I’ll make sure to answer it on the show. And if you would like to share this on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @mayra.alejandra.garcia and I’ll see you in the next episode.