Dec 20, 2014

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Does Your Child Thinks She’s Poor or Rich? Talking to Kids about Money

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This is Part IV of our Money Week Series with Master Money Coach Meadow Devor. Check out today’s giveaway below!

I am driving my daughter to her friends house for a sleepover. We are making small talk. I’m still in denial that she’s growing up and my almost-nine-year-old wants to spend the night away from home. It was just two minutes ago that she needed Mommy for everything. She’s growing up faster than I am.

She says, “I can’t wait to see Lilly’s house.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I want to see if she lives in a fancy house or if she is poor.”

At this point, I’m a little woried, but I have to ask anyway. “Do we live in a fancy house?”

She looks at me as if I just asked her if I was a purple unicorn. Like, I’m asking her a trick question because the answer is so obvious.

“No, mom. We’re poor.”

Ok. Ouch. That was below the belt. Regaining my focus, I ask, “What’s the difference between a fancy house and a poor house?”

She thinks for a second. “Fancy houses are big and have stairs on the inside.”

We arrive at Lilly’s house. Which, for the record, is a very cute two bedroom house (believe me, I took a the tour and counted square footage as soon as I arrived.) with STAIRS going up to the living room.

Isabelle will be excited about spending the night in such a fancy house.

As I drive back to my poor house, I can’t stop thinking about this. My daughter thinks we are poor. That is just mind blowing to me.

It got me thinking about what poor really means. And more importantly, it got me thinking about a really big lesson that I want her to learn. One that I didn’t learn until I was 35.

She said “fancy” as the opposite of poor. I know my daughter (or at least I thought I did until this conversation) and I have a pretty good idea of what “fancy” means to her.

Fancy means sparkly, ornamental, decorative, frilly, lacey, and impressive. Embellished with rainbows and hearts even. Or bling and glitter. The opposite of minimalistic. In other words, my daughter equates wealth with a lot of stuff in a big house and some stairs to go with.

She doesn’t know that fancy is not wealth.

She doesn’t know that fancy can be a sign of wealth. But, fancy can also be a lie.

She doesn’t know that fancy can mean very very poor as well.

I think about all the vacant McMansions with their overgrown landscaping. Dandelions growing through the cracks of their sidewalks. Old copies of YellowPages bleached from the sun on the forgotten driveway. That’s a fancy house. Those were fancy people.

I used to be a fancy person.

She doesn’t remember me like that.

I need to talk to my daughter about money. I need to talk to her about what money means. What fancy really means. What wealth means. What cash means.

I need to talk to her about earning and spending. About saving. About respecting.

We all do.

We need to talk to our daughters and to our sons about money. We need to talk to them about what money means, to us. We need to teach them what wealth means. What cash means. What debt means.

This conversation is important.

To me. To you. To our families.

Read this Week’s Money Series Articles:

Do You Rent or Own Your Money?

How To Love Money

Got Money Problems? Change Your Mind

GIVEAWAY TODAY AT 8PM (EST)!

Editors’s note:  To celebrate New Latina’s first birthday we’re teaming up with a special guest contributor, Meadow Devor, financial expert and master money coach!  This week, Meadow will be sharing a new article on New Latina and giving away one FREE COPY of her 30-Day Starter Kit (a $49 value) each day (Monday through Friday) at 8PM EST!  That’s five free Starter Kits shipped out to New Latina readers!  And if that wasn’t enough, we’re also giving away 100 downloadable copies of Meadow’s Money Love ebook ($9.99 value) from 12pm to 4pm EST on Saturday!

One FREE copy of Meadow Devor’s 30-Day Starter Kit (a $49 value).

How To Enter the Giveaway!

It’s simple: Just share what you liked about this post, or what resonated with you.  Leave a comment below.

For additional chances to enter (only after you answer question above):

1. Like New Latina fan page on Facebook and leave a message letting us know that you “Liked” the fan page.  If you have already “Liked” the page, leave a message letting us know that you’ve already “Liked” us.

2. Like Meadow Devor’s fan page on Facebook and leave a message letting us know that you “Liked” the fan page.  If you have already “Liked” the page, leave a message letting us know that you’ve already “Liked” us.

3.  Subscribe to New Latina updates via email and leave a comment letting us know that you subscribed.  If you’re already a subscriber, leave a message letting us know that you’re already a subscriber.

4.   For 1 additional entry:  Tweet the following and leave 1 separate comments with a copy of your tweet.

Giveaway today @ 8PM EST! 30-Day Money Starter Kit by @Meadow Devor ($49 value) via @NewLatina  http://wp.me/p132np-2wu #latism #latinabloggers

This giveaway ends tonight, at 8PM EST.  Winner will be randomly selected via Random.org. We will notify winners via email and Facebook.

Buena Suerte!!

Disclosure:  New Latina is not an affiliate of Meadow Devor Money Coaching products. This is just another effort by New Latina to empower our readers and followers.

 

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Meadow Devor

Meadow Devor

Meadow DeVor is a Master Certified Money Coach who has devoted her practice to helping her clients create a healthy relationship with money. She believes that everyone has the power to transform their lives, find their own financial freedom and create a better relationship with money by changing the way we think. She has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and her articles have been featured in Women's Day Magazine. She is known for her 'take-no-prisoners' approach to coaching, her radical authenticity, and most of all... for her giggle. She is committed to doing serious work while making it as fun as possible. She writes a popular blog about money. You can read more of her work at http://www.MeadowDeVor.com.

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Comments

  1. Liza N. Sanchez says:

    I thought this article was really interesting. I think my daughter who is * tends to think we are doing better financially well off then we are just because we have a big house & “fancy” things.

  2. Agi Morales says:

    To many, talking about money to our Latino kids, is about as scary as talking about sex. The similarity being that those are conversations that we, very likely did not have with our parents, and therefore have no point of reference when the time comes to have the conversation with our kids. Our kids are bombarded with information about what is wealth and success and poverty and our job is to be the filter regarding those many messages. I am constantly in conversation wth my 13 year old to help reframe what society attempts to shape in her mind. I assert my values, expectations and politics about money. I teach her abundance and respect regarding money. For many of us, we are creating new ways of being with our children, taking the best our parents taught us and combining it with what we know was missing. Hopefully, that combination will help make an even greater next generation of Latinos.

  3. This article was interesting to me because it reminded me of my childhood. I remember growing up I thought the same things. I thought my family was poor when in reality we were middle class. The only reason I thought we were poor was because a lot of my classmates were spoiled with whatever new toy they wanted and always had nice things. My parents raised us to earn our things and to understand that money should not be wasted on unecessary things instead saved.

  4. Loved the poor and fancy terminology and points about glitter and kids’ perceptions.

    It reminded me to be grateful to my parents, who helped plant the seed that we always had enough – even though we definitely weren’t fancy – economically lower middle class.

    Also my boyfriend’s dad, (hardworking, “poor, not fancy”), who never panicked about unexpected expenses – had the philosophy that he would just earn more if need arose.

    I do remember determining who was”rich, regular, poor” in junior high by where they bought their clothes – even more than their homes.

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