finance

My Parents Made Way Less Money Than I Do, But This Is How They Managed Their Budget To Raise 5 Kids

Growing up, I had no idea that my family was poor, because we always had everything we needed and I never heard my parents argue about money.

Araceli Cruz
CREDIT: Araceli Cruz

But long after I moved out and started making my own money, my dad gave me a reality check. I complained to him about my salary and he told me that my earnings were way more than he ever made. That got me to thinking…

How did my parents raise five kids on so little?

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One thing that made me feel like a complete failure at being independent was that while I made more than my parents ever did, I didn’t own a home and didn’t have a car the way they had my entire life — and I was only providing for myself, not a whole family. So how did my parents accommodate for five kids on a really small budget? Here’s how they did it, and how I’m learning to budget my own money today thanks to them:

90 percent of the things my parents bought were purchased at the swap meet and yard sales.

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From produce to home appliances, almost everything in our house came from the swap meet, where my mom could haggle for cheaper prices.

We almost never had fast food or went out to eat.

Mexican Moms ??? FOLLOW @puro_jajaja

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On the rare occasion that my mom didn’t want to make food, my dad would get us hamburgers — but without cheese, because we’d add slices of cheese once we got home.

Our annual vacations were strictly road trips.

And don't ask for shit ??? By @mexicancomedy

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And we almost never stayed at hotels.

Half the trips we took were camping vacations.

For real! ?

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And you can bet we took everything with us.

When we weren’t camping, we crashed with family.

?? Hello, from the other side….?#mexicanjokes #mexicansbelike #somexican #hello #mexico #mexicanproblems #lol

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There’s no way to you can go to the town your family lives in and not call them. You’d be in big trouble.

My parents only ever bought used cars.


They’ve always said the number one investment is owning a home, which they always did. However, when it came to cars, they taught me the value lessons each year. The added bonus of buying a used car: you can pass it down to a primo when you’re done with it.

The only socializing we did was at family functions.

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There’s no need to spend money at the club or a movie theater when you have a cousin’s quinceañera or tía’s birthday party every Saturday.

If anyone got sick, we never used typical medicine.

Trump CANT repeal this!!! #vaporub #latino #healthcare #aca

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If you had a cold, a cough, a broken limb, or even a fatal disease, it wasn’t anything a little vaporú, tequila, and a prayer couldn’t handle.

We never bought name brand items.


If we wanted Nikes or a Barbie, we’d head straight for the swap meet.

We didn’t pay for childcare. Family takes care of family.

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Why pay for a babysitter when your oldest daughter can do the job for free?

If we needed a haircut, we’d make an appointment with the lady down the street.


Letting Lupe cut your hair was always a risk, but we had no choice. If the haircut was super bad, it would make for a good story later.

To some, this way of life might seem sad, but it wasn’t. I had the best childhood ever and it really made me value the stuff I did have. I didn’t take things for granted and realized the most important things in life could never be purchased.

Araceli Cruz
CREDIT: Araceli Cruz


READ: Here Are Some Of The Most Annoying Things That Happen To Latinos In Small Towns Can you relate to this? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below. 

Donald Trump Has Signed An Executive Action To Shorten The Environmental Review Process

Things That Matter

Donald Trump Has Signed An Executive Action To Shorten The Environmental Review Process

Donald Trump just signed an executive order pushing for the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline.

Just two working days into his presidency, Donald Trump is quickly undoing all the decisions made around both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. According to CNN, Trump signed a series of executive actions centered solely on constructing oil pipelines in the U.S. With each executive action, Trump has undone the recent work of the Obama administration to halt construction on these two pipelines. It wasn’t just executive actions expediting the construction of the pipelines that he signed — other executive actions signed by Trump shorten the environmental review process, decrease regulation when it comes to building pipelines, and make it mandatory to build the pipes for the pipeline in the U.S., according to video from CNN.

“President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement, according to CNN. “Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream.”

Critics, like Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, are already speaking out against the executive order.


“We knew the war wasn’t over,” Taboo told TMZ. “We knew that there was still a big war against injustice and trying to preserve mother earth and what’s sacred to our land. So, we felt like we needed to do whatever we can ’cause some people were like, ‘Yeah! We did it! Everybody could go home now.’ But, it’s never over. Especially when you are dealing with someone like this man who just came into office. He’s unpredictable.”


READ: Why The NoDAPL Movement Has A Deeper Meaning For Me As An Afro-Indigenous Caribbean Latina

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