Things That Matter

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?

Workin hard af! ??? By @mexicancomedy

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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.

Domingo de yardear ???? FOLLOW @mexicancomedy @mexicancomedy #latinos #latinas #mexicans #mexican

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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.

Just a kick back ??? Collab w/ the lil homie @espuropedo FOLLOW @mexicancomedy @mexicancomedy #latinos #latinas #mexican #mexicans

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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. 

Latinas Are Sharing How They Protect Their Loved Ones From Coronavirus

Fierce

Latinas Are Sharing How They Protect Their Loved Ones From Coronavirus

padreezequiel / Instagram

As global leaders continue to instruct the public to stay at home and self-quarantine amidst the Coronavirus pandemic scare, we looked to our Latinas on Instagram. Curious to see how you all are handling the situation and assuring loved ones stay safe, we asked “what ways are you trying to keep your loved ones safe?”

Here’s what you had to say!

Keeping up with health measures.

“My parents (64 & 66) are staying active by gardening, going for walks, and spring cleaning. We are all staying hydrated, taking vitamins, and not going out. We are ordering everything we may need online or for pickup. We are also airing out our house daily.”– miss_davila27

Shopping for groceries online.

“Getting our groceries through instacart. I’ve been social distancing for years, so it pays off when you’re autistic and society already looks down upon people with disabilities.”– gnerdbriizy

Picking up pharmaceuticals for older family members.

“Please offer to pick up your loved ones medications from their pharmacy. Pharmacy distributors are currently allocating medications, meaning it’s difficult to get a hold on medications. And since lately we are taking every day day-by-day, smaller neighborhood pharmacies are worried about being forced to close for the mean time due to low stock. PLEASE OFFER TO PICK UP YOUR LOVED ONES MEDICATIONS AT THEIR PHARMACY”–theblurple

Eating the right kinds of foods.

“Making sure my husband is eating nutrient dense foods”– simply_bea_

Checking in on abuelos.

“Making sure my Abuelita’s r good. N my familia n I go get the things they need.”– nayelly_bean

Getting your exercise on lock.

“FaceTimed my mom last night (who is elderly & not the healthiest) to make sure she’s using those dumbbells at home while quarantining. Quarantine does not = sitting around doing nothing, I told her 😂😂💪🏽💪🏽 she probably hates me now.”–drtyd87

mitú Readers Shared Their Most Absurd Family Secrets And The Chisme Is Wild

Culture

mitú Readers Shared Their Most Absurd Family Secrets And The Chisme Is Wild

Family can be a great source of many things. They can bring us love and support as well as a sense of belonging. Our familias are often our first introduction to relationships and can be a mirror in which we reflect upon ourselves. They can also be a source of some telenovela sized drama. 

Every family has their secrets but some are wilder than others. We asked our FIERCE readers to dig all the family skeletons out of their metaphorical closets and they were quick to spill the tea. Here are some of the most shocking and scandalous family secrets they shared with us. 

1. The hidden family.

Instagram/ @mexicano._.memes

“Um, that my father fathered several more children [than what] we were told. I think we now have like 12 half-siblings now, only knew if half of them. He’s in his 80s but still, it’s for sure weird. ????” @misslopez_if_youre_vasty

2. *Cue the novela music.*

Instagram / @coolrulex

“That my sister almost married our half brother ( not 100% confirm ) and when he found out he went and married another girl with the same name as my sister but different last name he just change the last name at the church.” @karo056186

3. Romantic entanglements.

Instagram / @daniarenas.usa

 “My husband’s brother left his girlfriend for her sister… who happened to date my husband back in the day. They’re married with a baby now.” @thahomieguera

4. A grandfather in all but blood.

Instagram / @divitha.institute

“That my grandfather (May he Rest In Peace ❤️) wasn’t my biological grandfather. I always wondered why my mom told the doctors that diabetes didn’t run in the family when it was the reason he passed away. ????????‍♀️” @ivonlabombon

5. A secret straight out of the closet.

Instagram / @juixcebox.2

“My moms neighbors tea… the wife thought her husband was cheating so she asked my sister to give her a ride to follow him.. turns out he had a male lover ….now the lady blames my sister for giving her a ride like that’s the problem… and her closet gay husband stayed living there like nothing happened.” @fitmomofdolls

6. Just plain scandalous.

Instagram / @mudrope

“That my tia stole my abuelita’s will from my moms room in mexico and that she claims she doesn’t have it cause she left more for my mom and wants my abuelito to write another one with more dinero for her!!!!!” @mishygoldfishy

7. Definitely a premise for a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

Instagram / @reacttothat_

“My mom’s cousin had a boy when she was young while still in Central America. When she immigrated over to the states she had to leave him behind temporarily while she got her life together. My aunt met a man in the US and made a life here. They had 3 daughters. During that time her son grew up and I’m sure became super resentful toward my aunt. At some point my aunt put papers in for her son and brought him to the states. Him and the oldest daughter got SUPER close to the point where it got hella weird. She fell for her brother and they tried to run away with each other. I believe there plan was to go back to Central America. Mind you she was still a minor. He ended up ditching her at the border.” @pessiyerez

8. Throw the whole dad away.

Instagram / @ohh.she.wyld.af

“So 7th grade. My dad looked me in the face on the way inside our apartment and said ‘Hey! Its time for me to go. I’m leaving your mom next week.’ ????‍♀️” @kelly_a_stackhouse

9. This tia sounds cool af.

Instagram / @libragoggles

“That one of my mother’s older sister’s owned a brothel in Guatemala in the 70s. And would get her military boyfriend to beat the shit out of any of the men that mistreated her ladies. ????????‍♀️” @pixelatedgum

10. Lost a tio and gained an hermano

Instagram/ @reacttothat_

“My uncle was actually my brother….he was raised by my grandma and my mom played along. My mom was young so my grandma didn’t want my mom’s reputation to be ruined. One xmas when I was 15 my step-dad told my brother my mom was his mom. We didn’t believe it but then our mom confirmed it. We talk about it all the time, how we use to call him Tio but now it’s bro.” @arco___iris___

11. Say a rosario after reading this secret.

Instagram / @thatsfunnythat 

“That my grandma thought my grandfather was cheating and so she cheated him with their church’s reverend.” @grestmarie

12. The literal definition of “primo-hermanos.”

Instagram / @reacttothat_

“That someone’s prima’s daughter was pregnant by their son’s father????‍♀️ now they’re literally ‘primo-hermanos.’ @_lilasthebest_

13. Fame doesn’t mean much when you’re a cheater. 

Instagram / @me_as_a_millennial_mom

“My grandma dated Freddie Fender back in the 70s, she went to SPI to watch him play.. well she ended up finding him w/ another woman. She was so angry at him she threw his keys in the ocean and left his ass there…men ain’t shit ????????” @taramdelagarza