Understanding How Latinos View Money

Mariela Garcia
3 min readDec 6, 2021

Thank goodness for Financial Literacy or I would still be using Condina’s to “Build Wealth”.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

One of the things that separate Latinos most from other cultures is how we deal with money.

I love my culture to death, but when it comes to building wealth we are far behind. Our focus has always been on extreme giving, saving, and/or living frugally.

When you live in a country where work is not stable, you are in survival mode 99% of the time. Even when latinos leave their home countries for more stable income they cannot let go of the fear. The focus is on paying for necessities and taxes but that’s about it. Everything else, no matter how beneficial it is for one’s well-being or family is non-essential and is not prioritized. For this reason, Second Generation Americans have not learned how to build wealth when they leave their homes.

I am certain that Third Generation Americans will be the first to build wealth as a whole while maintaining the giving nature of our culture.

Although they will not have financial literacy skills when they leave home, Second Generation Americans will lead the way. They will have the task of changing their mindset about money in order to transfer that down to the new generation.

Second Generation Americans (children of immigrant parents)

To do this they will have to change their mindset and forget everything that they witnessed growing up at home. Second Generation Americans grew up in homes where their parents constantly said, “no tengo dinero” (I don’t have money). While there was always alcohol in the home, cash was “lent” to family, parties were held for various celebrations. It was pretty confusing, to say the least.

Lending money was never promised to be paid back. But our parents could not say no if they had it readily available. Money was not being funneled into retirement funds or brokerage account investments. It was either kept at home, checking account, or savings account.

Allowances were not something that was practiced in our homes. You would probably get 50 cents after church on Sundays for your churro. If you needed something you asked for it and were probably told that there was no money.

Mariela Garcia

Happy person. I have a Masters in Public Administration and have certifications in finance, and life coaching. Currently pursuing my teaching credential.