Here's How This Wellness Entrepreneur Doesn't Stress About Money

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In this week’s exploration of money and family, Francesca Valarezo, a yoga instructor and entrepreneur raised in Ecuador and currently living in NYC, shares her perspective on money and its impact on her life, including her secret savings, her upbringing, and how she relates to money now. 

Tell us a bit about money in your household. How was it talked about?

Money was always tight. My mother was always broke. My father had a lot of money but he wouldn't help us out; it was his way of punishing my mom for divorcing him. I always felt we didn't have any, and it was very traumatic to see my mother struggle. As a grew older, at 14 I started working to help. Eventually I realized money comes and goes. It is just a means to accomplish certain things. Not happiness, but comfort. So now I don't stress about it; I try to live from a place of abundance.

What has your parents taught you about money?

My mom taught me to be generous and work hard for my money. She used to say that “work dignifies a person” and now loves her independence. My dad taught me to be ambitious and to always save a lot. I remember when I was 17, I always kept $3000 under my bed as my savings for security.

How have your parents habits around money affected you?

I am generous, but I love to save. I work hard, but I also play hard – and I don't like to be taken advantage of. So I guess I am a combination of both of my parents.

Financially, what are you focusing on right now?

1. Investing in real estate.

2. Not stressing about it too much. I like the freedom of using money, not depending on it.

What tools do you use to feel better (decrease stress / anxiety, stay organized, etc) about money?

I use an app to track all my expenses, I do my own accounting at then end of each month and I reward myself only when I know I worked hard enough. I also set a budget every month for everything including fun and shopping.

If you ever have / raise children, how will you approach money with them?

I will definitely teach my children to work and earn their money and to be humble and generous. I would probably pay them for small chores around the house. Encourage them to start working at an early age and reward them only when they deserve it.

Money Roots is a recurring series highlighting stories about our upbringing affects our relationship to money and wealth. Interested in sharing your story? Contact us.