This Latina TikToker Hit The Nail On The Head On Growing Up As A Low-Income Latina And I Can Relate
I’m sure you’ve had that moment in a store where you find something you like, but you question whether you should buy it. Maybe a cute exercise top or home decor would go great in your living room.
One of my usual tactics is to carry it around until I’m ready to head to the register. I then continue to shop for the items I initially came to the store for. Meanwhile, that other item that didn’t have a spot on my mental shopping list keeps weighing on my mind as something I really want but don’t actually need, even if I have extra spending money. More often than not, I end up putting it back.
The topic of money can feel a bit scary to Latinos who grew up in low-income families. We were made aware of the cultural barriers or lack of resources that prevented our parents or caregivers from bringing in a healthy income early on.
Many of us even grew up knowing that a large sum of our parents’ income was being sent back to the motherland to help care for our relatives on top of being used towards our own bills. As a result, we weren’t always taught the importance of saving money or budgeting. It was all about survival.
Whether we understood it or not, we knew our parents did what they had to do to keep a roof over our heads.
One TikTok video posted by content creator @genuinelygenesis perfectly captured the experience of growing up as a low-income Latina. In the video, she explains how simply going into stores used to bring her extreme fear about spending money. She also explains how she is re-parenting herself to overcome her financial anxiety. Seeing Genesis go through her mini shopping haul and talking about her healing had me internally screaming, “This is so relatable!”
What Is the Scarcity Mindset?
In her video, Genesis talks about the scarcity mindset. She explains how she had to shift her focus to the idea of abundance. I had never heard this term before and had to pause the video and do a little research.
Having a scarcity mindset means you are so obsessed with not having something, you can’t focus on anything else. This can be damaging to your mental health, and reading about this had so many bells ringing in my head!
Growing up, I often heard my parents arguing about how there was never enough money. I would see my mother obsessively go over my family’s expenses and receipts. As an adult, I’ve found myself constantly asking, “Do we have enough for this?” or “Is this a smart purchase?.” Even worse, I allow it to haunt me at night. Even though my financial situation is a little better now than in my childhood, I still feel that same anxiety Genesis talks about whenever I spend money.
Her advice about using minimalism to overcome the fears that spending money triggers can help get out of a scarcity mindset.
While minimalism suggests having fewer possessions, it also focuses on keeping only things that bring joy and meaning to your life. For example, Genesis shares a set of plates she got at Target and points out that not only did she need new dishes, but they were also uniquely shaped and served as a reminder to her that “no one’s perfect, right? And we shouldn’t all fit in.” Si, mija! You can see how happy she is with her new plates and the intention behind them!
A Message To All Latinas Overcoming Financial Anxiety
As a fellow Latina who grew up in a low-income household, I appreciate that Genesis has built a platform to encourage mental health growth and empower other Latinas to achieve their goals and push boundaries. On her TikTok channel, she bravely recounts her experience growing up with a single Latina mother, her journey into a career in tech, advice on building generational wealth and investing, and, more importantly, tearing down mental health stigmas. These topics will hopefully inspire other Latinas to start their journey into healing and become the best versions of themselves.
Genesis’ video ends on a positive note that I really resonated with. She says, “Recognizing that going into a store gives me safety instead of a sense of fear is such a win for me.” Although she acknowledges that going into stores initially triggered her, she has changed her perspective and created a safe space for herself when shopping. She allows it to bring her peace instead of anxiety. This is a message I will consider from now on whenever I go to a store. I’ll also remember to buy things with intention, making sure that my purchases will bring me happiness and fulfill a need.
Changing your mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It will definitely take time and practice. But Genesis is proof that Latinas are strong and we can achieve anything!