We’re Rich

conversations with hank


Me: No, thank you. Have a nice day. (hangs up the phone)

Hank: (worried look) Who were you talking to on the phone, mama?

Me: (taking notes) Money people.

Hank: Money people?

Me: The people who handle my student loan.

Hank: What is a student loan?

Me: In America university is very expensive, so some young people take out a loan while they study to help pay the bill.

Hank: But you worked while you were in school, didn’t you?

Me: (lifting my head) Yes, I did. That money paid for rent and food and books and the stuff of life.

Hank: (worried puzzled look)

Me: Here is the point. I have debt in the US and I was speaking with my loan company, because that is a part of adulthood. I was asking about my options. I call them every year to do so.  I was just making sure I was managing my loan wisely and therefore managing our money wisely. That is called being fiscally responsible. We four are some of the richest people I know, but money doesn’t make you rich, Hank. (collecting my notes and shutting my computer) Happiness makes you rich.

Hank: Oh, that I know and we are very happy, but… (worried look)

Me: (scooping him up in a big hug) Oh my little worrier, stop right there. (attacking him with tickles)

Hank: (laughing)

Me: We don’t have any problems. Your papa and I manage our money very well. When you are an adult you will also have conversations on the phone about money. They key is to be smart, know all of your options and make informed decisions.

Hank: Maybe I won’t go to university.

Me: You can do with your life as you choose, but education opens doors to the world that I would like you to experience. In Europe they have a different system where you don’t pay the same costs but earn your right into university by studying hard. You are only eight…

Hank: No, I’m not.

Me: Sorry, In September you will be eight and the best investment you can make in your future is to not worry about adult things. Leave those worries for when you are an adult and by then you will know what to do or know how to ask for advice. Right now you need to live and sing and dance and play and paint. Your job is to find the things of the world you like best and study hard. You have plenty of time to be an adult, but today is not that day.

Hank: Ok.

Me: It is my pleasure to give you the best childhood possible. Please don’t worry about unnecessary things. Besides, I’ve told you: we’re rich.

Hank: Happy rich.

Me: The only possible kind.