Anamaria Ciuhuta – “If you want your children to be wealthy,  don’t give them money, give them a healthy financial education.”

Education is what we do with what has been done to us. I already said that in Cristian Roman’s story, the taxi driver with a kind heart who learned from his mother to help others and now is helping children in need.

This story is also about education. It’s about the financial education that Anamaria received from her parents and now is passing to her daughter and to other parents.

The story begins in Cluj Napoca, where Anamaria was born and raised. Her parents were good people who started from scratch and built their future slowly, through hard and honest work. Anamaria’s father had a second job, as a painter and she helped him sometimes, but she was always paid for her work at a fair price. From her father,  Anamaria learned how to appreciate the value of her work, elements of “customer care”, PR, marketing, accounting, quality assurance, negotiation – even though she didn’t know this concepts at the time.

From her mother, Anamaria learned how to administrate the family budget and elements of investments. Her mother was the “financial brain” of the family.

At 18, her parents informed Anamaria that, because she became an adult, she must be independent and gain her own money. As a result, she found a job in a small bank. By day she was working, by night she was studying and in the weekend she was attending the classes of the Economical University.

At 20 she lost her father, so she had to take a second job to be able to complete the last 3 years of University. It was hard for her to work and learn at the same time and watch her friends who have fun and enjoy the parties. At 23, after she finished the University, she found a job in a bigger bank and she climbed the ladder of success, so she moved to Bucharest to work in the bank’s HQ. Life in Bucharest was not easy because she decided to pay for her MBA, so she couldn’t afford to rent an apartment for herself, she could only rent a room in someone else’s apartment.

Looking back, she is proud of what she has accomplished until now. Her parents taught her to administrate her money well, to work hard and to persevere.

Now, she has more than 19 years of experience in banking and she learned some strong lessons about money, such as:

  1. money without financial education will not bring wealth and financial stability
  2. happiness and abundance are not connected with a specific amount of money
  3. there is no connection between the amount of money you have and the skills of a good administrator of money
  4. what you learn from your family about money you will replicate in your adult life
  5. many parents, finance their children for long periods of time and when they make mistakes, they “save” them, without knowing that in this way, they will never learn their lesson and they will always repeat their mistakes
  6. money are a taboo subject in many families
  7. credit, as a financial instrument, can help you and grow your wealth, or can bring you personal bankruptcy
  8. people think about investments, but few of them think about safety in case of illness, unemployment etc.

Anamaria is a mother now and she is passes these lessons learned from her parents and from her life experience to her daughter. She looked around to other parents and she realized that very few of them know when to start financial education with their children, what to speak with the children about money and how. In consequence, she started a new project of financial parenting and I am happy to say that I assisted at the birth of this project as a business consultant.

Financial education has to be an important curricula in our education and in our children’s education. Anamaria writes articles on her blog, organises workshops with parents and participates as a speaker in different events for parents.

As I said at the beginning, it’s very important what we learn from our parents regarding money, what emotions they transmitted us about money and what behaviors we formed in administrating money, because we will pass all this to our children.

Anamaria’s lesson for all of us is this : “If you want your children to be wealthy,  don’t give them money, give them a healthy financial education.”

Alina Bota