This week, we are excited to share a guest blog post from a recent student of Faith and Finance, Beatriz Galindez. Faith and Finance is a financial education course taught in Spanish here at Holy Cross. Antonia Alzate leads the course and at the end of last semester asked students to share about their experiences.

A new session of F&F began on Tuesday of this week, so please continue to pray for Antonia, the new group of students, and the work that God is doing in their lives and families through this class!

Here’s what Beatriz had to say:

Since I was little, I saw how money came and went fast. I was never taught to control money. My parents worked very hard, especially my father, who worked under the sun at high temperatures to provide our family’s daily bread and take us every Sunday to San Juan and Aguadilla to eat and spent all his money. Time passed, and I got my first job while I was studying, but I spent all the money on food and clothes.

Life in Puerto Rico is about celebrating everything. They spend money on cars, alcohol, food, and branded clothes to be accepted and to be “cool.” I had never saved in my life as a single woman and much less with children; however, I got my first house and a luxury car! Due to my lack of planning, though, I had to return everything and lost it all. I never complained to God, because I really knew that He was not to blame. I thought that praying for my finances was sinful, and that is why I did not have God present in the management of my money.

Because of my mistakes, I decided to leave my beloved island [Puerto Rico]. The bad decisions of the local government contributed to my crisis, which led me to immigrate to Texas, where I arrived with nothing. I slept on an inflatable mattress at first. I quickly got work and good income, but I got carried away by my emotions and acquired many debts without analyzing the consequences of high interest and payments. Last year, I hit rock bottom, because I was out of work. This caused me a lot of anguish, hopelessness, and health problems. I believe I had to be in this bad place in my life so that God would send me to Antonia. Faith & Finances helped me understand that without God in my finances, it would not be clear that He made us to create, take control, and be free financially by living simply.

From the very first class, and from now on, I have God in my life and in my finances. During the last 7 weeks, my husband and I have managed to save more than $300 dollars. It has cost me a lot of effort, but I pretend that this money does not exist so that I’m not tempted to spend it.

Throughout the course of training, Beatriz also said:

  • Recording all of my income and expenses in the textbook scared me, but it made me aware of all of my expenses and taught me that I can limit myself.
  • Before taking this class, I would often arrive home with groceries and realize I already have the same items at home. We learned about saving time and money on food and learned to control impulse spending. I decided to follow the advice learned in class. My daughter and I started planning a weekly menu and made a list of grocery items. She tells me what we have in the pantry and refrigerator and then we make a list based on what we need. I no longer buy things we have at home and save both time and money.
  • I love this class! I told my family and friends that I am not taking a class but that I am in therapy; because just as an alcoholic needs to identify and recognize their weaknesses to get sober, I am discovering my weaknesses in money management.
  • Faith and Finances helped me in my finances and my life with God.