Family finance lessons: Demetria Lucas listens to her mother ... eventually

Image of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life
Author: Demetria L Lucas
Publisher: Atria Books (2011)
Binding: Hardcover, 336 pages

The most important lessons we learn about money don’t come from our accountants or our radios. They come from our family.

Each week, we invite someone to tell us about the money tips they inherited from the people they grew up with.

Our guest this week is Demetria Lucas. She's the author of A Belle In Brooklyn and owns a blog of the same name. You might also recognize her from the Bravo reality series Blood, Sweat and Heels.

Demetria grew up in in a middle-class town near Washington D.C. that she says had lot of African-American professionals. 

"Sort of like a 'Leave It To Beaver' black version," says Lucas. 

Discussions about money happened early in Lucas' household. 

"My mother always taught me to put 10 percent away," says Lucas. "My dad would always talk about my grandmother. She was from Mississippi and she lived on a farm. When she passed away she had saved some ungodly sum of money and no one knew where it came from."

But when Lucas reached adulthood it took some time for her mother's lessons to take hold.

"[After] my very first paycheck, she reminded me of that 10 percent lesson. You know, I heard her and it went in one ear and out the other," says Lucas.

After about a year, though, Lucas got wise. She started cooking more, turning down invitations for nights out, and started setting aside as much as 20 or 30 percent of some paychecks.

Over time, she saved up enough to make a big jump.

"I decided I needed to leave my job to really pursue my blog and my [second] book to the best of my ability, and because I had a nice savings I was able to do that," says Lucas.

Though, she admits, the money from her first book helped a little bit, too.

Image of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life
Author: Demetria L Lucas
Publisher: Atria Books (2011)
Binding: Hardcover, 336 pages

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