Family finance lessons: Comedian Carol Leifer
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The most important lessons we learn about money don’t come from our accountants or our radios. They come from our family.
Every so often we invite someone to tell us about the money tips they inherited from the people they grew up with.
Comedian and television writer Carol Leifer has worked on Saturday Night Live, The Larry Sanders Show, Modern Family and Seinfeld. She was discovered by David Letterman in the 1980s, and some say that she might be a real-life inspiration for Seinfeld‘s character Elaine Benes.
Leifer says she was raised in a Jewish hosuehold by parents who grew up during the Great Depression.
“My dad, was very, well one would call it ‘thrifty’ and others would call it ‘cheap,” says Leifer. “To me as a kid, to drink Tropicana orange juice that was like going to the Ritz-Carlton because my folks bought frozen orange juice.”
Lots of aspiring comedians have parents who are skpetical about the financial viability of their chosen career. Surprsingly, this was not the case for Leifer. “[My dad] said ‘Carol, stand-up is a big cash business and you can’t beat cash.'”
The lessons Leifer picked up from her dad have stuck with her now that she and her partner have a child of their own. “We were in the park the other day and they had a wishing well and [my son] wanted to throw a coin in the wishing well. My partner gave him a quarter and I hit the roof! Pennies! It’s pennies for wishing wells people!”
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