Although the shelves in my home office are packed with books by financial experts offering really good advice, it was my grandmother, Big Mama, who taught me most of what I know about handling money.
And she did it while living below the poverty line. To this day, I marvel at how Big Mama raised five grandchildren on her tiny salary. Pride — and frustration with the welfare system — made her refuse monetary assistance from the state. At times we may not have had enough for seconds during meals, but we never went hungry. I got teased for the off-brand sneakers and clothes I wore, but it was more than I had before I went to live with my grandmother.