3 Money Lessons Grandma Ella Showed Me

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My grandma is one of the hardest working women I have met in my life. She’s the oldest girl, she has 4 other siblings. Her story is quite unique.

Both her parents died when she was young, so she and her siblings were raised by her niece. Besides the weird family tree, it’s a much longer story and I only know bits, she grew up in Montgomery, Alabama.

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 I would have paid good money to see Ella in her hay day! The stories she and my auntie tell me, lets me know we are probably the same person. She had 5 children of her own and left Alabama in the late 60’s. I tried to ask her the exact date, but she responded with a “Are you the FBI, what’s with all the questions?” True story. She came to Washington, DC and ran a local convenient store until she was in her 70s.

Here are 3 money lessons she taught me:


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Buy a house

Ownership is the most important thing to my grandma. The house she bought in Southeast DC is her pride and joy. During one of our weekly chats she said to me “I’m just so proud that all of my children own their homes.”

My grandma’s house is the hub of family life. I visit her every Sunday and it’s not unusual if one of her friends or family members were there too. Her house is like a temple, and a shelter for her family and friends.

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Use your money to protect your family

Did I mention we have a huge family? My grandma has 4 siblings and 5 children. 4 of her 5 children have their own children.

Side note: I am the youngest granddaughter!

Every time we visited my grandma, she would slip us a dollar (or 5) when my dad wasn’t looking. Her family is everything to her. She is proud of every new image of herself given to her through grandchildren and great grands.

Protecting her family is her number one priority. She cooked if were hungry and had a roof to sleep under. This is how she knows how to protect, using her last dollar to help her family.

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Buy ice cream… and the cones.

There are two things I know for certain: my grandma makes the best pound cake and she always has ice cream and cones.

I know what you’re thinking, “what the hell does ice cream have to do with money?” follow me here.

I’m all about buying what makes you happy. Ice cream is one of those things that make me and my grandma happy! She always keeps it in the freezer just in case.

Happiness needs a way get to you, so she keeps cones too. The cones are the easier way to happiness (and made less dishes). She’s also the reason why I looove pound cake. If you have never tasted her pound cake just know you are truly missing out. Life is better when you have something sweet to look forward to!

I would have paid good money to see Ella in her hay day!


Grandmothers are so special. My grandma is truly my favorite girl. She has never missed an opportunity to shower me with love and tell me how proud she is.

She is a hard worker, a protector, a comedienne, and a cancer fighter. I visited her every Sunday when I moved back home after college. We would tell each other about our week and play scratchers.

Grandmothers are so special

If I would miss a week, she would call my sister to tell her to tell me she hadn’t seen me in 2 years! She was the slickest talking, quick witted person I have ever met in my life.

I have learned so much from her love. Like I said, she is the STRONGEST person I have ever encountered. On June 29, 2019 she did the most amazing thing, she took all her strength to stop fighting.

Thank you for these lessons that I will forever cherish.


-Your baby girl

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