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A 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Actor on Financial Lessons the Children of Immigrants Learn Early

A 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Actor on Financial Lessons the Children of Immigrants Learn Early

Angela Colley

Via Wikimedia Commons

Via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up with parents who are struggling financially isn’t easy—especially if you’re the child of immigrants living in a wealthy neighborhood—but it can also teach you some valuable lessons about money.

Recently, Gabby Dunn, host of the Bad With Money podcast, sat down with Argentina-born actor Stephanie Beatriz (you know her as detective Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine) to reflect on her childhood, making it as an actor, and money lessons she learned from her parents.

Sometimes even her nice neighborhood seemed to work against Beatriz:

“I remember looking around and there was this trend in middle school where everybody had a Dooney and Bourke purse. At the time, it was all about the Dooney and Bourke purse, all about a certain type of jeans…. So you would know what level people were on. There was no chasing that. If I got a fake bag, everyone would know it was fake. It felt like you were never going to climb up to that level.”

But even from an early age Beatriz managed to pursue acting professionally and save for her future. No easy feat.

“My first job was in a children’s theater tour and I was in a play called ‘Ferdinand the Bull.’ I think I was 22 and I just thought I needed to get into the union so I could be a professional actor. It was hard work and I was just like save, save, save, save. They paid like $50 a week and I thought I was rich.”

She’s making more than $50 a week now, but she’s still rocking those early lessons: Save—a lot—and only sport Dooney and Burke in an ironic way.

Want to hear the rest of her inspiring story? Check out the full Bad With Money episode “The New American Dream.” 

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