Personal Finance: Is My 6 Figure Income Because of Privilege?

Personal Finance: Is My 6 Figure Income Because of Privilege?

So the question today is, do I have a
six-figure income because I’m privileged or because of something else? Hey guys! This is Wendy Valencia. So my
husband Mauricio and I have been married for 11 years this summer and in that
time we have gone through the gamut of being really struggling to to doing
pretty decently and while we are in this doing pretty decently situation we
decided to pay off our debt and we have a lot of it for a lot of different
reasons and and I’m not gonna go into the reasons why we have debt here.
I’ve talked about it before and I have multiple videos and I’ll link them at
the end if you’d like to check out why we have a lot of debt. I was strolling
through Instagram the other day and I hit upon a conversation about privilege
and privilege is a thing, for sure. Don’t get me wrong but not everybody
who’s wealthy has been privileged not everyone who earns a really great salary
has been privileged. Now have I been privileged? 100 percent! I grew up in a
middle-class family with decent schools and it was always assumed I would go to
college and I would go to a good career and I was expected as such and treated
as such and you know I’m just your typical suburbanite kid. So do I have
privileged? 100% without a doubt and I freely admit that. But, Mauricio doesn’t and he never has See I’m sure most of you are aware
Mauricio grew up in Colombia. He spent all the way up to his adulthood in
Colombia he went through the Colombian school system and he worked hard to get
where he was in Colombia the strata system is different from the United
States it’s it’s extremely difficult to go from one social strata to the next
and all sorts of things are based on your social strata like for example how
much you pay for cable or Internet it is 100% based on your social strata
and so Mauricio grew up in the lowest social strata his family jokes that they
grew up in the zero social strata because this social stratas our one
through six and they always joke that they grew up in zero because they really
did not have a lot so Maurizio’s parents fought to give him a good education he
always had the books he needed for school
he always had what he had to have but he didn’t have privilege there was no
privilege in his life it was all fight and struggle Maurizio ended up going
into the Colombian national police and really fought hard to do well in the
police academy there which thereby placed him in a position where he could
meet me so had he not done well in the police academy we would have absolutely
never met but because he worked so hard to do well he in turn got the job that
he deserved for studying hard and learning and doing as much as he could
so then he needs me and we get married and then he moves to the United States
does he have privilege because he is now living with a upper-middle class working
female no why because he spoke no English when we moved to the United
States so he worked really really really hard to learn English and to speak
English fluently and I took him probably about two years and in those two years
he worked he worked in construction he did whatever he had to to help put food
on the table and he worked and he worked hard but by the time we left Baton Rouge
his English was fantastic so when we went down to Mexico to work in the
embassy there he was able to get a job very very easily very easily why because
he had worked so hard on his English and he had a background in something that he
had also worked very hard to get so he was able to get a position there in the
embassy that could be a little privileged because had he not been
married to me and me being stationed down there he would not have gotten that
job so that’s when there starts to be a little bit of a privileged kind of play
going on there and so he worked really hard in this job and then made a name
for himself so they were going to help him get in as a career come to find out
that wasn’t so much an option so now here we are sitting living in my parents
home and we are helping my parents and we’re paying off our debt and Mauricio
is working at a contractor’s position that he got based off of the previous
job he had so therefore a little bit of privilege and there but he’s fighting
every step of the way and so now he’s looking at completely changing
his career he wants to pursue something that has interested him for years and
he’s gonna pursue it so is their privilege in that yes because we are
living in a very wealthy area with a fantastic Community College that if he
can do well and can move into the university that he wants for graduate
school that will place him well for a job in the future
so yes there is privilege in that but overall Mauricio hasn’t had a privileged
life so is his income now because a privilege is his income in the future
because of privilege I can see the argument on both sides so this is really
horrible to say but have you ever heard that saying that the definition of an
alcoholic is someone who drinks more than you so sometimes I feel like and
I’m sure I’m gonna get just buku amounts of hate for this but sometimes I feel
like privilege is that same definition someone who has more money than you or a
better life is privileged and it’s all very relative so I don’t I don’t know
that that’s necessarily true but I feel like in a lot of scenarios that could
actually be true and is it possible to have a huge income and not be privileged
is it luck or is it privileged so if you want to
check out the video on why Mauricio and I actually have so much debt I’m gonna
put that right up here and you can just click on that and keep on watching and
so I’ll see you in the next one see ya we’re out


  1. Rebecca Blashock says:

    Love your videos! So honest, but your family is great and hard-working!!! 😀

  2. Pink Panda says:

    Of course it's possible to have a huge income without privilege. There are people who came from very, very little and worked their way up. That's not privilege, that's an immense amount of hard work with a little luck thrown in. Also, is a middle class background privilege? Like you said, it's all subjective. For me, privilege would have been a solid prep/boarding school, a NEW car at 16 and my parents paying for an Ivy League University. Why? Well, because I went to a public school, received a used car at 16 and no Ivy League University for me. Do I recognize that I had it better than some? Of course I do. I never struggled (I have never gone hungry or lacked for anything), but were there others much better off than me? Yes (see prep schools, new car, Ivy League university). Basically, it's a very personal conclusion of where privilege begins and where it ends (or does it end?).

  3. Britany Harden says:

    I don’t like it when people talk about privilege as a bad thing because you don’t know people’s stories. If someone has a better education because people have worked hard to succeed for generations that’s not a bad thing. And if your husband has worked hard and with your help has better opportunities than he did that’s not a bad thing. I guess that’s just my opinion.

  4. Frame of Mind says:

    Deep 👍

  5. Ash Cash Budget says:

    I love how you touch on very tough subjects and are real about it. I think privilege is such a huge sliding scale and has so many factors to it.

  6. c finn says:

    Interesting topic! I think the whole reason that privilege is hard to talk about is because the definition alone puts us into groups and labels. One group having an advantage over another. Pitting one group against the other. One group the victor, the other group the victim. It doesn't allow for the nuance of the individual situation. If two people come from different backgrounds/upbringing but achieving the same thing (level of education or income) did one get it from privilege and the other from luck? Or did they both achieve it from their hard work?

  7. Elizabeth Timm says:

    His lifetime should be “the harder I work the luckier I get”

  8. Hallie says:

    He may not have had economic privilege in Colombia, but it sure sounds like he has great parents who love him and wanted the best for him which is an amazing privilege in itself 🙂

  9. D&WGagnon Homestead says:

    I don’t think it’s privilege if you earned it.

  10. Mrs. T is Going Debt Free says:

    Hard work buys the ticket, luck(and/or privilege) draws the number. 🎉

  11. Pam Duthie says:

    He sounds like an awesome guy, thank you for sharing

  12. Donna Martinez says:

    I find I am a little confused as to how "privileged" is being defined. I think of it as not having to work for anything and getting everything handed to you on a silver platter. (like celebrities who get things just because of who they are.) I do not believe you or Mauricio should be considered privileged. You, because while you may have grown up in a better economical environment, you didn't mention not having to work for where you are; nor did you mention anything about your parents having given you everything you wanted, just because you wanted it. Mauricio, because while you may consider him to be a little privileged based on his getting an "opportunity" because of your work, does not make him privileged. He was at the right place at the right time, with the right credentials. If this is the case, then anyone with a well-paying job, (or even a good job), is privileged. I see "privileged" and being "entitled" as the same thing. I worked hard for everything. We didn't have much growing up; I worked 2-3 jobs at a time to get through college. I had friends whose parents paid for their college education and others who received scholarships. I do not see them as being privileged. (LUCKY as all GET OUT, but not privileged). Am I reading this wrong?

  13. Angelika Lirgendwas says:

    I'd like to know how you can become a diplomat. I was always told it is only possible if you're friends with a certain politician. 😅 it is somethIng I was always interested in regardles of the money.
    All this priveledge envy is nonsense. Don't worry about that.
    Everyone should make the best of their Situation the rest is luck and some kind of fate.

  14. Notaburden 9 says:

    My mom and her 15 brothers and sisters came from Colombia when she was 20 years old. She was the third eldest. Her first job was putting barbie doll heads on at the Mattel factory. She retired with her own Real Estate Business as a broker sometimes making a couple hundred thousands a year. Her brothers and sisters are all doctors, firemen, engineers, paramedics. They worked so hard. My uncle is a surgeon and he used to have to study in the bathtub of their house to get quiet lol. My soon to be ex husband's family has inherited a lot of real estate and they are very privileged. They get monthly trust amounts etc. He has a college education and is a licensed contractor yet he is apparently allergic to working lol. I make a pretty good income but I had to work up to it. I started out making $10 an hour. Sometimes I think being given everything while is nice, I think it's still important to put the drive to succeed in them. It is a struggle I know I will have with our daughter as his parents tend to really spoil her. I think maybe you grew up with privilege but you and Mauricio got where you are because you both worked your butts off. You may have opened the door for him to come here but you didn't do his job for him.

  15. A Merry Life, On A Budget says:

    Interesting topic. I think if it’s worked for it doesn’t matter.

  16. MomOfBoys NOLA says:

    Privilege doesn't matter if you sit on your @rse and do nothing. I don't understand it, but it doesn't mean I don't think it exists. I know I have worked hard for everything I have, nothing was handed to me. I had to do the work and get the certification for my job.
    Does it really matter, if the privileged person isn't being a total jerk to everyone, I really don't think it matters.

  17. Sol Ck says:

    I think it depends on a person's definition. Nothing you described sounds like priviledge to me but I do understand your definition of it. Priviledge to me is some one has just been giving everthing and did not have to work for anything. Just because a family has a large invome doesn't mean they are priviledge. They said my family was middle class while I was growing up as a kid. I had my mother and step Dad. There was 3 of us kids and sometimes we went to bed with a spoon of peanut butter. No assistance from the gov. because we "made" to much money. In that, I have been working since the age of 12. We are from CA. Now we are 6 figured and in CA it doesn't feel priviledge at all. I can see how some look at us and think that. But people like to assume things without knowing the history. I also think some ppl genuinely feel its impossible to get ahead of the game and be sucessful just with hard work. So they rather assume the latter because it makes them feel better for not being where they wish to be. (Not all ppl but some). I see it in my own family and ppl around me. Even though you were middle class when growing up, I don't think it makes you priviledged because, your parents worked to get you there. Great video and conversation starter.

  18. Celia Gorleski says:

    My idea of being privileged is when you given everything without working for it. You grew up in a good home but I can name many celebraties who wasted what had been given to them and abused and frittered away the opportunities they had. I'm sure you have worked and earned every job you have acquired. I doubt you were born bilingual. Being born priileged doesn't guarantee a person will have a successful life. You deserve everything you have accomplished.

  19. loveandjoy810 says:

    America is really no different than Columbia.

    Forbes Article :Median Wealth Of Black And Latino Families Could Hit Zero By The Middle Of The Century

  20. Scrapdillyishious says:

    It's not how much someone has, or where it comes from… to me, it's more important as to how they give, and use it wisely. Money is only a tool…. it's to be used as a tool. I'm proud of you and your sweet hubby for going the extra mile in life.

  21. Twin Mommy says:

    I have a 6 figure income because I WORKED FOR IT! I was raised under the poverty line and put myself through a bachelor's and a master's degree. The only "privilege" I had was a genius level IQ and great parents. Sorry…I am sick of these envious arguments by people who have no clue what other people went through but love to judge them anyway.

  22. DeathRowToDisneyWorld says:

    Neither of my parents made it out of the 8th grade. I have 3 brothers, 2 of us were born out of wedlock (one was me!). All 4 of us have at least one college degree, 2 have masters degrees (not me!). My older brother and his wife are net-worth multi-millionaires.

    My husband's mother was a drug dealer/junkie/alcoholic, on welfare his whole life. He is a college graduate and we are on the way toward being millionaires. We make 130k per year.

    One brother has his own business and the other has his masters degree and side businesses.

    Would anyone consider our upbringing as privileged? Or just the results?

  23. DeathRowToDisneyWorld says:

    Off topic, but if you don't mind me asking, how far away from Richmond do you live?

  24. Centsible Living With Money Mom says:

    I think your family is amazing windy and you know what you guys have worked for everything that you have so I think some people are blessed with parents that maybe make more money that can help him out more but Mauricio didn't use it as an excuse he just kept working really hard to get him where he is it went along with his parents help

  25. Freedom In A Budget says:

    Thank you so much for making those video! So many great points!

  26. A Darice says:

    Your honesty is refreshing!

  27. Quest to FIRE says:

    You are spot-on with your definition of privilege. Of course privilege is a thing. But there are so many out there who shout “privilege” at someone else rather than taking a look in the mirror and seeing how they can work with their own situation to better it. I look at it like this: There will always be someone out there who came from less than me, who will achieve vastly more than me. So what exactly is my excuse? Truly I don’t have one. 💪🏻🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  28. anna ramey says:

    For me everyone is privileged in some way. Their was a video I saw a few years ago that was a youth pastor talking to kids on a field. He would say take one step forward if you had two parents, if you never went hungry, etc. Their were some people in the back and some way forward. I will never forget what he said though about running your own race. I didn't have much privilege but I always had many friends of different types and I think it's way more important how you live your life and to be aware of privilege and not everyone has the same opportunities but people also have to make the most of what they have. I think privilege is bad when it leads to guilt though or when someone who is less privileged tries to take advantage or when someone lords privilege over someone else as a weapon. I think a lot of people are jealous sometimes because they didn't make the same sacrifices so they didn't reap the same rewards. My mom had so many people help her in her life for example a lawyer that did pro bono work when she was in desperate need. She always told me their is good and bad in every group be one of the good ones. I remember on the video not one person either never stepped forward or always stepped forward meaning almost none of us are either all privileged or no privilege. I think what you said about an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than you and it's similar to privilege is very true.

  29. Lyn Morris says:

    Hmmmm… you have given me a bit to think about with this video. I think that while a 6 figure income can be the result of privilege, at the same time it can also be the result of a lot of very very very hard work. Your analogy about privilege where you compared it with that alcoholic definition really struck a chord with me.

  30. Yollande Melki says:

    Loooooove your defenition for being privileged! Agree 100%

  31. Renn Sea says:

    Off topic random comment: I will never cease to be amazed that Mau wasn't raised speaking English. I literally CAN NOT TELL.

  32. Ka Don says:

    Love your honesty!

  33. Tere Gets It Together says:

    I SO wish this argument around privilege would go away. We should be judging people on where they are right now – are they hard workers, responsible for themselves and giving to others? No matter where they came from, what are they doing RIGHT NOW? You can come from privilege and be a lazy bum or a very successful, hardworking community leader. Same if you did not come from privilege. You and Mauricio come from very different backgrounds but you are both hardworking individuals, focused on ways each can grow and do better and to give back to the community. Privilege or not, you and others should be respected in the moment. Thanks for sharing your views – I agree totally.

  34. gettin' there Janice says:

    its not an off or on switch. there are degrees. I do believe connections are privlage. privlage does not mean you don't have to work hard. privlage isn't just things being handed to you privlage is opertunity mixed with advantage. being married to you gave him an inside door. just coming to the United States and being allowed to work gave him an opertunity and advantage over being in columbia. privilege is very subjective its also not liniar some people might have one or to privages another person 5 completely different ones and for some depending on there personality having to work hard motivates them. would it have been possible for me to come to your same income level out of the life I was born into yes. Is it likely that I could match your income level from where I am now. not nearly as likely. I am a single mom of two with an associates degree no savings and I am in my thirties and am very un likely to remarry. If I had increased my earning potiential before mother hood and made wiser choices picking a spouse I could have had a decade long career before starting a family savings to reflect that and be reintering the work force at a higher level. but even form where I am now I have potiential that I am not fully taping into.

  35. The Fun and Budget Act says:

    The entire privilege conversation is too deep for me to touch…it can be very controversial and I give you much kudos for bringing up this conversation on your platform.

  36. Jan From NYC Saves Money! says:

    Very informative. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Vera Vivas says:

    How about hard work? Did your parents work hard for what they have, to give you a better life? Is Mauricio working hard to get ahead?

  38. L B says:

    It is all about how you think about. I had the privilege of one my mom’s ex stepping in the role of father for me. I had the privilege of having teachers who cared. I had the privilege of being a magnet kid. My brother has none of that and the effects are clear. But at the same time we still had to suffer many other things. Being a general kid in the public caddo parish system means you are stuck your local school and my mom is stuck with my brother in area. Everyone is privilege in some area.

  39. brownangel926 says:

    I am black, grew up in NW Washington DC and my parents were solidly middle class. Today my spouse and I have 6 figure salaries and we got it by pursuing higher education and working hard. Your husband had a choice to make, either take what life gave him or make something of himself and that hustle comes from within. Sure, people luck up, hook up with a job connection, etc. But there was something in him that wanted more for himself and he worked for it.

  40. Antonio Silva says:

    Privilege is the excuse people use to not work hard. Whether or not someone had privilege or not had nothing to do with you or your life. Everybody is absolutely responsible for the outcome of their own life. Their privilege is not hindering you. Is got thinking and beliefs unwillingness to whatever you have to to succed

  41. Beth Rebholz says:

    Thank you for sharing. It was very thought provoking.

  42. Lissa K says:

    Living in a first world country is privilege. Full stop❤️ All the rest just determines exactly how privileged we actually are.

  43. Cecilia Johnson says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I'm late to this conversation, but I'm saying my piece anyway, because this topic has developed such a 'Victim' Mentality to it in the general tabloid media, which annoys me a lot.

    I'm very privileged and I know it, and I'm immensely grateful for it!
    I grew up in a stable home with two parents who loved each other, which was a great privalege.
    Their strong marriage set me up to understand what to be attracted to in a spouse; and today I have a wonderful marriage. My husband and I both worked jobs we didn't like, but worked them anyway while looking for better jobs. We're been poor, now we're doing very well, but we (in particular my husband) earned where we are at- partly through income, partly through investments doing well, partly through him being debt adverse, and partly through his very good education and instincts. He was privaleged to have a mother who sacrificed to get her two kids through school.

    There are many components to being privileged and holding on to your privalege.
    Recognising you're privaleged, and having deep gratitude for it, contribute to keeping your home happy. Having a happy home is a privilege.

    I have a deep faith in God, and that is my biggest and most rewarding privalege. It fuels me to keep going and never give up, as well as keeping me cheerful and hopeful for the future in the difficult times.
    Maintaining a stable home (another privalege) is impossible without goodwill. All families have their problems to be overcome at times.

    So, to finish my long answer: Yes, Wendy, you are privaleged. So is most everyone to one degree or another. The people who cry 'Privalege!' as if it's a bad thing are frequently embittered and often have a desire to take away from those who they see as more fortunate. They frequently don't see where they are privaleged in their own lives.

    Privalege doesn't necessarily mean being white and upper middle class, which the tabloid media would have people believe. Privaledge, to me, means recognising that you're loved by God, and that have the ability to create stability and peace, and increase. Then the fruits of your Privalege take root for the good.

    You cannot live a privaleged life by creating instability and trying to undermine those who you see as more fortunate, instead of striving to get where the more fortunate are at.
    Privilege has many components to it. It's not something that one keeps without some kind of mental effort.

    Okay, I've ranted enough for today! Thanks for introducing this topic to your channel 😘

  44. Library Minnie says:

    Privilege is a tricky thing. I assume that I am privileged and also that I worked hard. Mauricio had little, but had parents who instilled values in him that pushed him to want to be the best he could be. He carried that into a much more privileged life by joining forces with you. I just can’t bear when people claim they are self made when their parents paid for college and apartments and cars and talk about how much success they’ve had all on their own. Then you hear stories about how many kids in college need the schools food pantry because their scholarship doesn’t include food. I just can’t bear when people refuse to admit they are where they are because they’ve benefitted from starting in a place of privilege. A homerun is not as impressive is you start out on third base. 😊

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