Parker has seen what not having enough money can do. She has lived it. Almost everyone on the crew has. She has had hints to suspect that Hardison knows how to get by with very little. Eliot must have learned while he was away to war if not before. Sophie is difficult to read but nobody takes up grifting without a good reason behind it. Nate – for all his ability to empathize he doesn’t know what it’s like to go hungry, but Nate understands loss and being denied.
There has only ever been one of those two things she could do something about.
The first few families young Parker had been dropped into had been fairly well off. That had been back when the social workers had still cared and had still believed that despite her weirdness the girl who insisted calling herself the name of her dead brother might fit in somewhere. Nevertheless, whether the foster couple of the moment had ever explicitly stated it or not, it had always been made very clear to Parker that nothing she was seeing, nothing she was given permission to use, was hers to call her own. Nothing.
Then had come the ones with the ever shadier lifestyles and demands. Bunny had happened. Parker had refused to play anymore.
For all that she’d always been nimble, had been willing to learn new skills and had taught herself to watch for opportunities to pocket things early on, Parker had struggled to get by on her own and the occasional partner before she got good or even decent. It had taken a lot of dedication to hone her natural talent to the level it had been at when she’d met Archie.
No item she had and has wanted has been out of her reach since.
Lack of money is still a concern. As part of Leverage Consulting and Associates she sees how not having or losing access to funds affects their client. Sees how greedy, wealthy people use their bank accounts to cheat, use it so that parents who are actually good to their kids get screwed. Parker likes the breaking in and the thieving and the flying off roofs and she is learning to enjoy the planning, the grifting, the working with a crew. She likes that if someone doesn't want her or someone else to have something Nate sees it as every bit the challenge as she does.
Although she rarely gets to keep it, she loves the money. Parker has always loved the pretty pictures, loved the way it smelled, loved how it feels between her fingers. She is coming to love the way the numbers flicker around Hardison's screen. Money is everything. As long as she has it, as long as her crew controls who has it, other people like the Zanders and the Van Kamps can’t use it to buy something another kid might want for themselves, can’t hoard it and keep it away from another Parker.
Can’t buy themselves fancy cars and kill little boys on bicycles.