Industry: Film & TV
Location: Los Angeles
Net Worth: $27,461 ($6,496 cash/savings, $6,153 in a Roth IRA, $17,633 in brokerage fund, $5,000 in Series I bonds, -$6,483 student loan debt)
Debt: $6,483 in student loan debt
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $2,850
Rent: $1,400 (my half, split with my boyfriend, F)
AMC Stubs: $25
Adobe Creative Cloud: $16 (got it discounted on Black Friday)
Apple Storage: $3
Google Drive: $2
Streaming Services: $0 (between mine and F’s families, we’ve got all of them)
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Always. I’m a first generation child of Middle Eastern parents, and they viewed higher education as the ticket to upward mobility. I was a pretty studious kid and loved my college experience, especially as an art major. Learning is fun! I went to school in-state and qualified for the most financial aid possible, so I made it out with very little in debt. My parents did not contribute anything financially (but my mom always made sure I went back with lots of homemade food whenever I visited them).
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
I have a lot of siblings and come from a single-income household, so money was pretty tight. My parents were frugal — my mom especially. She would pore over the grocery ads and hit multiple stores per trip for particular items. To this day, ask her about any item and she’ll tell you where to go to buy it cheapest. We never ate out, shopped at the mall, or went on trips. They definitely taught me how to save money, but didn’t impart much in the way of investing other than “one day, you should buy real estate.” I learned everything about the stock market and saving for retirement on my own.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got a job as a motion graphics designer at my college’s events office. I’d animate little ads for upcoming movie screenings, festivals, and other fun events my school would throw. They’d play on the TVs in the food court. I’d also take a camera out to the bigger events and edit a sizzle reel of clips for our YouTube channel. It paid $13.50 an hour and was pretty chill.
Did you worry about money growing up?
No. I knew we were poor, but my parents were never anxious about money in front of us. To this day I have no idea if things were ever really bad; my siblings and I were shielded from that. Vibes were good.
Do you worry about money now?
I generally don’t worry about money, because it just so happens that my dream job pays very well. I’m extremely grateful for that. The film industry is freelance, though, so I always make sure to save for times when I may not have a paycheck for weeks or months at a time.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
At 18, when I moved out for college. I budgeted my financial aid and worked through college to support myself and pay the rent. My parents are sweet, though, and liked to give me small sums of money every so often — $50 here, a filled gas tank there — so that definitely helped. If things were to go south, they are definitely my financial safety net.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.