Finances

An Interview with My Friend Emanuel

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Yesterday I got to interview my good friend Emanuel. I met Emanuel in 2016 when I joined the local rec center. Thanks to him I started playing soccer again and met a ton of new people. He also wanted to let everyone know that he was NOT on pain meds last week. 😂 I decided to interview Emanuel because he is a college student that does a lot of traveling.  

When did you graduate HS? 

2010

Tell me more about school. When did you start college?

2011

Do you go to school full time? 

Yes. I started going full time in 2015. 

Before that I went to Brookhaven part time. Then switched to UNT for junior and senior year 

What is your major? 

Originally it was criminal justice. Then I switched to kinesiology. Now it’s recreation with a minor in sports management. 

And you graduate this December? 

December 14th!

What do you want to do with your degree? 

I’m already doing what I want to do. [Emanuel works at the local rec center] I’ve been promoted twice this year. I started out as part time. Then I was promoted to Recreation specialist. Now I’m Recreation Programs Coordinator.

What does that mean?

I’m in charge of fitness floor, membership retention, contractors, and keeping equipment up to date and competitive with local gyms. 

How long have you worked at the rec center? 

Over 4 years

Were they flexible with your school schedule? 

Super flexible. I started working here because the pay was good and they were flexible with school.  My boss at the rec center is who recommended I switch to Recreation as my major. 

How much do you make?

I’ve been on salary since February and I recently got a raise. I make $48,000 with the potential to make more. My goal is to become Director of Parks and Rec.

What are your plans for after graduation? 

I plan to on getting promoted again. There’s still room to expand. Next is a supervisor position and then management. 

I’m going to graduate with about $16-18,000 of student loan debt. I plan on having it paid off after a year. I want to buy a house after two years. 

What are your future travel plans?

This year I traveled 5-6 times. I did Rome in January. I’ve traveled Around Texas, including Austin. I went to San Diego and Los Angelos to play in a soccer tournament in Escondido. I had a work conference in Waco. 

I was going to go to New York but I missed my flight. The airline told me I could try to catch a connecting flight in Tennessee but it took off right as I got there. I ended up in Nashville instead! 

My trip to Rome cost $750 for the flight and hotel through Expedia. I got a great deal because i bought the flight a year in advance.  I’m thinking about doing Switzerland next year or maybe Columbia. 

Do you try to travel a certain a number of times per year? 

Every 3 months. Whether it’s local or international.

What’s your living situation? Do you live at home, rent, etc? How much do you pay in rent? 

I live with my parents, Aunt and grandma. I pay insurance plus an extra $80 

How much do you set aside for vacations? 

It’s not budgeted in. I just buy that month if it’s a good deal. I have the Southwest card so I get good deals and earns miles. 

Emanuel and I had a really good conversation yesterday. I hadn’t got to talk to him in awhile and we ended up talking about school, budgets, relationships and future plans. He wants to be able to retire early too! Right now’s contributing to his 401k at the company match. I told him he should be contributing more which is funny coming from me right now. But I’ll get there eventually!

I also loved his goal of paying off his student loans quickly. I graduated with only a little more debt than him, about $21,000, and paid it off about 2.5 years after graduating.  I think it will definitely set him up to start piling away money for a down payment and save more for retirement. 

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