My name is Aquila Kentish, I'm 27 years old. I am a food truck manager as well as a general manager for Jamaica Mi Hungry, food truck and catering company. And my salary varies. So my relationship to money, I was not born with any money, pretty much. My family was pretty much just scraping to get by. As a child, that's how I remember and I remember just seeing my mother struggle with money so, so badly and once she got a paycheck, it was like, the paycheck was gone, and she's just like wondering what to do next and for me watching that as a kid, it hurt me 'cause that was my mom and I saw that she was struggling with it and I was just like, so frustrated because once I actually looked at how much she was making and in my head, well I was a kid so everything seemed like a lot of money to me, but it just seemed like so much money to just disappear and I pretty much just made a vow to myself when I was younger that I was never gonna allow myself to live paycheck to paycheck because just watching her, that anxiety, it just, it seems so helpless, and I never liked that, I didn't appreciate it, and I didn't want it for myself. When I got my first job a 15 or 16, I made sure I didn't do that, my first paycheck was $346. (laughs) And I made sure I saved a portion of that before I spent, so I've kept that to myself and I'm very proud of that. So I've never spent a check down to zero. I feel like a lot of things that we spend our money on aren't necessarily necessities. And maybe it's because I was born, or I was raised in a family where I didn't really have so much. I've never really, I never looked at it as fair to pressure my mother to get me certain things or to pressure anyone to get me certain things, so I'm kind of used to just living within my means or below my means and not really pushing to do other stuff. It doesn't necessarily bother me to do that at all. So I try to just keep priorities, priorities. I love to eat, so I'm never gonna deny myself food. If I'm hungry, there's no amount of wanting to save that I'm gonna say I'm not gonna go buy somethin' to eat. Other things, like I can choose where I wanna go eat, I can sit down and I can give my, treat myself to a nice dinner for like $80 or something, or I can go grab something that is just as good but I don't have to worry about paying a tip, I don't have to worry about doing all this other stuff or I can go cook myself a meal. So it's just kind of like making sacrifices. If I wanna hang out with my friends, I don't necessarily have to go out to the movies or go out to do all this stuff. I'm blessed to have great friends where we can enjoy like things that don't really cost that much money, or don't cost any money at all. I do have a budget for myself, and I have to admit, not all the time does that budget work properly. Like for example, I just spent way more money than I ever planned on spending the last month because I renovated my apartment, doing the kitchen and the bathroom over and the floors in the living room. So that wasn't necessarily something that I planned for. So it wasn't necessarily something I had fun doing, but I enjoy it now, I love it. It's beautiful. So things go off, it's not always perfect, but I definitely make my priorities my priorities. My rent, I'm very lucky that I get to rent my dad's property so the rent is about $1,000 a month. Gas and electric is about $30 a month, I don't cave for cable, and I use my dad's wifi, so I don't have to pay for internet either. And that's definitely because I don't watch TV very much and I don't have the time for it even if I did want to. And my phone is only $30 a month. Probably one of my biggest expenses aside from rent, is my car, so with the payment of the car payment, the insurance, and gas, that runs me about $325 a month. For my student loans, I just try to put down as much as I can, to help pay it off. So I pay between about $100 to $300 or even more per month. I eat a lot of food at work, so it keeps my food costs down to about $200 a month, and I also eat food from my dad, which is helpful. And then I spend about $200 a month on my grandmother to help her, just to help her out with some of her expenses. And then restaurants and entertainment, I try not to do that as much. It kinda adds more extra to my food costs, at restaurants, probably about $100 a month. For my savings, I try to save about $300 per check just to keep on top of my goals, but that can vary a little bit. So I don't save from the bottom, I don't just spend and then save, I like to save first and then spend. Because I just look at myself and my finances as another bill that I have to pay, but it's my top priority bill, because there's no creditor that's gonna come and knock on my door and bother me like my own head. I don't mind making the sacrifices of like not going out as much, or not spending so much money on entertainment, because I have a long term plan and a long term goal, so I see that switching. (laughs) So I know, I see a lot of my friends or people that I know just in life in general, just kind of doing what I think is just backwards, or the opposite way. They're spending all their money now and having fun now, because they're young. Me, I'm young and I have the energy to work. So I just wanna work and make my money and then when I don't have as much energy, or when I don't feel like it anymore, then I want to enjoy. So my financial goals are ultimately to just be able to build wealth for myself and my family. And by family, I mean like the people that are coming after me. That's really what it's all about. Because I wasn't given anything, and I want to be able to provide, I don't wanna give anybody anything either. I think there's much to be said in working for whatever it is that you want out of life. But I wanna be able to provide opportunities to other people. So I've had great opportunities and great mentors in my life. My two biggest mentors have been Tony Elka with Future Chefs and Ernie, that I work with every day. I am very thankful for the mentors that I had in my life and I have in my life and I want to be able to be that for somebody.
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