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VP of wealth management: My budget and planning for the future

Nekpen Osuan, a vice president at a Fortune 50 bank, shares her journey with money. Growing up in an immigrant family, she learned the importance of budgeting and planning. Despite her fear of losing money, she acknowledges the need to take risks for better returns. She also highlights the significance of initial salary in shaping one's financial future.

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Video transcript

I'm Nekpen Osuan. I'm a vice president at a Fortune 50 financial services bank. I make $145,000 a year. My relationship with money has been very dynamic. I grew up in an immigrant family. My parents both only had high school degrees. They worked really hard, but the quality of jobs that they worked were not very sufficient for a good life. My parents both worked two jobs when I was growing up, so I always looked at money as this very scarce thing. It caused a lot of anxiety for me as a child, though my parents were very generous, they were very responsible. They saved for college for me out of their low income. I also, in that experience of feeling like it was scarce, realized that planning for money is super important in order for it to stretch and to take care of the needs that you have. Because I'm afraid of losing my money, I tend to keep it in one percent yield banks, which is nothing in this market. So I know better, but to do better, because of my adverse relationship to risk, I know that I'm not making the most of my money right now. I've not always had a budget. I started creating a budget when I got to college and I realized that in order to really have four years at a private university like Baylor University that was really expensive, I would have to have a budget. I still continue to have a budget. As a young professional living in New York City, it's important for me to manage my money well. New York City is great for finance because so many companies are here. If you want to have more opportunities to different roles, to different types of financial services work, this is a great place to be. In my personal experience, if you want to make something happen, you'll do whatever it takes. For me, that meant instead of living midtown, where I can have a great apartment that's close to everything, I actually live uptown. It's a little bit further away, but the rent is almost half. I like that New York City has public transportation, which is something that you have to commit to if you want to be financially savvy. You could take an Uber everywhere. You could take a taxi everywhere with the money I make, but I choose to take the trains every day, because it's more cost effective. Something I wish I knew about money since entering the workforce is the importance of that first salary. Luckily, in New York City, it is illegal now to use salary history in negotiating a salary for an employee. However, it's really important that your first job really be what you want to do, because most employers do look at past salary in order to make you an offer. It's something that stays with you, though I never knew that when I first got my first job outside of the fellowship that I did. If I had to do it over, I might have done it in the reverse, to be honest. Start off in finance, make a lot of money early, and then I can take that as a negotiation point moving forward, to then do the long-term education work I'm really super excited about.