3.15.2012

Interview with Rafiki of Upendilife!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a fabulous week so far. Today I have a special treat which I have been meaning to share. Rafiki is a personal finance blogger from Barbados and reading about how different it is over there compared to the US and Canada amazes me. What's great about Rafiki is that he is always very thoughtful and compassionate, and you can always tell he is willing to share his knowledge with us in such a genuine way. Check out his blog if you haven't already! 
Where were you born and raised?
On a little island in the Caribbean known as Barbados.

How old are you and how did you get into the industry you're in?
I'm 21, will be 22 in June. I got into my current industry by applying. I had quit my first job as a debt collector because of some serious problems with the company and the job itself. I was on the hunt for a job again so I just started sending out applications to various companies and to advertisements I saw in the newspaper. My current company is the first one to offer me a job and I took it. It's been almost 2 years now I've been there and my time for staying has come to an end. I had only plan to remain until I figure out what it is I wanted to do in life and I think I am close but current situations have sped up my need to leave.
 
Why did you start your blog?
One part loneliness, one part inspiration. P was gone for the second semester this time around and I had a lot of free time on my hands and nothing much to do. I was reading just a handful of PF blogs at the time, and I was inspired to try my hand at it. I wanted to track my net worth with one of those cool tracking bars and I thought I had some opinions and experiences worth sharing with the world. March will make a year I've been at it, the blog has become a little more personal and a little less finance but I hope to have it more balanced soon once again.
 
Who is your role model?
I've have never really picked out a role model for my life. I usually just admire certain characteristics of lots of different people's lives and I pick out the ones I would like to emulate. If I had to choose a role model from now until I am 30, it would be you(Erika) or Ninja from Punch Debt In The Face. I really admire younger couples happily building their lives together. I can't see myself without P so I really look up to people like you and I try and take whatever advice I can to make sure that P and I can be happy together for a long time to come. If I had to pick someone who's life I would love to emulate post 30, it would have to be Trent of the simple dollar, he has the life I would like my future to be like, a loving and supportive wife, children, an extremely flexible job allows him to spend time with his children and in a good financial position. He is also working his dream job. Post 30, that is where I want to be.
 
What ignited your passion for managing your finances?
I remember a guy at my old job was telling me about saving my money on the bank and gaining interest on it. Pair that with a deep sense of wanting to make P happy and to take care of her for the rest of my life. Follow that up with a Google search and what you have is an explosion of passion not just passion being ignited.
 
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Outside of blogging, I like to spend my spare time doing anything with P. Outside of that, I like hanging out with friends. When I'm not doing either of those, one of my favourite pass times is playing video games. Other things I enjoy doing are reading, whether it be a story or just research on things I am interested in. I like exploring new places and once P is back I plan to do this more regular. I also like playing with new tech but access to new tech is limited so this one is rare. Lastly, if I've spent a lot of time during any given day with people for too long, I like to relax alone and settle my mind in peace and quiet.
What is your biggest financial regret?
I don't really have any financial regrets. If I was forced to choose one I would have to go with not saving any money throughout my school life. Another possible one is owning such an expensive car. It would have been much nicer if I got one at half the price but in the end I don't really regret any of my choices so far.
 
What is your most memorable financial experience?
Opening a joint account with P. Following that, reaching my first $1000 in savings in any account period. My first $1000 came in the form of our emergency fund that I saved in the joint account with P. It got there just by putting $20 a week in it. It took about a full year but it's pretty awesome to get there.
What would you never spend money on?
This is a tough one, I have absolutely no idea. They are things in life that I generally do not want for myself and things that I don't ever see myself buying but to say that I would never spend money on something in particular might be going a tad too far, if something was supposed to change and I found myself in need of it or it was something that I truly wanted, I wouldn't mind paying for it. The amount I am willing to spend will have a cap but I would still be willing to spend up to that amount.
 
Do you have any financial advice you'd like to share?
Money is a renewable resource. If you lose some money, don’t sweat it. You can always make more. However, if you spend valuable time stressing over money, or lost opportunity, you’ll never get that time back. Time is more valuable than money - Tina Su
Fun questions:

What is your favorite food?
I'm actually going to go with spaghetti and meatballs with a nice sauce.
Where do you like to shop?
Amazon. Being from Barbados, my currency is $2 bds to $1 us. Usually when stuff gets down here to be sold, instead of being 2 times the US price, after taxes, duties and what I consider to be an unfair mark up, things end up costing 3 times the amount, even 4 to 5 times the amount sometimes. It's almost always cheaper for me to order whatever I want from online and then just ship it here internationally. Amazon is my favourite because it is like a mega store and I trust them compared to smaller sites on the internet or sites like eBay where it can be easy to get tricked. Their customer service for me has been outstanding so far as well.
 
What is your dream job?
I haven't quite narrowed my dream job down to a specific as yet. I would like to be able to share knowledge in some form or fashion so that I may help people. This can range from becoming a teacher, becoming an advisor, writing a book or working at a help desk, who knows, so long as I am able to help people and share my opinion. Teaching environments are also learning environments which is why I enjoy them even more, I love to learn new things and get challenged by people's opinions.
What is your living situation like?
 Currently I live at home with my mom and my little sis. It's not my preferred situation but it works for now and it saves me some serious money. I do intend to tackle the world on my own before 25(actually I plan to tackle it with P). I did tell my mom though, that if at 25 and I am still living at home to please kick me out. I believe every young adult should go out and try to live life on their own, even if you fail and end up moving back home at least you got the experience. I'm actually planning and hoping to be out officially by 2014, the delay is because P and I have some stuff to work out. I'll be 24 then.
 
Where and how did you and P meet?
 Wouldn't you like to know? I've actually known of P for quite a long time. We attended the same secondary school(high school) but she was a year under me. Obviously I wasn't paying her any mind but she was making a name for herself at school(a positive one). She eventually caught up to me in her 4th year and we became acquaintances more so than friends around this time. It's not about until almost 4 years after near the end of college(we attended the same college as well) that we became actual friends. We actually started a conversation through instant messaging on the computer because one of us realized the other watches One Piece. Infatuation grew and as destiny would play out; our social groups intertwined a lot more. Being around her I grew to like her more and more and destiny was actually written in stone one night when we were at a graveyard. We were sitting talking and she saw two shooting stars that night(I didn't see them). She made a wish and it has obviously come through.

3 comments:

Young Professional Finances said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great interview! I especially love how they met - shooting stars, wishes, destiny, it's just so sweet. :)

Girl Makes Cents said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This was great! I love the shooting star part too, so cute!

Rafiki said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My own interview. I feel like such a star :)

P said that she know she is loved because she is the central theme. She said it in french though so my translations isn't spot on.

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