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Nomad Stories: Jessie

Artistic photos of Jessie

Describe your relationship to life: It hasn't killed me yet, but it's put up a good fight.

What do you care most about? Art is very important. It shows through when I'm feeling creative in everything I do, from clothes to my environment.

What do you buy or pay for that you could (and maybe should) live without? Alcohol, cigarettes and junk food. But we all have our vices and I'm not ready to leave any of these things out of my life just yet.

How do you make a living/earn money? I've worked a wide variety of jobs from customer service to food service and retail sales, as well as cash handling. Currently I'm working a physical job setting up events for a nonprofit.

Who has most influenced your life? Most likely my father, who passed away when I was 22. Although he worked full time to support his family until he retired, he still had time to help facilitate concerts at coffee houses and play music with my mother in his free time. He was well known in his wide circle and will always be remembered fondly.

What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you? When I was going through a rough What About Bob? period—taking a vacation from my life and short-term leave from my first full-time job—I visited my aunt and she told me that if I couldn’t handle the anxiety my situation had caused, then I should move on and not look back.

My family… will always support me, even when I find myself in a bunch of not-so-awesome situations.

My enemy… is lurking in someone who seems harmless but has bad intentions.

Evening sky and Jessie in Halloween costume
Jessie in nature

Money is… the reason we struggle.

The last thing I bought was: Admission to my friends' show and beers while I was there. It made me feel like I was still part of a tight-knit community and not alone on a Friday night.

What do you want in life that you can afford? To be financially independent, pay rent and bills, buy groceries, eat out and enjoy entertainment.

What do you want in life that you can’t afford? Taking vacations, paying off debts, buying nice things like electronics.

How do you get what you want? Dedication and persistence.

What’s your American Dream? Staying independent and still feeling safe, comfortable and part of a creative community of like-minded peers.

How is your American Dream similar or different from your parents’? Family, children and grandchildren were their greatest successes. My dream does not include having children as an expectation.

$16,200 would be enough to… pay off all my debts and take care of rent and bills for one year.

Someone playing guitar
Beer toast

Who do you turn to or where do you look for guidance when you have financial questions? I don't have too many financial questions, but if I did, I would consult my family first.

What are your three greatest financial challenges? Medical debt, medical insurance and job security.

How much debt do you have? $7,000 from an emergency room visit when I did not have insurance and $2,000 on a credit card I haven't been able to pay off.

What three things could you do to change your relationship with money? Work more hours, spend less mindlessly, and commission more art to keep my passion alive and shared with others.

What financial rules or recommendations seem like sound advice to you? Buying a house versus renting, and saving for emergencies and retirement.

What financial rules or advice seem absurd to you? Credit cards.

Abstract art
Nerf guns and mystery machine van

What do you collect? Most recently collecting Nerf Guns. I'm not sure on the actual count, but I have at least eight in the garage right now.

What vehicle do you own? My last vehicle was a 1970 VW Mystery Machine, and I bought it because it was one of a kind and had a lot of local history. Also, it was the same model of the bus my parents traveled the country in back in the ‘70s while raising my older sisters. I found a manual for it in the basement a week before I found this particular bus for sale.

What three words best describe you? Creative, intrinsic, wild card.

Lead or follow? Leading people to work together.

Beverage of choice: Whiskey cola with a splash of grenadine.

Favorite meal: Grilled cheese with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard on sourdough bread.

What one thing defines you: Intensity.

Artistic photos of Jessie

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