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Nomad Stories: Theresa

Theresa with friends and nature

Life is: What you make it.

I love: Genuine people.

What are you most proud of? My D-1 basketball scholarship that allows me to attend DU [University of Denver] for free and acquire no debt.

What do you care most about? People and relationships. That is what makes life worth it.

My best trait is: I’m hardworking.

My worst trait is: I’m a people pleaser.

What can’t you live without? My sisters. They live in different states, but are in every part of my life. I rarely make decisions without consulting at least one of them first.

What do you buy or pay for that you could (and maybe should) live without? Clothes. I love shopping. I have plenty of clothes, but love buying more.

How do you make a living/earn money? I am on a full scholarship so I have no expenses other than entertainment and a little food (most is covered by my scholarship). I babysit for a supplemental income, but that is not constant. My parents give me a limited allowance each month.

Who has most influenced your life? My big Catholic family. We had enough money to live comfortably, but nothing extra. I was raised with strong Catholic morals and that has shaped much of my view of the world and my own life.

My favorite recreation is: Going on adventures: hiking, fishing, skiing, biking, etc.

Theresa with family
Theresa horseback riding and fishing

The last vacation I took… I went home to Phoenix, Arizona for a week at Christmas.

The last text I sent… was to my mom regarding my upcoming trip to Europe and deciding what is the best credit card to use that won’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Who do you enjoy spending time with the most? My boyfriend. We have fun doing routine tasks.

What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you? “Pray about it.” It makes me remember that some of my life is not in my control and that I need to give it over to God.

When I need advice I... call my oldest sister, Alana.

My family… has made me the person I am.

My friends… are fun, yet thoughtful. They know how to have fun, but they also have their stuff together and are responsible.

My enemies… are entitled people who don’t think consequences pertain to them.

Money is… important, but not everything.

Theresa with her sister
Theresa with friends

Money matters because… it allows you opportunities to explore and enjoy life.

What do you want in life that you can’t afford? A car. I have not had a car for four years during college, but am saving up to buy one once I return from Europe.

How do you get what you want? I research to find the most affordable option for what I want, then evaluate my funds.

What’s your American Dream? Get a job, most likely in commercial real estate for a few years and make money. Get married and start a family around age 30. Then work part time for a nonprofit organization I really care about, or start my own.

How is your American Dream similar or different from your parents’? My parents did not have college educations and started a family earlier than I plan to. I plan on having fewer kids, therefore having to supplement our income less with outside jobs.

$8,000 would be enough to… buy my first (4-wheel drive) vehicle.

My earliest memory about money was… my brother ripping up a dollar bill thinking that it would be worth more.

Who do you turn to or where do you look for guidance when you have financial questions? My mom or dad.

Special Olympics

What are your three greatest financial challenges? The biggest one right now is finding a job upon graduation. Also saving for a family and saving early for retirement.

How much debt do you have? $0.

How do you feel about the debt you have? Great.

What financial rules or recommendations seem like sound advice to you? Don’t go into debt on assets that don’t appreciate such as a car. A mortgage is different because real estate appreciates in value.

What do you collect? Memories or experiences.

What financial rules or advice seem absurd to you? Never go into debt. There are things in life that are more important than being debt free, and on some investments leverage can increase returns.

Money or power? Money. You can’t use power to travel.

More or less? Less. “Simplify” has been a personal constant reminder lately.

Beverage of choice: Milk.

Favorite meal: Sushi.

Favorite band/musician and how many albums you own of theirs: Anything country. Brad Paisley has been a longtime favorite, but I don’t really have albums or songs. I just listen online.

What one thing defines you: Basketball (and has since I was five years old).

Basketball and sushi

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