Student Loan Pause Extended to January 31, 2022
This is an interview with our community member and ambassador, Zarina Citlali.
Where are you from? Mesa, Az
Where do you live now? Los Angeles, CA
What do you do for work? Retail & Brand Manager at MADE by DWC - a nonprofit social enterprise
Do you have any side hustles? Social Media Management
Salary (if comfortable sharing)? $58,000/yr
How much student debt are you tackling (or have tackled)? Graduated with $54,000, currently at $34,000
How did you start your early career? AmeriCorp VISTA at a nonprofit to help pay off my undergraduate loans
Both of my parents are artists, so they never had a steady income. We were very lucky to be middle class, and since my mom had a great understanding of finance, she was able to stretch our income and taught us to start saving at an early age.
I’ve learned to be more focused on the long term, and appreciate savings and investing, more than getting the instant gratification of spending money on nonessentials.
My main financial goals now are - Pay off student loans by the end of the year and to save up and buy a house.
Get our buying a home guide here.
I was extremely lucky to have minimal debt from undergraduate (Less than $5k) which I was able to pay off completely through my AmeriCorps VISTA Education Award. I later went to graduate school and took out $54k to pay my tuition. I’ve been working on paying off these loans by the end of the year.
I use an excel workbook to track my spending and assign a budget for every spending category.
Download our free budget template here.
Snowball - tackling largest debt first. Paying more than the minimum payment amount.
I started my debt-free journey in 2018, and I would say I’m just now starting my wealth-building journey.
No emotional spending, making a list of things I NEED so I know what I don’t need, saving for big-ticket items.
It’s never too early to get invested in your investments. And you don’t need another pair of shoes.
Money comes easily and freely
Knowing that wealth is generational, so I need to get my shit together for my kids!
Apply to join our community to meet Zarina and other like-minded women who are on their way towards financial freedom.