‘There’s too much emphasis on material, and not enough on quality of life’
We talk wise words and conscious living with cashy.me’s UAE Saves Week graphic designer Adrian Letechipia.
UAE Saves Week isn’t just about a change happening on our front door – it’s about a shift in global consciousness, and that’s why we’re so delighted to bring you one of our international ambassadors - Adrian Letechipia of Roark.tv, the designer and design house who worked tirelessly on the amazing sliders and campaign images you see as part of UAE Saves Week! Adrian’s interview with us comes across the oceans from New York, where he’s been living his own cashy-savvy lifestyle as well! We love his down-to-earth attitude and his life philosophies, and are so excited to share them with you now!
How did you come across the cashy community? I'm a fan of Nima's BBC segment. I reached out to offer up my design studio services, and then we started talking about cashy.
What does the cashy message mean to you? It means that you don't need to be a financial professional to make meaningful changes to your personal spending habits.
Why is UAE Saves Week important to you? Personal finance happens to be surprisingly taboo, and I think it’s important for that to change. People need a space free of judgement to really contemplate the true value or loss that can originate from personal financial habits.
UAE Saves Week is an effective forum for those types of discoveries and discussions, and I see it having a real, lasting impact. I'm excited for it to grow to other countries as well. Certainly some people that I know here in New York City could benefit from it.
How are you planning on taking part in UAE Saves Week? I worked alongside Nima to define and craft this year's graphic messaging. I'm also going to be putting the daily suggestions to good use.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing people who want to save their money nowadays? I think that far too great of an emphasis is put on material goods over quality of life. The definition of success that society has created is daunting and entirely unrealistic for the vast majority of average salaried individuals. It's unsustainable to maintain the appearance of wealth while shouldering the rising costs of daily life, let alone try to set aside for the future.
The greatest challenge in saving money in today's world is to actively choose to defy social expectations. To live comfortably, but below your means (or at the very least within them), is the only way to maintain a healthy personal financial growth environment.
Have you always led a budget-conscious lifestyle or have you made some money decisions you regret? I've lead a budget-conscious lifestyle ever since I started working at 19. It didn't take more than 2 weeks on the job and that first paycheck to understand that money has to be earned. There are millions of people who will eagerly take your money with their products and services, but far less who will give it to you.
What's the best piece of financial advice you've ever been given? "Credit can be a very powerful tool, but it can also be an unforgiving crutch. Which one is entirely up to you."
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time? Still making a living off of doing what I love every day at my design studio and still standing beside the woman of my dreams (Awwwwww!! – Ed.). If I play my cards right, I'll be a real estate investor as well.
What are you saving towards right now? I'd like to start investing in real estate as a vehicle for financial independence in old age. I hope to be creating for my entire life, but I would like to achieve a separation of my income source and my passion as I get older.
Let's say you win the lottery - what's the first thing you do? I would first set up both of my parents for retirement and help my brother jump-start his small business.
Then, I would launch an art & design after school program for underprivileged elementary and high school kids in NYC. It would focus on bridging the gap between traditional art education and the new possibilities provided by technology.
Finally, I would use the lottery winnings to subsidize design costs for projects I consider to have the best missions and leadership behind them, but are lacking access to design strategy development funds. Great ideas need great design.
Have you thought about your own great ideas yet? Make a goal, write it down, snap a picture and upload it to our gallery! We’ll back you every step of the way!