Jackson Schad's Story
Lifelong music lover Jackson, 30, grew up in Jupiter, Florida, where his parents made a lot of money running two successful companies. But Jackson didn’t get a free ride. He worked at Blockbuster in high school, then moved to Kentucky for college. He dropped out at 21 to pursue playing music and eventually fell into event planning. At 26 and without his parents’ help, Jackson returned to school and earned his degree in arts administration. Now with $80,000 in school loan debt, Jackson lives in Brooklyn, New York with his fiancé.
OYO: How did you feel about money growing up?
Jackson S.: We had a lot of expendable income, and many of my friends were well off too, so I felt like [our situation] was the standard. I didn’t know my family was wealthy until I went to college and realized that my clothes and car looked absolutely outlandish. I said some insensitive things regarding money because I was 18 and uneducated about class privilege.
OYO: When did you learn to pay attention to your spending?
JS: My mom let me have a credit card when I was 18, and of course I maxed it out and let it escalate. She said, “I’ll pay this off, but that was your only strike. Now you know how credit works.” Then around age 23 I ended up in credit card debt again after being laid off from a job. I made a budget and began tracking my spending. I had two credit cards so buckled down and controlled my spending (eating cheap food at home and not going out) and I paid off both within a year.
OYO: What’s one of the worst money experience you’ve ever had?
JS.: The first bank I ever had an account with took advantage of me. I was 18 and had very little money. I accidentally overdrew my account by $0.60 without knowing. I was certain I had enough to cover whatever small purchase it was. I didn’t look at my account for several weeks and never received any messages from my bank. When I tried making a deposit, it was revealed that I had a negative $500 balance. They said I was charged the daily penalty for a negative account. I closed the account on the negative balance and told them I was never going to pay it. They said it was fine, but that I wouldn’t be able to open an account at another bank until I paid them. I saved my money in cash under my mattress for a year. The situation left a stain on my credit report, but it has since been cleared.
OYO: Do your parents give you financial support now?
JS.: My mother helps me here and there when I ask. Most recently she paid the bill for some bloodwork I had to have done. My mother is very generous and I know if she were in the financial position she was in when I was young, she would do more. Right now it is me and my fiancé banding together to pay our rent, medical bills and my student loans. Her parents are also very supportive and helped us with our move to New York. We are very lucky to have been here for only two weeks and already have part-time jobs.
OYO: Looking ahead, what’s your personal philosophy about money?
JS.: Society makes it so that money appears to be the only currency we agree on for the transference of energy. If I could get paid based on how hard I work, I wouldn’t have any money problems. In the meantime, I feel pretty good about being a part of a generation [Millennials] that looks for creative ways to compensate one another. Right now I am a podcast host for Homoground where I get to indulge my obsession with music and my desire to support artists. I also get exposed to new ways to barter resources.