Nate Beard’s Story
After graduating with a business degree from the University of Colorado, Atlanta-born Nate Beard, 24, is now financially on his own. He just signed his first lease without his parents’ help and began working at an innovative startup that catalyzes and assists entrepreneurs. Although his paycheck right now is small, he’s confident that hard work and professional and personal growth will pay off big-time down the line.
OYO: Growing up, how did you feel about money?
Nate B: I took it for granted a lot. I’ve been working since I was 15, but before that I don’t think too many people think about money too much.
OYO: Did you have an allowance?
NB: In high school I had a weekly allowance plus what I made from work. But we were pretty well off. My mom is a nurse and my dad is a scientist (Ph.D). So they’re very conservative in every fashion of life.
OYO: Did you take out student loans?
NB: Thankfully, I didn’t have to. Granddad saved a bunch of money for my college.
OYO: Have money issues ever come between your relationships with friends or family?
NB: My friends’ financial status have definitely affected our relationship before. For instance, I’m from the South, where it’s instilled in the culture that the man is the provider, so it was a tough dynamic when I couldn’t pay for every lunch and dinner my girl and I went to. I mean, she was awesome; I just couldn’t keep up.
OYO: Do you feel prepared to be on your own or is it scary?
NB: Yeah, I’m a little scared and stressed, but I know the path I choose will pay off in the end because I work for a small company with great potential—how much money I receive really depends on what I do. I’ve had to take out some small loans from family and friends just to make ends meet, but I pay them back within a week and I’m starting to create that value already. Savings are nonexistent. I feel like the path I’m taking is more geared toward the future than a savings account because of the skills and connections I’ll be developing over the next five years as I try to start companies. I’ll eat PB&Js for a while.
OYO: Looking ahead, what’s your philosophy about money?
NB: Right now, it’s strictly a means to an end. With my job, I’m following the biggest educational experience possible. I’m taking a massive risk right now for bigger payoffs later.