The Winner of the July 2015 Call to Action!

The Winner of the July 2015 Call to Action!

Leah_PodzimekLong days, balmy nights and lemonade stands on every corner? Yep, summer is definitely the season of nostalgia.

Which is why last month, we asked you to reminisce about the jobs you held in years past. Our July Call to Action question was: What was your worst summer job—and what did it teach you about money?

We received terrific—and terrifying—responses.

From a former dishwasher who learned how to deal with a nasty boss, to the babysitter who got blindsided by independent contractor taxes, you sent us some fascinating stories. Thank you to everyone who shared!

And congratulations to this month’s winner, who will receive $100 to help her achieve her financial goals: Leah Podzimek, Manager of Corporate Relations at Opera Colorado in Denver.

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While Leah’s summer gig was beyond difficult, she did learn a valuable lesson. Check out her story below.

“My worst summer job was working in the commercial laundry room at a nursing home. I took the position the summer before I was planning to go on a five-week tour of Europe with my college choir, knowing that I didn't want to take out another loan to pay for it.

Apart from the 12-hour shifts, clothing that was soiled with a variety of bodily fluids and the aching legs from 10+ hours of standing, I had a terrible boss who gave me more hours than I could handle and made me work alone. I spent my days picking up, sorting, washing, drying, folding and delivering laundry for over 400 residents … all by myself.

While my job sucked and my knees ached, I learned the value of paying for your vacation before you take it.

As a member of my college’s elite choir, I had the opportunity to travel and receive course credit during our one-month May Term. The trip was five weeks long, and we traveled through Hungary, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. We had tour guides in big cities, sang in famous cathedrals and churches, took an overnight ferry from Denmark to Norway, took a cruise up a fjord in Norway, explored ancient cities and churches and got to sing in the castle that our college is named after in Eisenach, Germany.

Knowing that I didn't have more loans to pay off and no credit card payments to worry about after I got back made me appreciate everything I was experiencing so much more.

I had saved enough to not only pay for the $5,000 trip out of pocket, but to also have a healthy amount of spending money while I was abroad. I got a few souvenirs of course, but I preferred spending my money on experiences and made a ton of memories around the dinner table, with ice cream in hand and while dancing in the gardens where "The Sound of Music" was filmed.

I have never financed a trip on credit, and I am glad for that. I save my money before heading overseas, and feel so much more at ease for it.”

Thanks for sharing, Leah!

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