Meet Julia

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Julia: barista, manager, saver

Have you ever met a person who truly loves her job? Julia is such a person. She loves the way coffee brings a community together.

Meet Julia and see how her passion for her work brings her personal and financial well-being. 

Ottawa barista and coffee shop manager, Julia, waxes poetic - and philosophical (her partner is a philosophy major, so Plato et all are kind of a big deal for them) about her love of slinging java. What began as a part-time job quickly became a passion – for coffee, customer service, business, management and the whole BoHo barista vibe. 

“Coffee houses are very social. They’re a meeting place, a place to work and hang out and I love being a part of that,” says Julia. “I went from a shy, awkward person to being more assertive and outgoing because of this job. I love it.”

At 26, Julia is well on her way to a promising future. She works hard and believes anything you want you have to work for; save for the things you want; control your expenses and always have a plan.  She admits to being “terrible” at budgeting and leaves that to her partner.  “He’s pretty quick with Excel and plans everything in there. It’s great.”

Strong work ethic

Julia started making money babysitting when she was 12. Then at 14, she began selling Beaver Tails along the Rideau Canal, and popcorn at her local movie theatre. She graduated to barista working at various coffee shops in Ottawa while at university. The hours were limited and unpredictable, yet she hung in there, mostly because of her growing love of coffee and the customer interaction. Eventually, she worked her way up to manager, where she now has a regular schedule and salary and an easier way to plan and save for the future. Even while working full-time, Julia still teaches ballet to school-age children one night a week and is finishing up her degree part-time.

She credits her mother with teaching her a strong work ethic. “Mom always taught us if you want things you have to get out there and earn them, which is why I started working at 14. It was a great life lesson.”

Dealing with debt

As for debt, Julia believes in paying off her credit card every month and never buying anything she can’t afford. Like many millennials, Julia sees money as a means to an end, rather than an end itself. 

Way ahead

Julia’s immediate future includes working, saving and juggling a long-distance relationship with her high school sweetheart while he pursues his PhD in philosophy in Syracuse, New York. The pair have hopes and dreams and a five-year plan to finish their education, travel overseas, buy a vehicle, a TV and continue saving for larger things like a down payment on a home. Once her partner finishes school and finds a job, they can start their lives in earnest. For now, both are working hard at building their nest, and nest egg, a little bit at a time. 

Related tool

Is creating a budget a challenge for you? Our budget planner does the calculations for you and lets you know where your money is coming and going.

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Issues relating to personal finance change with age. Here are some personal financial resources for young adults ready to make the next leap:

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