My Money Story

Febelie Rodriguez

Freshman at Leeward Community College


Q: How did your money story begin? 

A: I was born in the Philippines and my family moved to Hawaii when I was seven. As a farmer, my dad instilled in me the value of earning money through physical hard work. He gave me five pesos each day in exchange for doing chores.

When I came to America, I realized that higher education could mean higher pay. I became obsessed with money. It drove my dreams; it controlled me and I was never satisfied. 

Q: What happened that changed your view of money?

A: I started learning about money while working at HawaiiUSA's Student Operated Credit Union at Waipahu High School. As a teller I realized that people have different views of money that are different from mine. They might choose to spend it on things when I would rather save, or they might want to invest in something that didn't appeal to me. And that was OK. Money is not something to be afraid of; it's a tool to use according to your values. 

Q: How has this transformed your future?

A: Now I know that I'm in control. I can make money work for me, but it's not the answer in itself. For example, before I wanted to become a doctor just to make money. I completed a real estate class because I was obsessed with money. Then I realized that I have a lot to learn about marketing myself and other aspects of business, which is what I'm really interested in. So I'm pursuing a major in Exploratory Business because that's what I really want to learn. 

I'm also passionate about helping others be financially well. A healthy view of money can improve every area of your wellbeing: physical, emotional, and mental. 




Get started with money basics

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Paying for College

What college costs should you consider? What if savings and scholarships aren’t enough?


Preventing Overdraft Fees

Learn why overdraft fees occur and how to avoid them.


Why You Should Pay More Than the Minimum Balance on Your Credit Card

How credit card debt gets out of control


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