Money & Me: Record label the best and worst investment for UAE music man

Lucky Schild grew up in Indonesia, where he became involved in hip-hop music and formed his first rap group, The SouthSiderz. Mr Schild, 32, from Switzerland, has been living in the UAE for a decade now and continues to focus on ­music, working as a TV sound engineer and with various bands and musicians. This led to him forming a hip-hop label dubbed The Recipe, which works with various local artists.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

It’s funny because my attitude towards money is a little bit of a contradiction. I try any way I can to make money, but I’m so bad at saving it. It wasn’t until recently that I opened up a savings account and started putting money aside whenever I remembered. Growing up in Indonesia during the crisis in 1998 really put my family through a test and I had to learn how to make some money on my own at a young age. I saved some lunch money and invested in making a line of jeans, and started selling them to teenagers and expats in Jakarta. I guess this mind of entre­preneurship has always stuck with me.

How much did you get paid for your first job?

My first proper job was during the summer break just before my last year of high school. I was in Switzerland then and I worked in a supermarket restocking the drinks aisle. I think I was getting paid 3.85 Swiss francs an hour. With today’s rate that is about Dh14 an hour.

Are you spender or saver?

Naturally I’m a spender. I guess I sort of believe that this is why I make this money, right? But mostly it’s for creative projects, like investing in The Recipe. Every now and then I like to spoil myself with a nice short holiday somewhere and good food. I’m trying hard to remember to fill that savings account I opened, though.

What is your most cherished purchase and how much was it?

My two dogs. I saved them actually. Both were in a horrendous state at the pet store when I went to buy food for my cats. One of them was bleeding from a cut on his head and the other was lying lifeless in the enclosure that kept him. The pet store owner actually said they were “broken” and that whoever took them could take them to the vet and “fix” them. I paid about Dh1,500 for both of them and they’ve been like my own children for the past nine years.

Have you ever had a month where you feared you could you not pay the bills?

Oh yes. Many. There have been a few months I thought I’d be evicted because I couldn’t pay rent. They taught me a lot.

Where do you save your money?

I have the savings account here and an account in Switzerland that was opened by my god­father when I was a teenager, and he put some money in there. I’ve asked to not know the information about that account so I don’t end up spending it.

Do you prefer paying by credit card or in cash?

Cash and debit card. I hate credit cards – those evil little things.

What has been your best investment?

The Recipe. Not just the amount of money I’ve put in, but also the amount of time. Regardless of any kind of financial gains, nothing beats the memories that I have and the people around me because of it.

What do you most regret spending money on, and how much was it?

The Recipe. I’m full of contradictions but there are also a lot of times I think about how much I’ve put in and I think I’m absolutely nuts.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

Open that savings account now. Put any amount you can in it every month.

If you won Dh1 million, what would you do with it?

Sleep on it. Definitely sleep on it. Maybe literally as well, just because I could. I think I’d sort out my family first and make sure everyone is OK and then find myself someone who knows what to do with money. I would probably ring up my godfather.

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