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Rizer Stories

Wedding Bells and a Passport

Varty Yahjian headshot

Varty Yahjian

Rockstar marketing intern

The future is often a place we try to avoid thinking about. The reason I refer to it as a place is because sometimes it feels so distant and unattainable--so much so that merely thinking about it can throw anyone into a funk. Perhaps in the age of Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter we unknowingly forwent the ability to be perceptive about how our current decisions can impact our lives later down the line.

Here at Rize, we are hoping to change this reality by motivating our users to think about how they want to live and then helping them reach their ideal. We hope to show our users how incredibly rewarding it can be to think about their goals with intention, intention to reach them! We believe that your goals shouldn’t exist as abstract ideas; anything can be achieved with just a little push. This little push comes in the form of our platform, where we engineered a user-friendly interface geared towards simplifying the stressful process of saving money. By creating goals and setting your own deposit schedule, you can take charge of your finances and make your money work for you!

In January we launched the #FundMyGoal campaign, during which we invited our users to tag us in their posts detailing their reasons for saving in 2018. We received many great responses, but these three stood out to us the most. We reached out to to Courtney, Kate and Austin to ask them about what motivates them to work towards reaching their goals.

Our first winner, Courtney Locke, is an actress and dancer who tagged us in an Instagram post providing a small peek into her and her fiancé Lee’s past year in Atlanta, Georgia. Her winnings will go towards her 2018 goal for a dream wedding that would serve as a final culmination of her and Lee’s efforts to succeed in their new life. I asked about the highlights of 2017 and Courtney noted that in addition to stabilizing their careers after bartending and fast food cooking, finally moving into a place that she and Lee could call their own was definitely high up on that list.

“We moved into our first place, which we love, and bought our first Christmas tree. [Lee] started a new job and I began performing at a local theatre house as well as a theme park.”

Courtney and Lee met in high school and “in true high school fashion never told the other person. Even after he threw me into a pool, fully clothed, at this 19th birthday...I still had no idea. February 13, 2016 I had a dream about him and our first date was accidentally on Valentine’s Day; now its our anniversary.” They will wed in September at an outdoor space in Georgia.

Courtney’s advice to others is one that is incredibly pertinent to those of us still unsure about whether our dreams and goals are worth pursuing. She said “My advice is the same my parents always give me: never give up. Change is hard and makes you uncomfortable. It’s scary and amazing at the same time but if you find the thing or the person that lights up your world, grab onto it and don’t let go.”

Our second winner was Kate Uesugi, who won some extra cash to put into her travel fund. We totally resonated with her desire to see the world, our co-founders Justin and Kirk have savings goals to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and Vinson Massif. Kate definitely has me beat though, she’s been to Thailand, China, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Morocco, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic. While she has travelled some domestically, she does want to visit more states and especially spend time in our national parks. We especially liked her savings goal because it has a competitive edge: Kate wants to beat her brother in visiting all the continents before he does!

“Since I am trying to beat my brother to all the continents, I still need to visit South America and the Oceania. I would love to visit Peru (especially before they close Machu Picchu) or Argentina. I would also love to visit New Zealand because I’ve heard that it is so beautiful and I am really interested in the culture there.”

Kate noted that the best part of travelling “is just gaining new experiences and seeing different parts of the world.” We couldn’t agree more! Kate’s favorite travels so far are Japan and Thailand. We are excited to know that her winnings from this campaign are going towards a potential trip to Costa Rica in May.

Our third winner is also saving for a wedding. Austin Marlia told us the sweet story of how he met his soon-to-be wife Loni at church. It is marked by a deep appreciation for family values, local sports and wonderfully uniquely, puzzles.

“I met my fiance at Church on Feb 23, 2016. She was teaching a message and I was taken back by her beauty, maturity, and her humor. It was her birthday that week and she mentioned that she loved puzzles. I thought to myself, maybe I should get her a puzzle. I didn’t. I still kick myself to this day about that decision.”

Austin and Loni didn’t speak much for about six months; it wasn’t until a local football game in September of that year when some friendly competition led them to each other. Austin was coaching Loni’s rival school!

“She later that season came to a game of mine that I coached and we talked after the game. I knew at this point that she was legit.”

On August 20th, 2017 Austin asked Loni to be his wife. In authentic fashion, and perhaps to atone for missing it on her birthday, he constructed an elaborate puzzle scavenger hunt around Portland which ended at the Portland Rose Gardens. Who could knock a good puzzle, especially one that was over a year in the making!

Austin’s advice to others preparing for a wedding is to “keep your eyes on the day that you’re preparing for and to hold hope in the promises and the beauties that marriage holds for you both. Communicate freely with your spouse on everything and always make yourself available for help during the process.”

Austin and Loni envisioned a wedding that celebrates the important people in their lives: family and friends. They stressed the importance of wanting to focus on the people who helped shape them into who they are today. The couple is fronting most of their wedding costs themselves-- Austin has been working overtime at work, driving for Lyft and using our platform monthly to help save for the wedding they most definitely deserve. Congratulations Austin and Loni Marlia, we wish you the best in solving this new puzzle!

Whether you're saving for a dream wedding or a trip across the globe, Rize is ready to step up to the challenge and help you reach your goal. With our easy-to-use platform, simplified onboarding process and special features, we hope to change the way we all look at the future and our role in it. Rize up to the challenge!