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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Money & Me: Dubai marketing and communications executive still has all the moves

Restaurant marketing head, Aleksandar Josipovic, says growing up in a war zone in Yugoslavia taught him to appreciate every penny he has.
Aleksandar Josipovic says the best investment is in yourself. Reem Mohammed / The National
Aleksandar Josipovic says the best investment is in yourself. Reem Mohammed / The National

Aleksandar Josipovic is the head of marketing and communications at Atelier M, a restaurant and lounge at Pier 7 in Dubai Marina. The French national of Yugoslavian origin, 36, started his career as a dancer – he was the Yugoslavian national champion in ballroom dancing nine times – before switching to marketing and communications. He moved to Dubai last January.

How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

At a very young age, I realised that life is not only about money. My parents made sure we travelled a lot and they spent a lot of time with my sister and I. When you are growing up in an environment that is full of conflict, aggression and surrounded by war – I was nine when the war in Yugoslavia started – you learn to be grateful for every single smile, breath and penny. A very dear psychologist friend of mine said to me: “Money always comes and goes”. And it is true. These days I feel everyone wishes their wallets came with free refills.

How much did you get paid for your first job?

I started working when I was 15. At that time, I was already a national champion in dancing, so my coach gave me the opportunity to teach younger dancers. I’d earn €25 (Dh97) for a 45-minute private session. During my career as a professional dancer, I was aware that dancers have a limited “duration” but since I was a kid I had a passion for communication.

Are you spender or saver?

I am always doing my best to find and keep the right balance. I do not want to end up with a lot of debt but if you only save, you won’t get to enjoy the things money can do for you such as giving, going on nice holidays and enjoying an occasional night out.

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

You know the situation when your salary is running late and you supported your friend fin­ancially a couple of days ago? Well, that has happened to me a couple of times. This kind of situation is pure stress and psychologically that means: “I do not have control over the situation”. But each challenge has a solution, you’ve just got to find the right one.

Do you prefer paying by credit card or in cash?

Cash and/or debit card. I like to take every single opportunity in life, but I remind myself not to take any offers from a bank. When I came to Dubai, I was both fascinated and shocked at how banks here give out loans and credit cards so easily. That is not the case in Europe. I do have a credit card, which I almost never use.

What has been your best investment?

The best investment is investing in oneself. That can be through education, travel or taking time off for yourself. It can also be through simple things like enjoying silence, doing exercise or yoga. Very often I take myself out on a “date”. If you haven’t taken yourself on a date lately (or ever), plan something soon.

What do you most regret spending money on?

Regret does not exist in my dictionary. I am a man of action, who acts and gets things done. I always prefer to do things rather than think about them and discuss them.

What financial advice would you offer your younger self?

Just Kiss – keep it super-simple – and sometimes – keep it silly simple. Life is a game, just play it smart.

Do you have a plan for the future?

Yes I do, but they are more wishes and ideas. Realistically speaking, they do not have to happen. I simply live day by day and I am very rational. The only thing that I control is the here and now.

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

Honestly, I do not know, but I am curious to find out.

pf@thenational.ae

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