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Charlotte FC’s Kristijan Kahlina saves more than goals

Part of: Money Clips featuring Charlotte FC

Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina isn’t just the backbone of Charlotte FC’s defense, he’s a fan favorite. Attend any match and you will hear an echoing thunder from the stands for “KAH-LIN-A.” In this episode of “Money Clips with Ally,” we hear his thoughts on money, investing and the grocery store sales he can’t pass up.

Born in Croatia, Kahlina quickly rose through the ranks– landing an appearance on Croatia’s U19 national team prior to being signed by Ludogorets Razgrad. After joining Charlotte FC on a permanent transfer prior to the club’s inaugural season, Kahlina played 31 of 34 games, racking up a catalog of impressive saves and recording seven clean sheets.

Off the field Kahlina has a knack for saving money. Read on for his perspective on enjoying what you have, planning for the future and taking care of who you love. 

What's the first thing you remember saving for? 

My brother and I collected money for one year and then, at the end of the year, we went to an outlet and bought clothes.

What are you saving up for next? 

I am saving for life – I need to think about my family and about me, and what I will do after my career. I am trying to invest in some apartments or something else as I learn what investments are best for me.

What was your first job?

I didn’t really have a first job! From high school I went to professional second division football. I didn’t work anywhere else.

What was the first football kit you ever purchased?

I think I was maybe 13 or 14, and it was Croatian national team’s Niko Kranjčar. I loved him and that was the first kit I bought.

How were you taught about money growing up? 

My family taught me that if you do have or don’t have money at any time – still just try to enjoy. Always be prepared for both good and bad times, but don’t be a pessimist. 

What was your view on money growing up?

When I was young, my father would always say ’We don’t have money’ even if we did, he would say, ’We don’t have money.’ So, then it gets in your head that you must always think about where you are going to spend your money. 

What would you do if you found $50 on the sidewalk?

Honestly now, I would find someone on the street and give it to them. Before, when I didn’t have money that I could afford to give away, I would have kept it and bought something for my wife and me.

What did you do with your first professional paycheck?

I gave part of it to my family – everyone that helped me – my grandmother, grandfather, father and mother. 

What’s something in your wallet that isn’t money? 

It’s my favorite card! My VIC card from Harris Teeter. They have good sales! Every time I go, I look at the sales. If you buy two you get the third for free – yes, I am going to buy two! 

What’s your guilty pleasure spend? 

Shoes. Whenever I go to an outlet or somewhere I find shoes. My wife thinks it’s crazy that I have so many shoes – and that I have so many shoes I sometimes only wear a pair once a year, but I am very careful with my clothes. 

How has it been moving to Charlotte, N.C.? 

It’s a very nice city for me, my wife and four-month-old daughter. It’s very nice, calm and safe - what is really important. I like the club [Charlotte FC] and enjoy it here. 

Kristijan Kahlina sits putting on gear in Charlotte FC locker room.

Gloves fit for a king. Kristijan Kahlina has become a staple of the Charlotte FC family.

The views, information or opinions expressed are solely those of the individuals involved and do not represent those of Ally.

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