Why do we teach women to be afraid? For years now, I’ve seen articles and social media posts discussing how #yesallwomen live in constantfear of violence. This fear means women refrain from many enjoyable routine activities like exercising, going out at night, or traveling by themselves.
This idea bothers me every time I see it, because I think the fear is grossly outsized compared with the actual risk. For example, Wikipedia states:
Although fear of crime is a concern for people of all genders, studies consistently find that women around the world tend to have much higher levels of fear of crime than men, despite the fact that in many places, and for most offenses, men’s actual victimization rates are higher. [emphasis added]
It’s common knowledge that one must control one’s thoughts because thoughts lead to actions. The same is true with money – how you think about money directly leads to how one spends money. So it goes that improving your relationship with money is an important first step to changing your spending habits.
Many people, particularly women, believe they are terrible with money and then act according to that belief. “I’m terrible with money,” one thinks, and thus that person doesn’t feel the impetus to learn how to be better with money. Or she tells herself she is terrible with money so it doesn’t hurt her psyche when she’s spending as she shouldn’t.
If you are terrible with money, then acting as if you’re terrible with money seems like a logical next step. But if you perceive yourself to be good with money, it’s harder to act against that identity. If you act against your belief in yourself, you have cognitive dissonance. So you then have to change your actions to match up with your identity or you rationalize your actions to yourself so you can retain your identity. Either way, it’s a bit more difficult than just thinking bad person=bad actions.
Step one to pay off law school debt, is to reduce law school debt. That is, take out fewer loans. Though it doesn’t seem like you can do much to improve your debt while you’re in school and not working, but there you’re wrong. There are lots of strategies to decrease the loans you take out, and thus decrease your debt burden when you graduate. Here are the seven strategies I used to reduce my debt by tens of thousands of dollars while attending school.
I managed to save $65k over two years for law school, but I did so in a dodgy way. I utilized tax savings and retirement accounts to up my savings. Did I miss out on huge growth?
Paying for higher education is a huge obstacle these days – and graduate school is the worst. Graduate education typically does not have the scholarships or need-based aid given in undergrad. This leads to graduate students typically borrow three times what undergraduates do. I knew I was on my own saving for law school. Thus, I worked after college and saved $65,000 to pay for law school. However, my method of saving was a bit dodgy/controversial. Read on to see if you think this was the right approach.
Lawyers and depression go together far too often. Learn how to help lawyers who are suffering from mental health problems.
In my previous post, I talked about why lawyers are so depressed and now we get to the meat: how to help a depressed lawyer. TL:DR – the legal world is an environment that leads to depression. It doesn’t provide meaning, creativity, the chance to build meaningful relationships, the opportunity to be in nature, security, hope, intrinsic values, etc. The good news is that there’s likely nothing wrong with you if you’re a lawyer and you’re depressed. The environment would be enough to make a lot of mentally resilient people depressed. Still, we shouldn’t feel content knowing the causes of depression – we should learn ways to combat it. The following are some ideas to help a lawyer with depression, even if that lawyer is you.
A month ago, I logged into Facebook and saw a suicide note. Through the comments, I found out, my friend had passed. The situation reminded me of the last suicide I had heard of – a young lawyer- and the mental health problems that disproportionately affect attorneys. While some commentators have tried to explain why attorneys suffer from depression, I wasn’t convinced so I looked into it myself. So why are lawyers so depressed? Here are my thoughts.
Ever since quitting my job, everyone has been asking me what I do with my time. And I feel embarrassed to admit that I work completely on my own goals. Yes, I use what would be my 40-hour workweek for my personal goals.
I was fortunate enough to graduate from college debt free. Then I had to go and attend law school where I racked up $112,000 in student loan and credit card debt. So you can add this to the unremitting list of “student loan debt payoff” stories. I will admit that my story is more boring than most:
My secret is that there is no secret: I got paid a salary that made it possible to pay off the debt while living a reasonable lifestyle. There are no magical tricks herein. My story is completely mathematically realistic.
At 11am on a nondescript Monday in February, I noticed that nothing unpleasant had happened yet. That was unusual. And noting that peculiarity seemed like reason enough to quit my six-figure attorney job.
I told people it was a spontaneous decision. I hadn’t picked a particular day, but I knew that day I couldn’t do it anymore. Rereading my journal, however, I came across this journal entry:
I just can’t continue on at my job. It’s never-ending. I’m constantly stressed and crying and there’s no relief in sight.
I wrote this in March of 2017, almost two years before I gave notice. They say it takes decades to become an overnight success, and it took me years to realize the toll that my job was taking on me. I remember for so long actually liking my job.
When you think of the most famous attorneys – it’s a lot of men. Even famous fictional lawyers tend to be men – Perry Mason, Atticus Finch, Bob Loblaw. But there are also a lot of great female attorneys – real and fictional. And it’s easy to forget that. So this is just a fun series to remind us of some of them, with an added personal finance twist And we’ll start with my favorite of all time.