50 Quick & Simple Financial Tasks You Can Accomplish in Quarantine

50 quick and simple financial tasks to do in quarantine
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There are so many financial tasks that we “know” we should do, but who has the time to even remember them, let alone do them. But now that we are all in social distancing, do we have a lot of excuses?

I’ve compiled a list of 50 quick and simple financial tasks you can complete in quarantine to get you jumpstarted on your money goals. These aren’t all clearly “financial” but every part of your life impacts your finances – your health, your relationships, etc. I wouldn’t do them all in a day, but any one of them is feasible in a day. These are all beginner tasks but stay tuned for another post with more advanced tips.

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Why It’s So Hard for You to Save Money

hard for you to save money
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It’s always been easy for me to save money. I would love to congratulate my self-control, but I never realized there was any other way. I saw how my parents and their friends managed money, and I just followed suit.

My environment fully formed my spending habits. It made me consider that we are wrong to congratulate themselves and shame others too much. There are many reasons why it’s hard to save money that have nothing to do with self-control. Let me explain some of the reasons why it might be hard for you to save money.

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Why You Should Pursue Your Passion

why you pursue your passion career
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I saw a FIRE blogger mocking the idea of following one’s passion. Instead, the standard FIRE plan is to find a lucrative job, save money, and then retire early to THEN focus on one’s passion. And granted, I’m a lawyer, and I’m on a mini-retirement so it would seem like I would agree with that path.

But I don’t. Here are several reasons why I think you should pursue your passion.

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How to Spend Money

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When people talk about personal finance, they usually want to know how to save money but start talking about budgets and it’s all sorts of panic.

It’s a little odd that people would be more interested in saving money, i.e. how NOT to use money, then how to use it. Money is a tool. It’s not enough to know what inappropriate uses are  – you have to know when and how to use your tools to get the maximum benefit. So let’s take some of the stigma out of spending and talk about how to spend money to create a better life.

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Let’s Kill This Stereotype: Asians Aren’t Cheap

let's kill this stereotype - asians aren't cheap
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When I first visited China as an adult, I was really surprised to see Chinese people (over there they just call them “people”) drinking and smoking, wasting time, and being below-average violin players. =P Chinese Americans are not like that. It was then I realized, Chinese and Chinese Americans are fundamentally different people. After all, it’s the group of people who stayed versus the group who left.

I guess this is the fundamental problem with stereotyping over a billion people. In retrospect it seems silly to characterize so many people in a certain way, without really understanding what causes them to be that way. That’s where we start mistaking cause and effect. For instance, let’s start with killing this stereotype: Asian Americans are not cheap. You may see Asian people refusing to spend money on certain things and having high savings rates, but I’d argue it’s not because they’re cheap but because they’re different.

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What Happened When I Retired for a Year at 35

what happened when I retired for a year
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On February 4, 2019, I quit my job. February 19 was my last day at work, and February 20 was my first day of freedom. On this one year anniversary, I’d like to look back at what happened the year that I retired at 35.

The “Accomplishments”

I read another blogger’s early retirement post and he could quantify a great deal of accomplishments. And I guess I can rattle off things I’ve done, but that seems like running a different kind of rat race. 

I kept busy on my time off. I’ve traveled a bit – to L.A., New York, San Francisco, Redmond, Capetown, Johannesburg (South Africa), Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra (Portugal). This is what I would say if people asked me what I had done with the year. Travel seems to be the only “real” accomplishment worth noting when you’re retired. And to be fair, South Africa was eye-opening, especially after listening to Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. But to me, the really interesting changes were when I was home. 

What I’m focusing on in this post is not necessarily my choices during the year, but the repercussions. I often would made one choice that led to another choice and all those choices led to a different trajectory. It’s like when I started this blog, then I started Twitter to promote it, then I met friends, and two of those friends were the duo that started Chain of Wealth, who will figure significantly in some of these adventures. You just never know where things are going to take you. And the oddest part of any journey may be where you end up. 

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How to (Finally) Feel Like You Have Enough

how to live abundantly on a budget

When I was paying down my debt, it felt like I was fighting for every last penny. I’ll feel so much better after my debt is gone. But then, after my debt had been paid, I looked at my paltry bank account and still felt fear. I wondered, when would I ever feel like I have enough?

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Why Dating Sucks for Female Lawyers

why dating sucks for female lawyers
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When the Woman Earns More 

Couples often fight about money, particularly if the distribution of money is uneven. Money is a proxy for power, and power imbalances lead to disagreements. This money and power imbalance is at the root of why dating sucks for female lawyers.

Because of the pay gap, most heterosexual relationships involve a higher-earning man and a lower-earning woman. But in 29% of hetero relationships, less than 1/3, the woman out-earns the man. This figure has been increasing for decades, but is still a small minority of couples. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that either person in a couple has experience with a higher-earning mother. The newness of this type of relationship and the high likelihood that women lawyers will be involved in such a relationship can lead to growing pains.

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Don’t Go To Law School! (Without a Financial Plan)

Law students dream of big starting salaries – but will high salaries be enough for a comfortable lifestyle with law school loans? This post intends to find out.

don't go to law school (without a financial plan)
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Law school is billed as a “safe” bet but I’m telling you – don’t go to law school without a financial plan! When I looked at law school tuition prices recently, I was shocked. Prices have doubled since I went to school 10 years ago. And even when I was in school, the tuition prices and student loan loads were burdensome. Meanwhile, BigLaw salaries (the highest salaries a law graduate can expect when she graduates) have only increased slightly.

The rising cost of law school tuition should give any potential law student pause. My last post touched on how the rising cost of college should encourage more students to think critically before attending – and the same is true for law school.

What I hope you’ll find by the end of this post, is that even if you end up with a high salary, attending law school is a risky investment. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, but you must go in with open eyes and a financial plan.

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