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. I remembered the last suicide I had heard of -a young lawyer. Lawyers and mental illness are inextricably linked. While some commentators have tried to explain why attorneys suffer from depression, I wasn’t convinced so I looked into it myself. 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 law firm job.
I tell people it was a spontaneous decision. There was no particular day in my mind, but I knew that day I couldn’t do it anymore. Rereading my journal, however, I came across this entry:
I just can’t continue on at my job. It’s never-ending [work]. 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, so maybe it’s also true for overnight failure. I remember for so long actually liking my job that I failed to look around and notice, hey I don’t like this anymore. This is the true story of why I quit my law firm 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.
Personal finance is different for each person, and that’s especially true for women lawyers. Factors like giant student loan debt, no work life balance, lack of financial confidence, the glass ceiling – are just a few things that make navigating finances as a woman attorney different from others.
It’s called personal finance because the principles are not universal. There are many unique financial challenges for female attorneys. If you’re a lawyer, you will likely accrue a lot of debt and no earnings while attending law school. If you’re a woman, you are likely to experience career breaks and disproportionate family burdens.
You might ask why this site focuses on women lawyers. It’s because female lawyers face unique financial challenges that male lawyers or women in other professions might not, due to a variety of systemic problems and societal norms. These differences are not necessarily night and day from other people’s experiences, but it’s different enough to warrant different advice. Below I explain some of the financial challenges for female attorneys.