Resolutions for Myself in the New Year

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   Hey you, this year is going to be filled with lots of changes. You are aging out of your mom’s insurance (gotta pay those doctor bills yourself now!), you will be graduating law school, moving to a new city, and looking for your first big girl job. This new chapter is going to be pretty scary at first but I know that you can do it because you’ve made it through so many other crazy things in 2013. Keep being you but be the best you that you can be. Continue reading

First Year Associate Musings: Budget? What Budget?

Somehow I ended the month with some money, nowhere near the amount I wanted but it was more than zero. SUCCESS! 

My Starbucks visits have decreased so much that I’m expecting the cops to perform a safety check any day now. (Gold card members don’t just stop showing up). Bringing my Nespresso to the office was probably one of the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Instead of getting in the car to buy a mid-day latte, I turn my chair around and press brew. Plus side, my pods are a little over fifty cents a piece, so I’m saving a lot of money compared to my $4 a day soy lattes.

Ordering lunch is still a problem, though. It’s challenging to bring a lunch to work if I have to go to the courthouse in the morning because, even in a cooler, my lunch doesn’t stay cool enough to be safe to eat when I return to the office. And, I’m too lazy most mornings/nights to pre-pack my lunch… or even go grocery shopping. So, I’ve resigned to the fact that I will order lunch a couple of times a week, but I will ensure it is cost-effective and healthy. Additionally, I will start grocery shopping again and do my Sunday evening meal prep. This way I can bring a couple of days worth of lunches to the office on days I’m not in the courthouse first, so I always have something to grab when needed.

The new car has helped with my gas budget, too. I’m grateful now that I included a car payment line item before I even had a car! Although my monthly payment is $100 over what I anticipated, the amount I’m saving on fill-ups will compensate. And, it’s a nice car!

December ended with a significant amount of money saved… which all went to my down payment. Nonetheless, it is encouraging that I had more than enough in reserve to cover what my eventual car payment and student loan payments will require.

How are you doing with your  budget in the New Year?

What must have is not being cut out? 

First Year Associate Musings: Headed for the Unknown

Being a new attorney has many challenges. You are still getting used to your new role. There are a lot of nuances to the area of law you are working in that you did not learn in law school – or at least did not learn how it is actually applied in practice. And, clients HATE being assigned an attorney who has a few months of experience – if that much. Continue reading

First Year Associate Musings: Back to the Real World

real worldAnother thing we are not warned about before entering the real world: No More Holiday Breaks.

Thanksgiving break went by without a major change, as I always only had the day before and after off from school. However, Christmas break was the biggest struggle. The boyfriend had holiday break from mid-December until January 5, and I struggled to go to work each day knowing he was 200 miles away. Luckily, I was able to get Friday after Christmas off work but it was still not long enough.

Why aren’t we warned about all these changes before graduation?

If someone had told me, I would have signed up for med school or something…

First Year Associate Musings: Budgets are Evil

budgetsNo one prepares us for adult life. I’ve had over eight years of higher education and yet I have no idea how to create a budget and stick to it. Now that I have health insurance being taken out of my paycheck, a car payment, and student loans coming due, I have to stick to my budget more than ever.

I’ve heard of various methods for sticking to budgets throughout the years, as I’ve struggled financially since the moment I was handed my first credit card. Honestly, the best method is one I don’t see myself ever following – the cash method. The idea of going to the bank and having to physically hold my monthly budget is terrifying and burdensome. Where do you even store the money? How do you keep it all separate? What if a bill requires a check?

The concept of online banking is so familiar and comforting to me, yet it is so easy to swipe a card without thinking about (or even knowing) the consequences until the next monthly statement arrives.

The next few weeks will be difficult, I know, yet I am positive I will find a way to make it work. No more Starbucks, no more ordering lunch out, and no more Tijuana Flats takeout nights. What will my life become??? 

Do you think I can do it?

What are you willing to give up to make your budget balance?