Welcome and thanks for stopping by my little corner of the web!
I like to think that I’m your typical millennial for the most part. I graduated college in May of 2009 – right in the midst of the financial crisis. Naturally, it wasn’t a great time to graduate from college. Finding myself underemployed, I did the thing everyone does when they have no clue what to do – I headed off to law school. And like most law students, I ended up taking a bunch of student loans out in order to do it. $87,000 worth to be exact!
While I was in law school, I was fortunate enough to meet Ms. FP. She was in her second year of dental school at the time, and like other dentists, Ms. FP also took on a ton of student loans. She graduated from dental school a few years ago and is currently completing a residency. Her plan is to start up her own practice once she’s done with her residency.
Besides the two of us, our household also has a small dog – we’ll call her Financial Pup. She spends most of her days sleeping, barking at the mailman, or trying to steal food.
When I graduated from law school, I was “fortunate” enough to land a job at a big law firm making a great salary. I had plenty of money coming in – more than enough to live a totally normal life. For a big shot lawyer, a normal life meant spending my paycheck on a luxury apartment, nice clothes, and fancy food. Oh, it also meant having debt. Student loans are just a totally normal thing for a lot of millennials.
But being normal wasn’t my style. I’m weird. And when it comes to money and debt, being weird isn’t so bad.
How Did I Get Here?
Like almost all newly minted lawyers, I graduated law school with tons of student loan debt and very little knowledge about how to handle the income from my first real job.
To my credit, I did do one thing right. After graduating in May 2013 with $87,000 worth of student loans to my name, I gave myself one goal – to pay that debt off as fast as I could. I started my first real job at the end of 2013 and began seriously repaying my student loans in January of 2014. I made my final student loan payment in June of 2016.
With my student loans gone, I then left my high-stress, big law firm job, and took a government attorney job paying me $50,000 less per year! But because I had gotten so used to living on less, I took the job and didn’t even notice any change to my lifestyle! Not everyone could do that.
Discovering The Personal Finance Community
At the beginning of 2015, I started trying to figure out what I was doing with my 401(k) and stumbled upon the personal finance community. The stuff I learned was amazing and the stories people shared helped push me along in my own debt payoff journey. I couldn’t believe that normal people could know so much!
During this time, I also stumbled upon the world of side hustling using all of the new sharing economy and gig economy platforms. These included:
- Starting up a dog sitting business using DogVacay and Rover
- Renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb
- Delivering food via bike on Postmates and Caviar
- Selling furniture and other items I found in the trash using eBay, Craigslist and OfferUp.
A lot of people thought I was crazy. Big shot lawyers aren’t supposed to be doing weird stuff like this. I totally understood where they were coming from. It just wasn’t normal for a lawyer to be delivering food to people or selling furniture found in the street.
But I didn’t care. Normal meant tons of student loan debt and spending money on stuff that didn’t really matter. It meant being stuck in a job you didn’t really like because you needed the paycheck.
I wasn’t trying to be normal. I wanted to be weird.
What’s This Blog About?
I started this blog as a personal project to share what I’ve learned about money and side hustling over the years, as well as to document my own journey towards financial independence.
It’s my hope that my experience and knowledge can help you out in some way. As a lawyer and dentist couple, I like to think that this blog can be a particularly helpful resource for future or current lawyers, doctors, dentists, or anyone else with a solid income, too much debt, and not enough knowledge about what to do with it.
Some of the topics you’ll find on this blog include:
- Personal Finance Stuff
- Paying Off Debt
- Journeying Toward Financial Independence
- Merging Finances With Your Significant Other
- Side Hustling Using Sharing And Gig Economy Platforms
- Finding And Selling Sweet, Sweet Trash
What Is A Financial Panther?
The name Financial Panther comes from an episode of the Simpsons, where Homer mishears the words “financial planner” for the words “financial panther.” I’ve always chuckled at this joke. You can see a clip from that episode below:
Whenever I need a definition, I look to the good folks over at Urban Dictionary. They define a Financial Panther as:
A large jungle cat that can be trained to maul a person’s creditors and bill-collectors if that person is short on money.
That seems like a pretty good definition to me. So stand up and take control of your money. Show those creditors and bill-collectors who’s boss!
Become a Financial Panther!
Thanks for stopping by!