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Financial Panther Posts

Why Your Average Lawyer Can’t Pay Their Student Loans

I usually get praise for the fact that I was able to pay off $87,000 in student loans in 2.5 years. It’s definitely one of my proudest money moves and, importantly, it opened up a lot of doors for me. Not being forced to stay in any particular job because I “needed” the income greatly improved my quality of life.

But sometimes when I share my story, rather than praise, I’m met with scoffs.

Of course you were able to pay off your student loans quickly! You’re a big shot lawyer making six figures a year!

But these scoffs got me thinking. The assumption appeared to be that anyone in my position could do what I did.

So, if I was able to pay off my student loans off as fast as I did, why weren’t others in my position doing the same?

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Avoiding Paycheck Complacency

It’s pretty easy to become complacent when it comes to our paychecks. We collect them every two weeks and just assume that whatever amount is on that check is the amount we need to survive. It’s funny how your expenses always seem to match up to whatever amount is on your paycheck.

I think of this as paycheck complacency. First, we arbitrarily begin with some number on our paycheck that we often (perhaps unwittingly) choose. Second, we get used to that amount. Third, we assume that’s the amount we need in order to live.

Here’s the thing – you might think you need it all, but the reality is, you probably don’t.

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Podcasts I Recommend To Improve Your Financial Life

The great thing about technology is the ability to have an entire world full of knowledge and information at your fingertips. And in my opinion, one of the best ways to get information is through the medium of podcasts. There’s almost no other way to turn what might be considered idle or wasted time, into something really productive. Being able to gather information while commuting to work or walking around town is a major game changer. After all, we only have so many hours in the day, so podcasts are a great way to get some of those hours back.

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Your Side Hustle Is Worth A Lot More Than You Think

One of the big benefits of side hustling is the ability to bring in extra income that you don’t need to spend. Arguably, you might need every last bit of your day job income in order to survive.

But if you’re already making ends meet with your day job income, that means that every single dollar you make on the side can be saved. It might not seem like that big a deal to make a few extra hundred bucks a month. But the power of being able to save the entirety of that money shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Our Basic 10 Year Plan (And What Might Trip Us Up)

Ms. FP and I have a sort of general plan as to how we plan to use our money over the next decade or so. The plan isn’t rock solid though. There are a lot of balls in the air and we’re at a point in our life where we aren’t quite sure what the world might throw at us. We’re getting married in the spring, Ms. FP is still completing her residency, we have her student loans to pay off, and of course, kids and other major life events will pop up. Needless to say, its important that we’re okay with rolling with the punches.

Luckily, both of us aren’t particularly big spenders. The skills we’ve learned from living on less and saving money should hopefully continue throughout our life, even if our best laid plans don’t come to pass.

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