5.28.2014

2/3 Done

My 2nd year of law school is officially done (assuming I pass my classes lol). I just finished the longest finals period, ever...4.5 weeks of torture. I had 2 closed book exams, a 73-hour take-home final, a regular take-home final, and a 30-page paper to finish. It was intense, but I'm just glad it's over!

So lately I've been avoiding the blog because my life revolves around school and extracurriculars and all that over-achieving fun school stuff. But lately, I've just been thinking...law school doesn't last forever. You get stuck in this twilight zone of wanting to be the best in your class, with good grades and taking leadership roles in journals or moot court boards, obtaining prestigious jobs at firms or companies, and just generally feeling like you need to be this "person" that everyone wants to be. That's not real life at all.

Since I'm now 2/3 done with this experience, the future is a lot closer than it seemed when I first started. I will be taking the bar next July, and there won't be this current transition period where everything stands still. BF and I often talk about how we can't do anything about my debt right now. My loans are in deferral, he's paying off his loans, and we don't live together.

I miss those days before I went to school where I had a paycheck every other Friday, and I knew how much I could spend and how much I'd be saving. It was an amazing feeling, to be able to control that and have ZERO debt. I will forever look back fondly at those memories, but I'm also excited for what the future holds - hopefully with a new job, wedding planning (my next post will talk about engagement ring shopping!), starting a family, and just generally moving onto the next chapter of my life.

It's crazy how before law school the BF and I were much closer to our dream of owning a home and starting our lives together, and he put all of that on hold for me to pursue my dreams. He knew how much debt I was going to add to our relationship and he was willing to make things work as well as endure a 3-year long distance relationship. I'm forever grateful for him and I'm just looking at dealing with this debt as another challenge we will have to face.

For now and for another year, please bear with me as I forge on through another year of school. At 26, I definitely feel like I should have been done with school sooner, but at the same time if I didn't start working after college I wouldn't have learned about saving and budgeting. Everything happens for a reason.

This summer I hope to blog more, hoping I'll have more free time since I will be working two part-time jobs instead of one full-time job. I'll be working at the company I worked at prior to law school (doing legal things) as well as doing legal stuff for the boyfriend's start-up company.

I won't be making tons of money this summer so it will be interesting to keep up with my eating healthy regimen. I don't eat out often anymore, only the occasional celebration for a birthday or graduation here and there. It's cut down on my spending a ton so I hope to post more about cheap eats!

Other than working and being in San Diego for summer, I have a few more graduations to attend and I'll be in and out of LA visiting family. I'm excited for the next 2.5 months!

Anyone have any fun summer plans?

5.27.2014

Making Money Work for You: How to Generate Income on the Side.

[Below is guest post.]

There just never seems to be enough of it: money.

Let’s face it, we could all use more of it, whether to buy our first car or home, go on that much needed holiday, or pay off our debts and get back into the black. But apart from working our 9 to 5s, sticking to our budgets religiously, and hoping for that winning lotto ticket, there are other ways to generate more income. And it doesn’t require you putting in more hours or selling a kidney.

Making your own money work for you can help you achieve your financial goals, and all it requires is a little planning, organization and the occasional spout of effort. Here are three ways you can use your own money to generate more income for you and your loved ones.

Learn to Trade

They say that it takes money to make money. And they’re totally right. Learning how to trade foreign currency can be one of the best decisions you make in your life. The skills you learn can literally help you make a fortune. It isn’t that hard to learn, and is relatively low risk. There are plenty of places online where you can learn the fine art of trading on the Forex market, such as at www.knowledgetoaction.com.au or at their Facebook page. There are also tons of books and video courses too. Of course, you’ll need to be careful and disciplined when trading with your money. But as long as you take things slowly, and commit to learning the ins and outs of trading, there isn’t any reason why you cannot find yourself at the top tier of financial success.

Take Advantage of High-Interest Savings Accounts. 

There’s no better feeling than scanning over your monthly bank statements and seeing far more credits trickling into your account than debits. Assuming that the credits are significant, and much higher than the withdrawal amounts, this state of affairs generally signifies one thing: you’re in great financial standing. Yet for most of us, this will never be the case. Unless you work a million jobs, or are a charity, convincing people to give you more money is just plain hard! However, apart from your monthly salary payments, and the occasional tax return, everyone should be able to guarantee at least one other monthly credit payment into their account.

True, the amounts may not be as high as we’d like initially, but over the long-term they can add up to more than a pretty penny. In case you haven’t guess it by now, we’re talking about interest payments here. These days there are a plethora of high-interest savings accounts that you can sign up for and watch your money grow. The best ones (i.e., having the higher interest rates) are generally based online, so you’ll need to be Internet savvy in order to keep track of your wealth. But once you join, you can sit back and watch the interest payments trickle in. It’s basically free money from the bank; now who wouldn’t want that?

Buy an Investment Property and Generate Income as Rent

Lastly, if you have a significant chunk of change nestling away in one of your bank accounts, bring it out into the real world and purchase an investment property. Generally, property has a way of increasing in value over time, meaning that when it comes time to sell it in 10, 20 or 30 years, you’ll have made a significant profit. But you can also start generating extra income immediately after purchasing your property by putting it on the rentals market.

Having this steady side income can eliminate much financial strain, and help you on your way to becoming financially free and secure. There you have it. Making your own money work for you can not only give you the financial results you’re looking for, but it can also give you more time to spend with your friends and family.

So what do you think? What other ways are there to generate income on the side? Please leave a comment or story from your own experience below.
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