Wednesday, July 17, 2013

how i do it

Most of my followers on twitter and friends in real life are attorneys (hi attorney friends!!). I know if I were them, I'd wonder how I'm pulling off this crazy stunt, especially without a BigLaw salary. [Spoiler alert: My salary isn't even CLOSE to a BigLaw salary. I bet I make less than the JANITOR at a BigLaw firm. Sigh.]

One thing that makes it possible is that I borrowed (relatively) little for my law school education. By the time they get out, many law school graduates are well into the six figures in debt. Law school is not cheap, and the career prospects are shaky at best. I was always ambivalent about getting a "real lawyer" job, but about a year ago (shortly after I passed the bar) I started applying for them in earnest. I never even got an interview. While I currently have a job that I enjoy, if I had the six figure debtload of my contemporaries I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I simply do not make enough money to make the repayment of something like that feasible.

My law school debt is low because I went to law school in the evenings while working full time. Now that was not, by ANY stretch of the imagination, fun. I was pretty much always exhausted, and I gained no less than 60 pounds from stress (yes, I eat my feelings) and being forced to eat meals at bizarre times. However, I met some amazing people who I'm still friends with and formed a contempt for the day students (said with an appropriate amount of venom). I also was able to only take out loans for tuition, as I had a real job with which to pay for my mortgage, car, and, ya know, food and stuff. Going to a state school helped with that too. As a result, I only took out ~$55k in student loans for law school. While it still seems like a lot to me, it's a totally manageable amount.
Do I wish I had done things differently? Made sacrifices while I was in school in order to have even less debt now? Perhaps. It's always easy to look back on decisions you made and tell yourself, "I shoulda done it this way!" I tend to not believe in regrets though. Ruminating over the past and mistakes that you've made isn't healthy. I like to think of every screwup that I've made in my life as making me into a better person. I know it sounds sunshiney, but I DON'T CARE if you don't like it, internet trolls!! Suck it! :)

The other reason I can make this happen is because I have the most awesomest husband of all time. This goal was my goal long before we were together, and he has embraced it as the genius that it is. I am so lucky for this, because I could not do it without him. He and I have separate money (we're both entirely too controlling to do a joint account), so we each have our share of "family" expenses that we're responsible for. Namely, he's responsible for everything and I'm responsible for nothing. I often laugh and say that without him I would be hungry living in my car because all my money goes to pay for is my car and my student loans. He pays for everything else: food, house, utilities, dog, etc.

Some people may see this as me being entirely too dependent on him for my daily needs. To you I say, "I DON'T NEED NO STINKING MAN!" The way we divide our expenses is our choice. If suddenly I had to be a big girl and pay for everything on my own, I could do that. The minimum payment on my loans is such that it would be possible. However, C and I see this period in our lives as an investment in our future; an investment plan with a 6.8% rate of return. Not too shabby in this economic climate.

So that's my secret. I know it's not a feasible solution for a lot of people, nor do I think that my way is the only way (or even the best way). I just wanted to give anyone who was interested some insight on how I make this work.

1 comment:

  1. The best part of this blog is that I can hear your voice saying all of these things, which makes me happy because I miss your voice! Love you!!