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Legally Thrifty: Picking a Repayment Plan for Your Federal Loans

Scenario: The grace period is over and your federal loan is in repayment.  How much should you be paying each month towards your loan?  The answer is every possible penny, within reason of course.  What is “within reason” differs among individuals.  Some of us can only survive for so long on ramen noodles before going delirious with hunger for a better life. In July’s episode of Legally Thrifty, we explored the options of deferment and forbearance.  If you are earning sufficient income to make regular monthly loan payments, then you need to work with your loan servicing company to figure…

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Legally Thrifty: Postponing Federal Loan Repayment –  Deferment v. Forbearance

   Photo Credit: www.mybudget360.comLast month, the Wall Street Journal reported that only 55% of 2011 law graduates had secured full-time, long-term jobs that required a law degree (see here for full article).  This statistic is incredibly bleak, in my opinion, compared to the employment and unemployment rates for other industries.   What is the other 45% doing? My guess is that these attorneys-to-be are probably working at Starbucks, settling for part-time legal gigs, performing contract work, or at the very worst, unemployed. Whether you’ve recently finished law school or you’ve been a victim of the recession job cuts, you may be…

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Legally Thrifty: Cash or Credit? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: http://thesouthern.com/lifestyles/money/ Are you a cash or credit person?  It should be a simple question, really, a matter of cats or dogs.  You’re either a cat or dog person, right?  Not necessarily.  The real world isn’t as firmly set in black and white.  A couple of years ago, I was an avid credit card user who rarely carried any cash in my wallet.  I still use my credit cards but now I make sure to regularly use cash for my purchases too.  Plus, for the record, I like both cats and dogs and believe that I share characteristics specific…

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Legally Thrifty: Building Your Nest Egg

Spring is not only about shopping for fabulous new clothes.  It’s time to start thinking about building your nest egg, if you haven’t already. Photo Credit: growyournestegg.com Retirement funds are a key aspect to anyone’s finances, but especially for women who may not be as well informed.  Statistics have traditionally shown that equally qualified women are consistently paid less than their male counterparts for the same positions in the same line of work.  While the gender gap is closing, the fact remains that women need to be able to save just as much money while potentially earning less income.  Moreover, women…

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Legally Thrifty: Paying for Your Own Health Insurance

I used to think health insurance was a given.  And in general, we do tend to take our good health for granted, along with the cost of maintaining such good health.  Since I work for a solo practitioner, I don’t get the typical benefits associated with an office job, such as health insurance and a 401(K) plan.  While this isn’t an ideal situation, it is what it is and I have to cope with it.  So why not share what I’ve learned along the way?  With the continuous downward state of the economy, I’m willing to bet that some of…

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Legally Thrifty: Savvy Spring Shopping

Spring is right around the corner. At least, I hope so. If you’re like me, the yearning for warmer weather goes hand in hand with the desire to go shopping for spring. It’s tempting to dive headfirst into a stylish sea of minty green or slither into a sexy python print. Before you reach for your wallet though, be a smart Ms. JD and figure out what you really need and how much to spend. (Image from www.vectips.com – Illustration by Huan Tran.) Building the classic components of your work wardrobe is just as important as indulging in seasonal trends.…

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Legally Thrifty: The Good Kind of Hustle

Last time on Legally Thrifty, I promised that I would reveal my financial resolution for 2012.  This resolution naturally leads to what I want to discuss for this month’s column – the good kind of hustle.  No worry, the personal finance hustle is a perfectly legitimate way to increase income, provided that your means to the end does not involve, say selling drugs on the side.  So without further ado – my goal this year is to increase my “side hustle” to help pay my law school loans.   [ Image from www.franklarosa.com – Do the Hustle ]The side hustle…

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Legally Thrifty: Resolving to Be Financially Conscious for 2012

“Personal” and “Finance”. Why do these two little words put together create apprehension in the likes of the other two little words known as the bar exam? [Image from www.listal.com.] Money is a difficult topic to discuss with others or to even think about with regard to your own situation. No one wants to have to worry about money or be afraid of being judged for how they spend their money. Well here comes Legally Thrifty, your friendly neighborhood guide for beginners in personal finance, and since we still enjoy shopping like the next gal, in budget-friendly shopping tips and…

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