Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Wednesday…

We are halfway through the work week. Yeah!!! I know I should feel the same way I do about Monday that I do about Friday, but these days I live for the weekends and some time to breathe. What’s so special about this weekend you might ask?!?! I don’t have to work!!! Yes, it is my first weekend off since I started working my part-time job about a month ago. I did ask the manager and she said she tries to give everyone at least one weekend off each month. I am actually off next weekend too. I think my schedule was just crazy for those two weeks because they really needed the help. A wonderful trade off is that they actually gave me time and a half for working the July 4th holiday so my paycheck on Friday is going to be higher than expected. Go Chitown!!!

I took a family friend out for lunch yesterday. She is 24 and moved here to Chicago to take the IL bar exam. She is such a sweet girl. My Dad asked me to reach out to her and make sure she’s okay and if she needs anything. She actually found me on Facebook. She is also still looking for a law job post taking the bar and a lot of her classmates are as well. It’s a tough market right now but I hope it loosens up soon. I think we’ll be good friends down the line. The lunch cost me more than I hoped at $60 including tip but I took the CTA train instead of jumping in a taxi and that saved me about $15. I work in the South Loop and the restaurant was in the North Loop on the Magnificent Mile. It cost about $10 each way with tip for a taxi ride depending on the time of day and traffic. Lunch time and rush hour are always a mess.

Needless to say, I am going to be over budget on Food & Dining but I am still doing pretty good for the most part this month. My hours are down with the part-time job over the two weeks. I just work 9 hours this week and next week but then I am back to 12 hours the last week in July.

So far, So good. =)


Anonymous said...

I hope you didnt actually endorse her going to law school?? Please say you explained the facts of life about what a pointless venture it is these days it is thesedays? About the many hundreds and thousands of lawyers out of work or underemployed? Its not just a bad market or a temp glip which applies to newly admitted attys, there are experienced lawyers who have been laid off who cant get jobs.

And why pay for lunch? You cant afford it. Stop trying to impress.

Anonymous said...

Did you pick the restaurant? If you're doing her a favor (by looking out for her and by taking her to lunch), and you work in the South Loop, you should have picked a restaurant in the South Loop and let her come to you. Especially since from what you said, she's not working-- so she'd have time to travel. And never mind the fact that you should have picked a cheaper place.

It's good that you saved yourself $15 by not taking a taxi, but your debt isn't going to be paid off $15 at a time. It's like the latter factor-- sure, you can sock away a surprisingly large amount of money by giving up a daily cafe coffee, but that's not sufficient to tackle the amount of debt you have. You have to go bigger!

I don't mean to be harsh, and I don't mean to be preachy. But if you really want to get out of debt, you have to start making smarter decisions.

Chitown said...

@ Anon:

No, I didn't endorse her going to law school. I never met her personally until yesterday and she is already a graduate here to take the bar exam.

No, I didn't pick the restaurant and I am not trying to impress. She picked the restaurant. Yes, I picked up the tab because she is a student and not working. Yes, I also did it because my father hardly ever asks me to do anything but he didn't flinch or bat an eye when I needed $600 for car repairs a couple of months ago. The $60 didn't blow the entire budget because i've been pretty good and curtailing my expenses this month.

Drastic changes is what I am trying to make every single day. I came a long way to get right where I am and I am not blind to the fact that I have a long way to go.

This debt isn't going away overnight. I made a drastic change to get a part-time job where I am working ~ 60 hours a week combined at both jobs to make what...progress.

I am an underemployed lawyer who has been seeking legal employment for almost 3 years so believe me, I know it's a tough market for attorneys.

Thanks for reading and for commenting. While it stings sometimes, you do make me think twice about my actions. =)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we have to retrain ourselves to say "NO" instead of "YES" to things that are not in our best interest.

In the future you may recommend a different resturant or choose not to pick up the whole tab. The student should have picked a different resturant if she wasn't able to foot her part of the bill. Just because she is a student doesn't mean that she can not pay her way.

Congrats on the progress you have made on your journey. This is just another learning experience

d in houston said...

Agree with all of your commenters and really have to hand it to you for the grace with which you take constructive criticism.

DreamChaser57 said...

Just to weigh in - I had a professional mentor take me out to lunch, and I paid half the bill. She actually had her own company. I was taken aback because another mentor paid for lunch. However, after thinking about it I should not have ASSUMED that she would pay. I know nothing of her financial situation. Also - going out for coffee and/or tea is a viable option, I had a student meet me there once to discuss some things she needed help with. If you are paying, the restaurant should have been your call. Your father asked you to reach out to her - which was nice of you and understandanble, I'm not sure he expected or encouraged you to take the student out for a $60 lunch. That was your choice. It would have been a good lesson for her to learn that when you carry a tremendous amount of student loan debt, these are the hard decisions you are faced with everyday. How many hours do you have to work at your part-time job to get $60? While I have not read it-I heard that the Personal Finance classic, Your Money or Your Life -frames questions in just this way.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Aaren said...

Hey Chi,

I'm not going to comment on the $60 lunch, because I honestly don't think it's that big a deal (particularly relative to the $350 for the Memorial Day cookout, lol).

That said, what do you mean by "I'm underemployed"? I know attorneys who have been out and practicing for 5-6 years who make 2/3 of your salary. My good friend, who makes $10k more than you, tried cases for 4 years making $10k less than you, before she demanded a raise--and then her boss increased her billable hour requirement, so she has to work longer hours to make the salary. I know I'm preaching here, but your salary is NOT the issue, and never really has been.

You used credit cards to fund a lifestyle that you couldn't afford on your salary, you took out more in loans than were necessary to finance your education (I remember an old post where you took around $19k, $9k for school and $10k went into the bank), even though you were making $55k at the time. That's why your current income feels insufficient. Your position now is a direct correlation to your actions then, and I think once that REALLY sinks in, you might start getting out of the loop that you tend to get yourself in.

Chitown said...

@ Aaren:

You bring up good points. There are a lot of lawyers who make less than I do now. I guess when I refer to myself as underemployed, I am thinking of the mid to large firm job that I expected to get where I would be able to practice real estate, bankruptcy and corporate transactional law.

I did fund a lifestyle in excess of the $55M salary I earned while I was in law school with my student loans. You got me there too.

I don't have a rebuttal. =)