i The Frugal Law Student | 2007 | January

Law School
Personal Finance

Are you saving too much for your retirement?

Written by Brett McKay

The New York Times has an interesting article about a report showing Americans are saving too much for retirement. According to a small group of economists, all the talk about negative savings rates in America is overstated. They argue that financial companies like Fidelity and Vanguard have an economic incentive to overstate how much people need to save because they earn fees on managing the money. The result it people save more money than what they’ll actually use in retirement. Mr. Kotilkoff, one of the economists, said we “we could end up squandering [our] youth than [our] money.” He suggests not to worry too much about saving because you’re probably already in OK shape.

I’m skeptical. While think that Kotlikof makes a good point about financial companies overstating the amount they save so they can make a profit, I think that’s a stronger argument for taking care of your own investment portfolio than the argument that Americans are saving too much. Even if I don’t use all my money during retirement, I think it would be nice to leave some for my posterity. Plus, my personality type is the laborious ant-working and saving in order to be prepared for the worst case scenario- as opposed to the grasshopper. The report is something to think about. However, I’ll keep socking my money away.

Thanks Money, Matter, and More Musings!

Written by Mrs. FLS

This is extremely belated, so I apologize. Money, Matter, and More Musings was this week’s host of the Festival of Under 30 Finances. They’re were kind enough to include my submission. Thank you so much! Check out the carnival for some great posts.

Consider tire type when making a car purchase

Written by Brett McKay

This weekend I dropped a load of money into repairing our car. First, we had to fix the alignment because I slid into a curb during the big ice storm that hit Tulsa a few weeks ago. Cost: $62.

The big ticket purchase, though, was new front tires. Buying tires for our car is a HUGE hassle. We have a Mazda Protege 5 and for some odd reason Mazda designers decided to give the car a unique wheel size. Only two companies make tires for our type of car. Whenever we need to replace them, the tire place and even the dealer have to have them specially shipped. Consequently, a maintenance job that takes most people an hour stretches out to two days for us. On top of that, the tires that these companies make use a softer rubber compound than most tires. Instead of getting 80,000 miles, our tires get about 25,000 miles with proper maintenance. We easily drive 25,000 miles in a year. This means every year we’ll have to fork over $400 to replace our tires. Arrr….

Like the title of the post says, consider tire type when buying a car. Make sure your wheel isn’t some weird size. It will save you time and money.

Listen to Grammar Girl to Improve Your Writing

Written by Mrs. FLS

Law students and lawyers write. A lot. Thanks to the media’s portrayals of attorneys, many mistakenly believe that the practice of law mainly consists of orally arguing a case before a judge or jury. While trial confrontations makes great television, it isn’t what lawyers spend the majority of their time on. Rather, they spend it on writing.

I’m very self conscious about my writing. I don’t think I’m that great at it. I’ve had to work hard to get where I am, but I know I have plenty of room for improvement. One of the reasons I blog is to help with my writing.

Part of my “improve my writing” regimen includes listening to daily podcasts by Grammar Girl. Everyday, Grammar Girl provides “quick and dirty tips for better writing.” So far her podcasts have helped me immensely. Each podcasts runs about four minutes. Best of all, they’re free!

Start improving those legal memos by incorporating Grammar Girl in your writing regimen today.

25 Ways to Cook an Egg

Written by Mrs. FLS

As I was cooking my eggs this morning, I realized what a powerful frugal food it is. It’s cheap, it has enough protein and calories to fill you up, and it’s versatile. How many ways can you cook an egg? Let me count the ways:

  1. Scrambled- A staple at any breakfast.
  2. Over easy
  3. Poached
  4. Sunny Side Up
  5. Add eggs to skillet bags from the grocery store
  6. Hardboiled- They make a great anytime snack.
  7. Breakfast burrito- cook eggs, put in tortilla, eat.
  8. Chillaquillas- scrambled eggs mixed with cut up corn tortillas; add salsa and green chili for taste
  9. Egg sandwich- great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  10. Eggs in Raman Noodles- the combinations of two extremely frugal equals a frugal dynamo
  11. Eggs in spaghetti noodles
  12. Eggs mixed with chorizo- chorizo is a delicious Mexican sausage; can be served by itself or wrapped in a burrito
  13. Eggs in a pita
  14. Omelets- the possibilities are endless on this one; add whatever you want
  15. French toast- bread dipped in eggs- how frugal can you get?
  16. Egg’s nest- cut a hole in a piece of bread, put contents of egg inside hole, cook in pan.
  17. Huevos rancheros
  18. Eggs scrambled with rice
  19. Eggs scrambled with beans
  20. Pasta carbonara- cook some noodles, beat some eggs, pour egg mixture over cooked noodles; the noodles will cook the egg mixture; add come bacon and garlic.
  21. Eggs scrambled in shrimp
  22. Substitute eggs for meat in Hamburger Helper
  23. Deviled eggs
  24. Slice a hard boiled egg in your salad
  25. Egg drop soup

Any other ideas? I’m sure many of you have creative ways to use this very frugal food.

The Monetary Value of Lexis Points

Written by Brett McKay

This is an awesome post. Legal Andrew did a write up on the monetary value of Lexis points. It comes out roughly to $0.015 a point. He then goes on to explain how you can easily earn $35 in an hour by using different Lexis services.

I’m a big fan of Lexis and Westlaw points. It blows my mind that there are many law students who don’t take advantage of the stuff you can get just be looking up a citation.

Check it out!