i The Frugal Law Student | 2007 | September

Law School
Frugality
Personal Finance
Productivity
Nutrition

links for 2007-09-22

Written by Brett McKay

Who Takes Care Of the Finances In Your Family?

Written by Brett McKay

Ideally, both people in a marriage should contribute equally to managing family finances. However, it usually one person in a relationship takes more responsibility of keeping track of family money.

During the times of Leave It To Beaver, tracking personal finances was a matter of traditional gender roles meaning men usually took care of the money. They would pay the bills and give their wife an allowance for groceries depending on the family’s need. I know some couples that still do this. The husband takes care of all the financial decisions and deposits money into their wife’s account for groceries and clothes for the kids.

Growing up, it seemed like my mom took care of most of the financial upkeep in our house. She’d pay the bills, budget for Christmas and school shopping, and go to the bank. It made sense. My dad was gone a lot with his job, so he probably didn’t have much of a clue when bills were due or even what bills we had. Of course when there was a big financial decision that involved a lot of money, my parents would consult with each other.

In my own family, I’ve taken on the job of keeping track of Kate and I’s finances. I go to the bank to deposit checks and keep tabs on our accounts. While I do a lot of the ministerial things, my wife and I constantly communicate about money. If I notice we’re overspending in an area, we’ll discuss what we can do to remedy it. If either of us wants to make a big purchase, we’ll discuss it with each other and make sure we can afford it. It seems to work for us. I enjoy planning and scheming on how to save and make more money. I also find going to the bank to be extremely satisfying. So taking on this job hasn’t been a burden at all for me. Kate’s happy with the arrangement as well. She’s not a big fan going to the bank and paying bills.

For those of you who are married, who takes care of the finances? The husband or the wife? Or have you figured out a way where both contribute equally? If you’re not married, who took more of the responsibility in keeping tabs on the family’s finances? Your mom or dad?

links for 2007-09-21

Written by Brett McKay

Tantric Shopping In Practice: I Want A MacBook!!

Written by Brett McKay

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A while back ago, I wrote about how the practice of tantric shopping can save you money and increase your buying pleasure. These past few weeks I’ve had to put that principle into overdrive. Out of nowhere, I’ve been bitten by the Apple bug and I now have MacBook fever. I’ve never wanted something so bad. It’s sick, actually. I’m salivating right now thinking about the MacBook’s clean design and awesome hardware features.

Here’s the problem. MacBooks cost over $2,000 and I’m in law school making almost no money. I could- I could if I really wanted to, buy one. I have some money saved away that I could use or I could use the credit card. But I won’t and here’s why.

First, I have a great laptop right now and it’s relatively new. I bought it last year for $500 with some help from my parents. It does everything I need: take notes in class, make outlines, and blog. There really is no justification in buying a new computer when I haven’t even owned the one I have now for a year and it’s in good condition.

Second, I don’t have the money. Well, I do have some money, but it’s in our emergency fund and Freedom Account. No way am I going to raid those coffers just so I can instantly gratify myself with a new Mac. Charging is also out of the question. That $2,000 MacBook could end up costing me $3,000 if we add on interest. Uh-uh. No way, Jose.

Third, I really can’t articulate how a MacBook will make me happier. When my wife asks me why I want a MacBook, I have a hard time articulating why. I like the iLife software and the Mac’s sense of design, but that’s about all I can come up with. A warning sign that a want really is frivolous is if you can’t articulate exactly how making a purchase will make you happier. Until I can come up with something more specific on why I want the MacBook, no dice on buying one.

So, the MacBook has gone on my Someday/Maybe list. Maybe when I’m done with law school and have a nice job, I’ll splurge and buy the MacBook. I’ll call it my reward for finishing law school. Or perhaps someday Apple will give me a free MacBook just so I can write on my blog about how Macs are better than PC’s for law students. Right… By the time any of these things happen, I’m sure the urge to buy a MacBook will have passed. But if the urge isn’t gone by then, oh how awesome will it be to finally have one.

links for 2007-09-20

Written by Brett McKay

Calling All Facebook Users! Join The Frugal Law Student’s Facebook Group

Written by Brett McKay

In an effort to promote the site, I started a Facebook Group a while back ago. It had an initial spurt of growth, but has sputtered as of late. I think the lack of growth stems mainly from a lack of knowledge about it. Why should you join The Frugal Law Student Facebook Group? Well, here’s 7 reasons I came up with.

  1. You’re already a member of 100 Facebook Groups. What’s one more going to hurt?
  2. It only takes 2 seconds.
  3. You can see what the great people who read The Frugal Law Student look like.
  4. You can put it on your resume if you want. It might not impress employers, but it will give you something to talk about.
  5. Membership in The Frugal Law Student Facebook Group requires no commitment. We don’t care if you ever post anything and we’ll never ask for dues.
  6. You’ll find other like minded people who are looking to take control of their finances.
  7. Finally, you’ll be helping support The Frugal Law Student. The more people who join, the faster The Frugal Law Student meme will spread. Join The Frugal Law Student Army today and start spreading the word.