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Frugal Law Student: ABA Journal Blawg 100

Written by Brett McKay

I found out today that the Frugal Law Student has been named one of the top 100 blogs by the ABA Journal! What an honor! The fun doesn’t stop there. From now until January 2, people can vote on which blog is the best in its category. The Frugal Law Student is listed under “JDs in Training.” So if you happen to check out the top 100 blawg site, you’ll know where you can find me. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.)

Fun and Frugal Thanksgiving Traditions

Written by Mrs. FLS


Thursday is Turkey Day, a time of feasting and family. Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday, but it is not surrounded with as many traditions and rituals as Christmas. To be sure, turkey, stuffing, and pie are traditions that carry over year after year, but beyond that, it is often hard to create other Thanksgiving traditions.

I’d like to share one frugal and fun tradition that my family has enjoyed for many years. The purpose of Thanksgiving, as is implied in the name, is to take a day to give thanks for all the blessings and good things in your life. This purpose often gets lost under the groaning spread of Thanksgiving edibles.

Therefore, to bring the focus back to gratitude, my family created the “Thankful Box.” Here’s how to incorporate the Thankful Box at your family gathering:


1. Get an empty shoebox and decorate it. My sister created ours when she was a kid and covered all the sides with construction paper and harvest themed construction paper cut outs. Be creative. When you are finished decorating, cut a slot into the box top. Here is the one we use, endearingly worn from many years of enjoyment:

2. The day before Thanksgiving, or on Thanksgiving morning, set out the box and place a post-it note pad and pen next to it.

3. Invite family and friends to write down things they are thankful for on the post-it notes, fold the note up, and place it in the box. They can jot down things both serious and funny (when we had a pet, someone would always insert a note ostensibly from the pet. For example: “I am grateful for my litter box.” For some reason, this never got old). Keep the notes anonymous.

4. During the Thanksgiving meal, and after people have chowed down for awhile, open the box and begin to pass it around the table. Each person draws a note from the box, reads it, and then passes it to the next person. Part of the fun is guessing who wrote which note.

This is always a highlight of the meal and can be both heart warming and laugh inducing. Most importantly, it takes a moment to focus on gratitude.

Remember, frugality involves more than just counting your pennies; it is about living a life in which you are grateful for what you have.

What are some frugal and fun Thanksgiving traditions that you and your family enjoy? Add to the conversation! Drop a line in the comment box.

Welcome Tulsa World Readers!

Written by Brett McKay


Today The Frugal Law Student was featured in this morning’s edition of the Tulsa World. You can see the article here. If this is your first time at the Frugal Law Student, then welcome! Please check out the archives and most popular articles for even more money saving tips. If you like what you see, make sure to sign up for email updates or subscribe to my RSS feed.

My regular readers may have noticed I haven’t posted in about a week. I’ve been cranking away at my law review article hard this past week so I could have it finished before Thanksgiving Break. After several late nights, gallons of Diet Mountain Dew, and lots of help from my wife I was able to finish it last night. What a relief. I’ll be focusing more on studying for finals from here on out, but I’ll be back on a regular posting schedule. Stay tuned!

Photo by  MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World

The Frugal Law Student Month In Review- October 2007

Written by Brett McKay

October was a super busy month for me. With law review and job interviews thrown on top of my already busy law school schedule, I didn’t have much time for blogging. However, I did manage to write some posts that brought in a lot of traffic.

The Frugal Law Student saw a record number of visitors this month- 23,408 visits. That’s up from 8,466 in September. Why the huge increase? There are several reasons. First, many of you submitted some of my posts to Stumbleupon and Digg which brought in lots of traffic. Second, some of my posts went semi-viral and were linked on different sites thanks to some big time bloggers, like JD from Get Rich Slowly, linking to me. Finally, one of my posts was included in the Principle Financial Group’s monthly client newsletter. Those three things combined brought the traffic. So, thanks to all of you who Dugg or Stumbled my posts or linked to my articles! I really appreciate it.

RSS subscriptions also rose. As of this writing, there are 614 RSS subscribers. Thanks to all my loyal readers who subscribe. Seriously, you all keep me motivated to come up with new content each and everyday.

Popular Posts

  1. Hack Your Pocket Moleskine Into A Wallet. This was this month’s most popular post. It got Stumbled a ton and was included on several sites.
  2. 180 Money Saving Tips to Turn Your Life Around 180 Degrees.  I wrote this post back in May and its still one of my more popular ones. 180 Money Saving Tips was picked up by Principal Financial in their monthly e-newsletter to clients.
  3. Do It Yourself Pottery Barn Halloween Countdown Calendar.  My sister Shannon wrote this great how-to guide. Several other craft related blogs picked it up. JD from Get Rich Slowly was kind enough to include it in his weekly link round up at the beginning of the month.
  4. 13 Ways To Kill a Cold Without Killing Your Budget. Cold season is upon us which probably made this post so popular this month.
  5. 12 Meals That Are Easy, Cheap, And Healthy. This was a guest post written by FLS reader Erica. Lots of great ideas for quick frugal meals.

Calling All Guest Bloggers

With law school exams just a month a way, my focus will be turning more to studying. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for The Frugal Law Student, contact me. You can write about anything dealing with law school, personal finance, frugality, or productivity. If you’re a new blogger, guest blogging is a great way to get exposure to new readers.


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The Frugal Law Student Month In Review- September 2007

Written by Brett McKay

September was a great month for The Frugal Law Student. The biggest news was the redesign of the site. This was the first time I heavily customized a website using CSS, but I think it turned out great. During September we had 8,454 visitors. That was an increase of over 1,000 since August. RSS subscriptions fluctuated wildly during September, but I maxed out at 448! My goal this month is to reach the 500 mark in subscriptions.

Plans For The Frugal Law Student

I’ve been brain storming on how to make the blog better and create more sense of community on the site. Here’s a list of actions I plan on implementing on the site in the next month:

  • I’ve had requests to bring back my debt progress graph. If any of you read my blog since the beginning, you’ll know I had a graph charting my progress paying back my law school debt. Readers expressed that seeing someone else’s progress motivated them in their quest to pay back their debt. I also think people are just interested in other people’s money. 😉 Nonetheless, the chart will be back. I haven’t decided, yet, whether to put it in the sidebar or have it’s own separate page called “The Damage.” What do you all think?
  • Commenter created tips posts. Each week, I’ll pose a problem or question and ask readers to submit their best tips for solving that problem or answering that question by way of commenting. It would be great if readers suggested topics as well. At the end of the week, I’ll collaborate the tips posted in the comments and create a post out of it. I want my readers to take an active part in creating content on The Frugal Law Student and assisting in the direction of the blog. What do you all think?
  • Daily links. Yay or nay? What do you all think about the daily links? I like doing it because 1) it allows me to easily support other bloggers by promoting their articles; 2) it’s a great way to provide my readers with information that they might find useful; and 3) it’s a great way for me to promote old posts that I’ve written. But I’ll stop doing it if enough people disapprove.

Most Popular Posts

When I updated the site, I forgot to put the Google Analytics code in. Consequently, I don’t know what the most read posts were. But here’s a quick list of posts you should definitely check out.


To make sure you don’t miss a post on The Frugal Law Student, make sure to subscribe:

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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.