The semester is finally over, and so is my self-allowed 2-week summer vacation. Time to get back to manuscripts!
I’ve also been doing a lot of fun-reading lately. This upcoming school year is going to be a gap year for me, which means no research assistantships to provide steady income and needing to start payments on student loans. Looking over the numbers a few months ago, I realized that I’ve never really had to deal with personal finance. I didn’t take home economics in high school and I’ve not had to save up for my own car. Because I can’t just ‘take a break’ from school, even after finals, I’ve been reading up on finance.
Expect a large post in the future about some of my thoughts on managing money in graduate school. I haven’t found many online resources on this subject. Most of what I’ve seen says to join Swagbucks.com (to save pennies) and apply to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (for which I’m no longer qualified). I imagine this has a lot to do with differences between graduate degrees – scientists often get a stipend, while those in the arts and humanities may be expected to finance their own education.
Another question that I can’t seem to find an answer to is how to balance having a student loan and needing to save for retirement. I’m not sure why this seems to be overlooked on all the financial self-help pages. Need help paying off credit card debt? Whole books on that. What mortgage can you afford? Everyone has an opinion. But you want to pay off a student loan, realizing you won’t have a 401(k) until 5-8 years after undergrad (assuming you’re on an academic track)? Good luck!
In the mean time, here’s what I’ve found to be helpful.
Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin – I listened to this on audiobook free from my local library. It’s narrated by the author, so I enjoyed listening to it. I’m not sure how it stacks up against other personal finance books as I haven’t read many, but it helped me.
How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci – I borrowed this one from my local library yesterday and already finished it. It’s only 116 pages, and geared towards a 40-55 year old audience, but it recommends some good online resources. I liked that it gives you an idea of what your ‘goal number’ should be. If you’re in your twenties like I am, you’re ahead of the curve in reading this.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko – Another library book (notice a pattern?), I am about two-thirds through with this one. This book crunches the numbers on the buying and saving patterns of self-made millionaires. If you’re fond of data, and if you’re in graduate school you probably are, this is a good read. Interestingly, when they break things down by profession, professors tend to be in their “under accumulators of wealth” category. Food for thought! (As of writing, this book is free through kindleunlimited!)
Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas Stanley – I’ll be reading this next. I was going to pass on this one, assuming it was just the ‘pink’ version of the original book. But in a book predominantly about businesswomen, they have a chapter on educators, so I’ll read this one anyway. (Also free through kindleunlimited, at time of writing)
I’ve also begun following Dave Ramsey on Pinterest. If you have no idea how to start a personal budget, I’d recommend many of his posts.
Thanks for reading!
(I’m not in any way affiliated with these authors or websites, and I don’t receive any money. Comments and opinions my own.)