Financial Tips for Women Lawyers Just Starting in BigLaw (Or Other Very High Paying Gigs)

Financial advice for women lawyers (and others new to high paying gigs like BigLaw!)Here’s an odd post that I don’t think we’ve ever done: financial advice for women lawyers starting in BigLaw or other big corporate gigs with lots of money. Starting salaries for lawyers can be as high as $180,000 these days, so it can definitely be a great first salary! It’s a good idea to be prepared for the ways that working in BigLaw will affect your finances. Here’s some of our top financial advice for women lawyers:

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How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Data Breach

How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax BreachMillions of people (unfortunately, not an exaggeration) are wondering what many Corporette® readers are also wondering: how to protect their credit after the Equifax data breach. On September 7, Equifax revealed that hackers may have exposed Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, website security questions/answers, etc., for up to 143 million people — a “breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data [handed] over to criminals,” as Ars Technica put it. (With all the upsetting news stories recently, someone thought we needed even more things to worry about!) We’ve seen some contradictory information online — and the sheer amount of advice out there is overwhelming — so we thought we’d round up some expert advice in a post. Ladies, what steps have you taken to protect your credit after the breach? Have you used any services or had any success in freezing your credit? If you’ve written to government officials about changing the laws, share your script!

Here are the latest recommendations for how to protect your credit:

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How to Make Sure You Get Your Money Back on Returned Online Purchases

how to make sure you get your money back on returned online purchasesMy own system needs a little work, so today I’m asking a question for advice as much as discussion: how do you make sure you’re getting your money back on returned online purchases? Have you found any good apps or systems?

If you’re like me, odds are you do a lot of online shopping these days, and part of the appeal is easy returns by mail. But keeping track of whether I’ve actually gotten the refund or credit is becoming more and more difficult. For example, sometimes when I’m returning items bought online  I have absolutely no idea how much I’m going to be getting back — for example, I remember returning stuff to Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy once where I had purchased the items using their “super cash” and possibly had gotten an additional “buy $X and get 40% off” tiered deal — so I had no idea how returning some items from the order would affect the equation.  Other times, the store tells you clearly how much to expect back when you print out your return slips — but then returns trickle in on your credit card in smaller amounts, at different times.

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Tales from the Wallet: How to Pick the Best Rewards Card For You

How do you typically use credit cards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? We’ve discussed some great rewards credit cards (Kat is still using her Amazon Visa!), but we thought we’d have a broader discussion today about readers’ credit card habits — the good and the bad. Which do you think are the best credit card rewards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? (Pictured: bright red Kate Spade wallet – highly rated and only $88 at Nordstrom.)

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

I’m always using my credit cards, because like a lot of people, I barely ever carry cash. (It bugs me when I’m at a bakery or other business that doesn’t take credit cards, even though I get it.) I like how the fraud protection is better with credit cards than with debit cards, too; my cards have been compromised a couple of times and I’ve never been liable for anything. And the rewards don’t hurt: My Citibank Simplicity card lets me earn cash back, and my TJX card (Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Sierra Trading Post) earns me gift certificates at those stores. My husband and I also have a UPromise card from Barclaycard that generates money for our son’s 529 plan. (His grandparents have one too that also contributes to his account.)

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Tales from the Wallet: When to Dip Into Your Emergency Fund

when to dip into your emergency fundWe’ve talked in the past about emergency funds — particularly where they fit in a money roadmap and where you should stash the cash you’re saving for an emergency fund — but here’s something we haven’t talked about: when is it ok to dip into your emergency fund? How big of a deal is it to you if you need to take some money from your emergency fund to cover a big shopping trip, a vacation, or more? Do you overfund your emergency fund (and keep more than 6-9 months living expenses) so you CAN dip into it if you need it — or do you have a “stop point” where anything above a certain amount of money goes into an investment account? (On the flip side, do you keep a “fun money” or “mad money” account just for these kinds of indulgences — and save money to be spent?)

Pictured at top: I’m not usually a beige wallet kind of person, but this highly rated “tan sparkle lizard” wallet might make me change my mind. It’s $89 at Nordstrom (six other colors, too) (affiliate link).

As we’ve discussed in the past, I’m a pretty aggressive saver who hates to keep money sitting in low-interest checking and saving accounts, so for the most part I clear out our checking account every month and move left over money to higher interest online savings accounts. In addition to retirement savings, I use automatic transfers to savings and automatic investing as often as I can, and I also try to amortize known big purchases (like term insurance and a vacation budget) so that the cost is spread out over the year instead of hitting in one particular month. In fact, I have about 10+ accounts open at Ally right now for various things personal and business, as well as one big account at Ally that we consider to be our “family emergency fund.” But of all my crazy accounts I don’t have a “fun money” account — and maybe I need one for those for times when our credit card bill is bigger than expected, or it’s been a birthday month (or, ahem, a Nordstrom sale month) and more.

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Tales from the Wallet: What’s Your Vacation Money Strategy?

vacation money strategy tips and tricksHere’s a fun question for today: what’s your vacation money strategy? What’s your overall strategy about vacations and budgets — how do you plan to budget while on vacation — and how do you pay for vacation? There are a lot of questions here, such as:

  • Overall vacation money strategy: What do you consider getting the most “bang for your buck” — frequent and small vacations, one big vacation every year or two, or something else? From the “time vs money” perspective for vacations, do you gravitate towards the more expensive but all-inclusive cruise, resort, or tour so that you save time at the research phase — or do you prefer (for money or enjoyment) to DIY your vacations? For those of you who go to the same place often (such as spending a week every summer at Cape Cod or the Jersey Shore, or heading to DisneyWorld once a year), how big of a role does budgeting play in that decision?
  • Budgeting while on vacation: do you have ways of saving money while on vacation that you use no matter where you go? For example, bringing protein bars with you so your breakfast is covered, or making sure to hit the “included breakfast” at your hotel and eat a ton so you don’t have to eat a big lunch?
  • How to pay for vacation: Do you save in advance for your trip, or put it on credit card? Does anyone use automatic transfers to savings to set aside money regularly to keep for vacations? Is anyone heavily into airline miles or points?

 

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