19 Jul Judge Jimmy
Hamish (Lawyer) – Dear Judge Jimmy, I was admitted earlier in the year and am now a practising solicitor at my firm having spent 12 months doing my graduate rotations. Since securing a job as a solicitor, my salary increased enough that I was able to move out of home and start renting with some friends. Unfortunately since the pandemic has hit, my salary has decreased by more than 20%. Judge, not wanting to move back home, what do you suggest I do? Kind regards, Hamish
Firstly, and I am sure this does not come as a surprise, but you’re not alone (hopefully you can take comfort in knowing this!). I’m going to give you a few savvy tips and ideas on how to avoid the worst case scenario – MOVING BACK HOME!
It’s important to understand where you’re at financially. Now that your salary has changed, an almond cappuccino and smashed avo on toast is no longer a daily option. Try cut that down to every third day. As shocking as this might sound, times are tough and you need to be ready for what your financial future might hold. I suggest you put a list together of any monthly expenses that can’t be cut – rent, electricity and gas, phone, Netflix (you can always login into your mate’s accounts – they will never know!), food etc. Add those expenses up and work out what funds you’re left with for the remainder of the month.
Saving money is one of the hardest things to do when living out of home. I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to do this, while also generating a few extra dollars on the side.
Food is the real killer when it comes to spending excessively. While it’s nice to eat out and get takeaway on the odd occasion, you’re essentially paying for something you can make yourself for a fraction of the cost.
Eat breakfast at home, or don’t eat breakfast at all! You can tell people you are practising intermittent fasting and you might even go up on people’s cool index. For an added bonus, you will lose weight and before you know it people will be asking ‘Tell us your secret, Hamish?’
Lunch. We all eat lunch. For lawyers it may be at 12pm, it may be at 4 pm, but we do find time to eat. Maybe get the odd Vietnamese salad from the local food court to maintain appearances that you are financially stable, but at $13 a pop every day it is a slippery slope to malnutrition when you start skipping dinner as well. One of my favourite alternatives is to buy a pre-packaged salad from Woolworths (*this is not an ad*), a tin of tuna and some brown rice. All up this will cost you around $7.00 – suddenly, your daily spend on lunch has halved.
If you’re looking to save even more, I’d suggest you leave the Sirena or John West cans on the shelves, and get yourself some Greenseas tuna – they’re only $1.00 at the moment (*again, not an ad*). Mixed together with salad, salt and pepper you can barely taste the difference …
Starting a side hustle is another way to keep the cash flowing and allow you to continue to have your blow off steam bender once a week.
Go through your wardrobe and pick out some of the more expensive items that you either no longer wear or are happy to part ways with. Facebook Marketplace or any of those ‘buy/sell/swap’ pages are great platforms to sell your belongings. While I’m on the topic of Facebook Marketplace, have a browse through what is for sale or maybe even free and see if there’s any value in picking up a bargain and restoring, then selling for a profit. There are also the other more well-known avenues such as babysitting, mowing lawns, OnlyFans, dog walking, online gambling, hustling strangers at pool, Crowdfunding for your life, Uber driving, and selling lemonade on the side of the road. Don’t let shame hold you back.
Most importantly, before any purchase, just be sure to ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” or “Is there a cheaper alternative?”.
Taking a common-sense approach you can keep up appearances with your swanky legal crowd and most likely gain some amazing non-legal skills. Skills that you can bank on during the 2nd wave, 3rd wave and the next great depression.