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The Simple Ways I Save Money

One thing that really sucks about being a law student is that you have pretty much no money. This is due to a variety of reasons: can't have a job, casebooks are outrageously expensive, loans only cover just so much... Law school makes you budget and save money wherever you can.

I have always been thrifty with my money. I was raised in a family full of love but a little tight on money so I learned from a young age to be frugal. Today, little has changed for me; I love nothing more than a good deal and I absolutely hate to pay full price for anything. I have all sorts of little tricks and tips I use myself to save money. So now I am sharing them with you!

1. Avoid new clothes unless they are on major sale
I LOVE new clothes... Probably too much. However, my budget does not allow for new clothes whenever I want them or at retail price. So I don't buy new clothes unless I absolutely need them or there is a mega sale going on. Instead of new clothes all the time, I just get creative with what I already have and brainstorm new outfits with what I already have. Also, when I do invest in new things, I buy timeless pieces that will fit in my closet for years to come and try to avoid super trendy things.... (sometimes I splurge on the trendy thing because treat yo' self). J. Crew Factory often has major sales with 50% off their clearance items. Old Navy also has some amazing sales. I also like to shop clearance racks at the end of a season to pick up brand new items on major clearance- I either wear them creatively in the next season or store them away for the season next year. Then I have new things at a fraction of the cost waiting for me!

2. Poshmark & Thred-up
I said I avoid new clothes but what about pre-owned clothes??? I am ALL for it. I have scored so many amazing deals on fabulous clothes through Poshmark and Thred-up. I am talking Banana Republic Suit for $10, Lilly Pulitzer dress for under $100 and so much more. These websites give you so much more bang for your buck and it's amazing. Read more about how I use Poshmark here. When your budget is tight, used clothes can be a great way to stay fashionable without breaking the bank.

So no one told me growing up and going grocery shopping by yourself was so dang expensive! It's ridiculous. Add in the fact that my husband has to have a gluten-free diet and grocery shopping is not good for the bank account. Thankfully, I have found some tricks to save money on the much-needed groceries.

1. Ibotta and Flipp
These two app's save me SO much money on groceries.

Ibotta is a simple app which has rebates on various items from various stores. You just select which store you will be shopping at, select the rebates (they may make you answer a question or watch a short video clip to unlock the rebate) and then scan your receipt after shopping. The rebates range from $.25 to $5 and add up very quickly. Some rebates are brand specific but many are not. I have redeemed over $100 by using this app and buying things I would be buying anyway. The rebate money you earn can be cashed as gift cards to many stores. Sign up for FREE by downloading the Ibotta app on your phone and use the code sjegoep to get a free $10 sign up bonus right into your account and then start earning free cash! It is too easy and takes so little time to earn money using this app.

Flipp is another free app and it compiles all store ad's near you. Using this, you can figure out which store has the best deals on whatever you are searching for and wishing to purchase. You can also clip coupons right in the app and save even more money. So simple and can save you so much money over time just by scrolling this app before shopping.

There are other app's that can help you save coupons depending on where you shop. Kroger has a great app that sync's all your selected coupons with your Kroger card and applies them automtically at check out for you. Depending on what store you regeularly shop at, look into the specific app to see if it has any deals!

2. Aldi 
Aldi is so underrated! This is my FAVORITE place to grocery shop. The food is excellent quality and cheaper than anywhere else. The fruits and veggies are always super fresh, they have a fantastic organic and gluten-free selection and you simply can't beat the prices. One of my favorite Aldi buys is their Winking Owl Moscato which rings in at $3.99 per bottle and it tastes fantastic! Seriously find your local Aldi and give it a chance.

3. Costco
If you are shopping for more than one person, Costco has major savings. Buying in bulk is seriously so much cheaper. We buy our dog food (we have three dogs) from Costco and it saves using over $200 per year buying it at Costco versus a pet store- and it is just as high quality! The Costco brand is Kirkland and I have never bought anything by that brand that I have been less than thrilled with- from food to clothes, toiletries and everything in between. I love me some Costco!

Law school casebooks are crazy expensive. However, there are some ways to find deals on them if you know where to look.

1. Amazon
Amazon has pretty good deals on law school casebooks. This is because individuals can sell their used books through Amazon. So you can purchase someone else's book, with some wear and tear, for way below the price of the same book new. I do not buy any of my law school books new unless I absolutely must and it saves tons of money.

The other way you can recoup some of the money you pay for books is to sell them when you are done. I do this with almost all of my casebooks through seller central on Amazon and I usually make back close to what I paid for the book. Simple and easy on the bank account!

2. Friends 
Buying books of friends is another way to save major cash on casebooks. Avoid paying for shipping and fork over some cash for the book you need that your friend used last semester. Many law schools also have a book exchange at the beginning of the semester for people to do exactly this.

3. Rent
Renting casebooks can be significantly cheaper than buying. The only downside is that you have to be a little careful to not highlight/write in the book too much and to remember to return at the end of the semester. As long as you are okay with that, you can save major money by renting your casebooks.

I hope this is helpful!

What the First Day of Law School will Really be Like

Alright, people... so my first day of law school was a while ago... like almost two years ago. However, it was a pretty monumental event so I remember it pretty clearly. I was so stressed out going into 1L year. In reality, most of what I was stressed about was not cause for concern... but it sure didn't feel that way at the time. For all those out there who are gearing up for law school this fall, I hope this helps to ease any anticipation jitters or nerves about your first day.

I stressed myself out about every little detail of starting law school: what should I wear, what bag should I use, handwritten or computer notes, would professors cold call, would the other students be nice, should I pack a lunch... and so on. When I say I stressed about everything, I mean everything. It is partially my nature to stress about every little thing and it was also partially because law school is such a huge undertaking and the doorway to my chosen career. Thankfully, all my stressing was for no reason and my first day of law school was pretty painless (you can read all about it here: My First Day of Law School).

For all those who stress about the details just like me or those just wondering, I am going to outline what to expect from your first day. I polled some of my law school friends, as well as taking my own experiences and observations. I am sure that I will not cover everything and some people will have or have had very different experiences but I am going to try to hit on the big and general stuff to expect and be honest about it.

Books Worth Reading as an Adult

I have always been a HUGE reader. When I was in middle school, my parents used to take the bulb out of my bedside lamp because I would stay up until the middle of the night reading and not want to wake up for school the next day. I used to get in trouble in high school Math class for reading under my desk. As I have gotten older, my reading has slowed down a bit just because life has gotten so busy through college and law school. I still relish a few hours to devour a good book though. Few things make me happier than a soft chair, a cup of hot tea and a new book to read.

My taste in books has changed a bit over time as well. I moved on from young adult fiction and veered toward more heavy reading. A lot of my friends say that they don't know what to read as an adult. Today I am sharing a few of my favorite adult reads. There's a little something for everyone; fiction, historical, science, mystery, and romance. My reading interests are very diverse so my recommendations are as well.

The Evolution of My Law School Study Habits- Everything I do to be Successful

Hi all! I have had a few requests lately to do a post about how my study and note-taking habits have changed since my 1L year following my post about how I have been able to raise my GPA. I am now in the summer before my 3L year- my last year of law school. I have learned so much over the last 2 years in regards to studying, time management and productivity. A lot of my study habits and note-taking strategies have changed and a lot has remained the same. I will outline what has changed and what has remained the same in addition to all the tools I use to be successful as a law student. Buckle up folks, this is going to be one long blog post.

The Road To Law School Explained By Hermione Granger

Time for little relateable humor friends! 

I have known I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a little girl. I am not sure if I just woke up one day and said, "I want to be a lawyer," or if I was highly impacted by Elle Woods, but there has never been another career path on my mind. Going from a starry-eyed little girl to a law student has been an interesting road full of twists and turns, good times and bad times and a lot of times asking myself if this is really what I want to do with my life. In the end, I know this is the right career for me, and I am only I academic year shy of graduating law school which both excites and terrifies me. But for all of you out there with the same goals, here is a fun little post about the road we take to pursue that legal education- both good, bad and ugly and all the thoughts I had along the way accompanied by memes of the queen Hermione Granger.