millenial

After 5 years, I’ve lifted my self imposed Credit Card ban. Here’s why.

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For the last four to five years, I have been proudly credit card free. Similarly, my partner has been credit card free for at least three years now. I had terrible experiences with credit cards as a young adult, starting from being approved for multiple credit cards at age 18, not really understanding how exorbitant the interest rates were and proceeding to live from pay-check to pay-check with a large credit card debt. When I began to become more financially aware, I paid off all of my credit cards at the first opportunity and avoided them like the plague. I understood that there were benefits in having a credit card, if you used them as a financial tool, and with restraint. For example: (more…)

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Are you an ‘average young Australian’ when it comes to personal finance?

Piggy Bank

Although I don’t believe in ‘keeping up with the Jones”, now and then I do like to compare how I am tracking financially to the average Australian, whether it is salary wise, savings or spending. It helps to give me perspective and motivation and is an interesting benchmarking exercise. So here are some average balances I have compiled, to help Gen Y Australians see how they’re tracking. I’ve compiled the balances from several sources, since they all differ due to the underlying assumptions, inclusions or exclusions in the data.  The numbers I have included cover averages Australia wide, in addition to breakdowns by age.  (more…)

A 20-something’s thoughts on trauma insurance

As the regular readers of my blog will know, I’m about to turn 27 soon which means that I have been mentally preparing to turn 30 for the last 6 months. Part of this mental preparation involves ensuring that I get my financial house in order. My early twenties were about getting rid of consumer debt, developing basic financial habits such as budgeting and salary sacrificing into my superannuation to make the most of compound interest. My partner and I also bought an apartment last year and since then I have been trying to build up 3 months worth of savings again. I haven’t quite yet gotten on the investing bandwagon outside of superannuation, but I can’t get trauma insurance out of my mind. I know, it’s a weird thing for someone in their twenties to say. I also would like to start this blog by stating that I do not work for an insurer and this is not a sponsored post, I’m just a twenty-something who happens to be passionate about trauma insurance (this is concerning even to me).  (more…)

Unemployed New Lawyers – Would you pay $22,000 for a Job?

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The problem

In Australia, law graduates are required to either complete a supervised workplace training program (generally with a law firm or an in-house legal department), or a practical legal training program offered by an accredited educational institution in order to become admitted to practise law, i.e. It’s the next major step after graduation to qualify as a lawyer.  Supervised workplace trainees are paid a graduate salary, whilst practical legal training trainees pay around $10,000.00 in course fees, though there are also hybrid arrangements. Once admitted, new lawyers, particularly those who completed a practical legal training program and therefore may not have accumulated significant experience with a potential employer, face the challenge of seeking supervised employment. A newly admitted lawyer must be supervised for two years as a condition of their restricted practising certificate.

It is well-known that there is an oversupply of law graduates and new lawyers in metropolitan Australia, significantly increasing the competition when it comes to supervised workplace training programs and subsequently, first-year positions. It has been estimated that Australia is producing 12,000 law graduates a year, however there are only 60,000 working lawyers in the country. Of course, this includes students studying double degrees and post graduate degrees etc. who may not necessarily have ambitions to pursue careers as lawyers; however the number still leaves me incredulous.

I experienced this competitive environment myself during practical legal training in 2013; the proportion of trainees that had secured legal roles was definitely outweighed by the proportion that hadn’t. It is indeed a catch 22. Most positions advertised sought a lawyer with 2-3 years post admission experience yet graduates couldn’t get their foot in the door to rack up the same. Even now at the current firm that I work at, I was told that there were over 300 applicants for 1 supervised workplace training position. First year lawyer positions are even more of a rarity. Clearly, it is a buyer’s market and the firms have all the bargaining power when it comes to having graduates and new lawyers jumping through hoops and being able to select those who are perceived as being the cream of the crop.

A controversial ‘solution’

With this in mind environment in mind, I was amused however not surprised when I came across this article about a new Adelaide based firm, Adlawgroup, proposing to charge newly admitted lawyers $22,000.00 for a two-year “employment and mentoring program“. (more…)

A twenty-something’s guide to ‘adulting’ before 30

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So, I’m turning 27 in August which basically means I’m turning 30 in 5 minutes and it’s never been more clear to me that I’m well and truly on the bus to grown up town. For one thing, in my new workplace, I’m no longer the youngest employee in the department. I’ve worked full time in office environments for over 7 years, and I’ve always interacted with older employees only. This was something I tried to hide at first, starting out as an 18 year old and keen to earn the respect of those around me, and then entering my early twenties it was something I embraced. But now there are at least 3-4 people I interact with who are my age or younger, I’m finally amidst my generation in the workforce and it’s making me realise that we’re all well and truly ‘adulting‘.  Another example of this is meeting with a financial planner who was my age. Call me an age-ist but we were both sitting in this meeting room having a professional conversation and in the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘wow, it’s like we’re both pretending to be grown ups, but he’s my age, he knows that I’m not!‘.

I don’t know about you, but I and the majority of friends my age don’t feel like we’re bona fide adults yet. There are things in life that shouldn’t have to change with age if you don’t want them to. For example, how much fun you have, how passionate you are about what you do, your hobbies and the time you spend with family and friends. However, the looming prospect of 30 does motivate me to get the boring and basics of being a responsible adult in order.  Here’s my guide to feeling like a responsible adult who has their shit together. (more…)

The MBA halfway slump – working with apathetic syndicate members

I started the MBA in April 2014 and completion of this current term brings me exactly to the halfway point. I have come to notice an interesting phenomenon, which for lack of a better diagnosis, I will deem the ‘halfway slump’. It probably hasn’t affected everybody, but there are an overwhelming number of fellow students I’ve spoken to who are experiencing burn out and a lack of motivation towards the MBA. I suspect there are a few factors at play: (more…)

Resigning gracefully: 15 Dos and Don’ts for serving out your notice period

Life-is-a-balance-of-holding-and-letting-goIt’s a small world and with the widespread use of websites such as LinkedIn, it’s getting much smaller. It is therefore not advisable to drop the ball in terms of your behaviour as soon as you resign from a role, no matter what you think of your employer.

These are my tips on resigning gracefully and ensuring that your final weeks with your employer help, rather than hinder your career.

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Dear rule breakers, questioners, straight-A students who skipped class: We want you.

The above message is prominently displayed on the jobs webpage of one of my favourite clothing labels, Everlane, and I love everything about it. I love the idea of an organisation who dares their people to break rules and question, because with that comes creativity, innovation and better ways of doing things. I love that they acknowledge that you can be smart, driven and succeed in the educational system without actually conforming to the educational system. And of course, I love that these are the type of people they want to hire. Not just willing to hire, but actually wanting to hire. (more…)

Winter 2015 Corporate Wardrobe Wishlist – Neutrals and Silver

Winter 2015 Wardrobe

Surprise, surprise – nothing but neutrals. Here is a roundup of my recent (and hopefully future) corporate wardrobe purchases for Winter 2015, with links below. (more…)