Fellow Best New Blog winner Stephanie Halligan talks to us about student loan debt, negotiating and Matt’s favorite, the side hustle.
Like a lot of teenagers, Stephanie took out a lot of college loans without realizing what that meant. She graduated with $30,000 in debt. She was asked through an internship if she wanted to teach personal finance to newly migrated refuges.
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The more she learned, the more she wanted to help her students and herself manage money and get out of debt. Prioritizing not only debt, but what mattered to her most was the first lesson. Spending money on the things that really matter to you and scrimping on things that matter less is key.
Negotiating is lesson two. Negotiating salary, with debtors, when buying big ticket items, are things everyone should do but few of us attempt. We talked about negotiating in Episode 191 but that was from a male perspective.
Things are a little different for women. Stephanie recommends Get Raised to help you learn how to get more money from your employer. Women are generally more concerned with preserving relationships at work so it’s important to come into the conversation about a raise from that angle. Particularly if you’re negotiating with a female boss.
Side hustles have been a big topic on this show and Stephanie is in agreement. If you can bring in even a few hundred extra bucks a month, it helps. Particularly if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
Stephanie reached out to companies she was interested in and offered a few weeks of free work. It led to some freelance work and helped to build relationships.
Stephanie found that she liked writing about finance and that’s what inspired her to start her blog. Had she never had that debt, she wouldn’t be where she is today but she’d like to smooth the path for those coming after. $30,000 is a lot of money.
Stephanie started The Empowered Dollar while she was still working. It started as a “mommy blog” (I hate those words the same way Matt hates side hustle) to help moms teach teens about finance.
But evolved to an audience Stephanie was more comfortable with, Millennials. She does the drawings on her site to bring a little lightheartedness to a sometimes dry subject.
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Stephanie took $30,000 in debt and turned it into a career she loves.
Rogue Farms Pumpkin Ale: A great fall beer.
Empowered Dollar: Stephanie’s blog that explains PF through comics!