I Had No Idea Pawnshops and Payday Lenders Were So Freaking Expensive

pawnshops and payday loans

The major loan types of loans are car loans, mortgages, student loans, credit card loans, cash advances, and loans from pawnshops and payday lenders. Each category has a different average interest rate charged each year for borrowing money, but one of those stands out as the most absurdly expensive, poverty trap creating weapon of mass financial destruction.

Loans used to buy physical assets like cars or houses typically carry lower interest rates. Next is student loans because of federal government involvement. After that comes credit cards and cash advances. Then way up in the stratosphere is the ridiculous expense of pawnshops and payday lenders. You should avoid using them at all costs. Continue reading “I Had No Idea Pawnshops and Payday Lenders Were So Freaking Expensive”

Remember the McMansion? Now We Need to Resist the McLoft


Millennials seem to put off everything. Maybe we’re just waiting around to start our families and move to the suburbs with the white picket fence like everybody else. But maybe not. I’ve seen a surge of friends and acquaintances creating a new housing obsession that’s taking away big bucks that could be going to making us financially independent. These dollars are getting shoveled into the McLoft. Continue reading “Remember the McMansion? Now We Need to Resist the McLoft”

My Dream Wedding

dream wedding
Wouldn’t life just be simpler if we all got married on makeshift boats on the bayou? Source

I don’t think I’ve made it super public on the blog yet, but I’m engaged! I hope to still be engaged by the end of the article as well haha. We’re very excited, and I’ve mentally moved on from proposal planning to wedding planning. I’m learning more about decorations, venues, catering charges, and set up and tear down rules than I’ve ever cared to imagine. For that reason, I wanted to make one futile act of resistance against the wedding industrial complex fueled with the gasoline of Pinterest. Here’s my dream wedding. If you think I’m nuts or can one up my dreams with how you handled yours, let us know in the comments. Continue reading “My Dream Wedding”

This is How to Spot a Student Loan Scam

spot a student loan scam

Check out this guest post from my business website, Student Loan Planner, on the horrible scams going on in the student loan industry.

I found the picture above by searching “student loan advisor” on craigslist job boards. The firm that listed the post was hiring “CLOSERS ONLY.” There are so many dishonest businesses out there in this industry, I’m going to teach you how to spot a student loan scam. Unfortunately, the scum of the earth have moved out of the no income no job no assets mortgage business into the student loan consolidation business. If you’ve ever seen “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” or “Secret Government Student Loan Program,” you’ve witnessed these scammers in action. Here’s how to watch out for them, and how to know that I’m not one of them. Continue reading “This is How to Spot a Student Loan Scam”

Make a Difference, Volunteer with Junior Achievement

volunteer with junior achievementI’m currently living in St. Louis, Missouri, home to an incredible startup community that helped create my shockingly successful student loan business. Real talk: it’s also home to some of the greatest socioeconomic and racial inequalities anywhere in the country. I realized that I needed to do something more than just write articles to help people learn about personal finance. Many of the young, mostly white professionals we met in St. Louis told us never to venture into the North part of the city above Delmar Boulevard. After hearing that, I decided that was the most important place to help. I challenge my fellow bloggers and anyone who has received financial education through Millennial Moola to give back and volunteer with Junior Achievement.  Continue reading “Make a Difference, Volunteer with Junior Achievement”

It’s Time to Apply For A New Job, Even if You’re Happy

time to look for a new jobI want to comment on a widespread phenomenon I’ve seen among my friends. Some folks are perfectly content in their jobs, but they feel underpaid. Others stay at their employer because they’re afraid of looking elsewhere. Inertia is a powerful thing. I’m here to tell you that it’s time to apply for a new job, even if you’re happy. Continue reading “It’s Time to Apply For A New Job, Even if You’re Happy”

You’re a Heck of a Lot Richer than You Think

richer than you think
These workers are stoked to learn they only need $1,000 in the bank to be rich

I have some great news for you. If you’re saving responsibly and have an emergency fund of at least $1,000 in it, you’re a 1% er. No I’m not making that up. A study by GoBankingRates found that 50% of families making between $100,000 and $149,000 a year have less than $1,000 in the bank. A solid 18% of these families don’t even have anything in the bank. Keep reading because I’m about to massively boost your financial self-esteem from how many people suck at managing money. Continue reading “You’re a Heck of a Lot Richer than You Think”

State Taxes Should Make You Want to Max Your 401k

max your 401k
Keep the bear away from your wallet. Max your 401k

If you currently live in a high tax state like California, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, or Missouri, if you’ve looked at your paycheck you see a ton of taxes going to the state government. What are the chances you remain in that state at retirement? They’re probably pretty low given that the average person moves almost 12 times during their lifetimes. I suggest taking a look to see if your 401k is tax deductible from your state’s income tax. Most likely it is, and that means you should max your 401k right away if you can afford to.  Continue reading “State Taxes Should Make You Want to Max Your 401k”

What to Do When a Bunch of People Quit at Work

bunch of people quit at workOne of my close family members is dealing with a tough situation right now in her job. A bunch of people quit at work, and now she has to work investment banker hours since they are missing have the normal team size. I realized in watching her employer push her to accept double her normal shifts that employees just don’t realize the power they have. It’s time we turned the tables on the profit focused businesses and squeeze them when the balance is in favor of the employee.  Continue reading “What to Do When a Bunch of People Quit at Work”

Call Me Watson Guest Post on the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine

gender pay gap in medicine
To hospital administrators: She’s worth $1 million bucks.

Thinks are looking up here at Millennial Moola. The personal finance bloggers J. Money and Cait Flanders graciously put my free student loan spreadsheet on the front page of Rockstar Finance. And now, I’ve got a guest post on Call Me Watson, which is run by an amazingly impressive doctor. She writes about medicine, travel, pop culture, and life, and I also happen to be dating her (full disclosure). She just finished up her 11 years of medical education and recently moved into a full fledged attending physician position. I feel like I took a master’s course in physician compensation while watching her job search.

The various offers and interviews she had opened my eyes to the gender pay equity problem, especially as it exists in high level fields such as surgery. Based on my having a bird’s eye view of her experiences, I wanted to write a piece on what I noticed. I’m convinced we can remedy a large part of the physician gender pay gap by informing women how to negotiate and encourage them to push for what they’re worth. Unfortunately, no one teaches these skills in medical school.

CallMeWatson.com has great stuff, particularly for young women working in or around the medical field.

Here’s the guest post again. Please go on over and check it out!