I am a 20-something attorney, immigrant, fiance, debtor, saver, fur parent, traveler and food lover.
I was born in South Korea, but grew up in Russia, Mexico and Guatemala and came to the States for college. My family was financially successful growing up. My parents worked hard and provided my brother and I anything/everything we could want. My parents paid for my undergrad tuition and were paying my way into law school. About my 2nd year into law school, however, our financial reality came to head. The recession and ill-timed health issues forced my parents to rid of their business. They were no longer able to provide any financial support whatsoever.
I was left as an international student, paying tuition for grad school, unable to work outside the school (without a employment authorization). This wouldn’t have been so difficult or unusual had I learned that money does not grow on trees earlier in life. With a few part-time jobs, student loans, and credit card debt, I was able to graduate law school and pass the bar exam.
I share my life with another attorney. We love the life we have built, but combined we have plenty student debt. The first look at the amount of money we owed was vomit-inducing. We now, however, have been approaching this as a challenge and will one day take great pride (and drink a GREAT beer) in celebrating and enjoying the journey that brought us to living a financially free life.