Friday, March 18, 2011


I have a confession to make:     I am obsessed with personal finance!

I love finding good deals, freebies and getting discounts whenever possible. I have found every website known to manking where I can get tons of coupons, freebies and goodies by signing up for various different programs. I even had a sorority in college pay me money to take a bunch of the girls around the garment district in Los Angeles in a chevy suburban to help them find great deals. 
To all you law graduates (or any graduate) who are drowning in student loans, you have to realize the reality of the situation.
You have NON dischargeable student debt. You may have six figures in student loans. The job market sucks and there are no jobs in this horrible economy.
Your loans ARE NOT going to magically disappear AND you have to pay back every penny you took out.
Look, I know it sucks that many people got screwed. Everyone believed false employment statistics based on bogus salary information and job placement rates. Many of you were misled into thinking that you would have a job and be able to pay back your debt. However, what’s done is done. We can all sit around and bitch about how we can’t pay back our debt, or we can do something about it. In my humble opinion, everyone who has massive student loans must work to cut all of their every day basic expenses in order to have more money to pay off student debt. I know living in big urban areas, such as NYC, Chicago, SF, LA, DC, and Boston is not cheap. However, with a little creativity and effort, you can make it happen. You don’t have to live in the richest parts of town or have a fancy lifestyle, but you can find everything you NEED when you don’t have a lot of money.   I am just a poor paralegal and not a JD, but if I can do it, so can you!
I am on 347 money saving websites
I get 120 free samples a month
I get dry cleaning for $.99 each clothing item
I get oil changes for $8.00
I get free appetizers for different restaurants each week
I have listed below some of the best websites to find great stuff at discount prices or for free on the web.  These will help you find cheap deals and allow you to save more of your income to pay off your student debt.  I have always been good at scoping out deals, so I decided to use my knowledge to help others who aren't as fortunate.  Take a look at the websites and see if they can help you out!
     Before you set sail on the seas of savings, you must do the following…
1.)    Create a new e mail account. You will be bombarded with tons of e mail and you don’t want it to get mixed in with your job search, potential employers and professional contacts.
2.)     Don’t use your real phone number. Use a second line or leave it blank when you fill out forms because you don’t want people calling you 24/7
3.)    Realize that I am NOT going to guarantee you anything, but these sites have helped me tremendously. They may or may not work for you, but I have seen every spam and scam website out there, and I thought these were pretty useful websites.
4.)    Always consult with a professional before making any personal, professional or financial decision.


Find free wireless internet service wherever you are located! This is a great website to visit when you are in a remote area, traveling, or you are using your laptop in public!
Chegg is a great website that allows users to rent textbooks intead of purchasing them. Many students buy textbooks for $100-200 dollars and end up selling them after the semester is over. They sell them for a price that is much less than what they originally paid. Many sell their books for 70% or more off the original price they paid. Buying textbooks can be ridiculously expensive. Use Chegg to rent textbooks and return them after the class is over.
Deal news is a great website for comparing prices of different products on the web. It also works as a search engine and it highlights the lowest price possible the site can find on the internet. It’s awesome! It compares prices for you and even tells you which deals are “hot” by a hotness factor.

Currentcodes is a great website to find discount coupon codes for online retailers! Many retailers, including accept coupon codes to give their customers an additional rebate or discount on their purchase. This website is great because it gives you coupon codes that are current and that you can presently use. They update the site daily, so you can always find useful codes that aren’t expired!

Happy Birthday! Free Birthday Treats is a great website to visit to find out great places that give you FREE things on your birthday! They have an interactive guide that will show you places where you can get free food, clothes, desserts and gift items in different states across the country. Make sure you visit this site 1-2 days before your birthday and find out all the places where you can get free things.
You need to strategically maximize your birthday benefits:
Check this website before your birthday to find out where you can get a free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Find out where you can get free clothes, novelty items and gifts.
If your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, child or family member is having a birthday and you can’t afford to get them something, find out places where you can take them.  Even if you can’t afford much, try to get them something for free.

This is a great website to find out where to get more free things. However, IMHO the deals on this site are just “Ok”, and not as good as some others. If you subscribe, every day you may be able to find some free things and useful coupons to use.

Freecycle is a great website to find good quality free things. The whole concept of the website is to stop putting good useful things in the trash and if you have some older items that you don’t need any more, you can donate them in the network. They also have a “wanted” section where you can put something that you need badly. For example, if you need a new couch for your apartment, you can place an ad on the site. Maybe someone in your metro area has an older leather couch they don’t need any more. They can give it to you!
Freecycle is similar to the concept of Craigslist “Free” section, but you won’t attract a wider audience. The main advantage of Freecycle is that you may end up dealing with the same people for free stuff and it doesn’t attract as many “characters” as craigslist.  Check out the site and find reviews on the web to get more information about Freecycle.

Couch surfing is a great way for budget travelers to visit other cities, states and countries by staying with a friend on their “couch!” It is similar to Facebook, in that you have a profile and pictures. You can get reviews from friends and make new friends to visit and stay on their couch for the weekend. It’s a great way to explore new cities and travel if you can’t afford a hotel. You get to meet new people and have interesting experiences.
I enjoy this website, but you must read and agree to their terms of service. Everyone is making friends with other people, but make sure you make good friends and get references from other people before using this service. Always be cautious when staying with someone else or allowing someone to stay with you. Read the website for more details.

Find out current deals to get free shipping on all of your purchases, gifts and other items in your area.
A great website to find discount electronics, monitors, and computer supplies! It even has a rating by the Better Business Bureau.

This is a great website to find out free or discount medical and dental services in your area. They have programs available for those who qualify and want to receive very affordable health care treatments. They have links to different organizations, so find one in your area and see if they can help you!

Gasbuddy is a great website for finding cheap gas stations. With all the turmoil going on in Egypt, Libya and now in Japan, it seems as If oil prices are out of control. Many people are now paying around $4.00 a gallon for gas in their areas, and if you live in a city where there is no public transportation, it’s useful to use this site. Many cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Houston have the majority of people driving cars, instead of using public transportation. Find out ways to cut your driving costs if you drive a lot by using this site!
All-Free-Samples is a great website to find free samples on all sorts of goodies! They even have categories such as beauty products, health, baby, food and entertainment! This site has some good deals, but you won’t very many (if at all) restaurant coupons on here. It’s a good website to check once a week or so to find great free samples.
The Red Tape Chronicles is a news magazine run by , and it is a blog run by Bob Sullivan. It covers consumer fraud, warnings, and how to avoid getting ripped off! They have great articles and update information that every consumer should know. Many sleaze ball companies target young graduates who are naïve about personal finances, so this is a great place to read stories about how people try to scam to you. Protect yourself and make sure you bookmark The Red Tape Chronicles on MSNBC!

Stop rolling your eyes! Yes, everyone has heard of Ebay and many people buy and sell things all the time. However, I have found two items that are the best kept secrets on EBAY. If you really want to save money, I suggest you buy these items:

1.       Perfume/Cologne:    

Many people sell testers, lightly used bottles and half used bottles of your favorite perfume. They sell at much lower prices than full retail and it won’t break your bank! My favorite cologne sells for $150.00 at a high end department store. I bought the tester on Ebay for $39 bucks! There was no box or cap, but why pay for trash?

2.       Magazine Subscriptions:              

Many publishers have quotas they have to meet for advertising and so they sell their magazine subscriptions for very cheap on Ebay. I won 5 years of a popular men’s magazine for $2.00! Yes, you read right, I only paid 8 quarters for 60 issues of a popular men’s magazine. I bought my friend a women’s fashion magazine for $8.00 and it was 36 issues or 3 years! The regular subscription price was around 30 dollars.

The tip hero is a great website for getting all sorts of tips and useful information on saving money for a variety of things. It is not so much coupons as it is money saving tips.

Many people who receive gift cards don’t always use them up. Gift Card Granny is a great website that sells gift cards from people who have no use for them. For example, if a gift card to Macy’s is 100 dollars and someone doesn’t want it, they will sell it online. They will start an auction at a lower price and sell it to the highest bidder. Many times these cards sell for around 10-20% less than the actual value of the card.  I once bought a gift card to Saks for $77.00 and it was worth $98.00!

Move over great whites, Brads Deals is for the deal shark at heart! This is a great website and on the right side they have a “top rated” section where you can find the best online deals, discounts, coupon codes and freebies. This website is one of the best on the entire net for finding good deals. They even have a whole section dedicated to Black Friday during winter!

The ONLY legitimate website I found that allows you to get your free annual credit report run by a government clearinghouse. There are many bs sites out there that try to give you credit reports, but don’t be fooled! IMHO: THIS IS THE ONLY RELIABLE PLACE TO GET A FREE CREDIT REPORT!  They will give you credit reports form Transunion, Equifax and Experian. If you don’t believe me, go to any local government office and ask them where to get your free credit report. My guess is that they will direct you to this site!

This is a great GOVERNMENT RUN website to find out government benefits in your area. It has a list of all the government benefits programs they have available in different cities, states and for different people. Check their website and see if you qualify for any of their benefits or programs that can help you. Think of this service as an ROI on all the taxes you have paid over the years!

This is my favorite free sample website! You fill out your e mail address and then they send you an e mail every day in your inbox with 3-5 different free samples. You can click on each sample to have it sent to you, and it usually takes a couple of weeks in the mail or you can print them out immediately. You will find a variety of free samples on this site.
I have gotten free appetizers at Chili’s, food courts in the mall, and skin care samples from Lancome. to get free samples for baby products!  They are affiliated with and have great freebies they send you by e mail or in the mail. This is very useful if you are trying to cut child costs in this horrible recession! is a great place to find discounts for kids meals when you go out to eat. If you are a parent or a recent graduate taking care of younger siblings, this is a useful website. You can find places to get discounts, free meals, and lots of other cool stuff for kids when you eat out!
Take a look at those websites and see if they can help you get discounts, freebies, and lower your expenses. They have helped me a lot, and maybe they can help you as well. Everyone have a great weekend!

-The Poor Paralegal

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Direction with my Blog

I have been deeply depressed about the tsunami that has devastated Japan. When I saw that giant tsunami engulf all those cities on the Japanese coastline, it really broke my heart. So many people have died, many are missing and the rest are without basic necessities.

I recently got an e mail from a girl who asked me about good websites where she can to find discounts, free things and such. Earlier in my blog, I posted about how I am on 347 money saving websites for coupons, freebies and discounts. She had read my posts and asked me if I could give her some tips to save money. Her family is originally from Japan and she has so much student loan debt that is eating away at her monthly paycheck. She can't even afford to save up enough money to go back and see her family in Tokyo. She wanted to figure out ways to get discounts and free things, so she can spend less on everyday expenses to afford to visit her family back home. I e mailed her dozens of coupons and free things I get in my e mail every day.

I did some soul searching and I have come to realize that I am very blessed. God has given me the gift of being extremely passionate about personal finance. I love finding good deals, freebies and cheap things to help make life a little easier.

I read so many posts on these blogs about students who are drowning in debt, have massive student loans and who don't know what to do.

I have decided to move into a new direction with my blog. I will keep writing and focus on several issues.

1.  A paralegals perspective on the legal profession and current events in the law.

2.  Money savings tips, websites and useful information to help those with massive student debt.

3.  Useful new information, websites and things I find in my every day life to help broke professionals.

Stay updated on my blog, I will be writing useful new entries very soon!

-The Poor Paralegal

Friday, March 11, 2011

The State of Kansas Bans Gay Sex

I hope Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz isn't a lesbian!

In Topeka, lawmakers have decided to leave a law on the books in the state of Kansas that bans gay sex! The law that bans gay sex in Kansas will not be removed from the books. It seems as if Kansas wants keep the bill on the books that bans "Sexual acts" and it doesn't need to be repealed since this law isn't enforced! One government represenative even said that "The statute itself is unenforceable!" Let's hope that it will stay unenforceable, I don't want to think about how they would "enforce" these laws!

The Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth is known as the "Porn Capital of the world", since they film a lot of adult films in the valley. My guess is many gay and lesbian adult films will not be filled in the sunflower state anytime soon!

It will be interesting to see how this "banning gay sex law" will affect the tv stations throughout the state of Kansas! I just hope they don't cancel all the the funny gay and lesbian sitcoms such as Will & Grace, The Ellen Show, and especially The Family Guy.

-The Poor Paralegal

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is US NEWS & WORLD REPORT finally starting to realize that law schools mislead students?

Every year thousands of young wannabe lawyers take the LSAT and apply to the nearly 200 or more ABA approved law schools in hopes of becoming an attorney. Many of these young souls justify their six figure debt load and career aspirations based on the US News & World Report "Best Graduate Schools Rankings."

However, recently, even this magazine is beginning to realize that maybe the employment information that the law schools provide are not 100% accurate. They even published a new article U.S. News Urges Law School Deans to Improve Employment Data written by Bob Morse. This piece highlights the needs for more employment placement transparency by law schools. The article goes on to say that, 

    "In an effort to make our law school employment data more reflective of the current state of legal employment, U.S. News has modified how we calculate the employment rates that are used in the new law school rankings."

It seems as if US News is doing the right thing by making sure they publish accurate information so their readers are not misled by false promises in the legal profession!

-The Poor Paralegal

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



20.    Having a DUI can be very hard on your personal life. I am still on the 12 step program.

19.    You shouldn’t worry too much about products liability. Besides, in 10 years most of your    manufacturing will probably be outsourced to China.

18.  Trying to understand these discovery documents is worse than the reading comprehension questions on the LSAT.

17. Most of our clients in white collar criminal defense did not go to jail; they just retired and moved to the Cayman Islands.

16. Oh, you mean that bar. I’m sorry, I thought you were referring to the new hotspot in West Hollywood.

15.   This case will help me pay off a huge chunk of my student loans.

14.    I would tell you the answer now, but I need to bill another 100 hours this month if I want to get my annual bonus.

13.    You could have avoided this whole age discrimination lawsuit. You should have just bought some hair dye and gotten rid of that gray.

12.   What don’t you understand about a retainer fee? Did you think that it was something you pay your dentist?

11.   Not everyone in this profession is unethical, and I have a variety of friends. My best friends are Chiropractors and Mortgage brokers.

10.    You will be billed in 15 minute increments for every text message you send me.

9.     The last time I was in court, it was for traffic school.

8.     I’ve never actually practiced patent law before, but there is a first time for everything. Intellectual property or real property, everyone owns property!

7.     Neither you nor your spouse deserves custody of your child, but the kid has to stay with someone.

6.    I just realized something:  You graduated high school the same year I was born!

5.    Please calm down, there is no reason to yell and scream. I understand your frustrations, anger and that you don’t like dealing with anyone else in the firm. However, I am a paralegal and I can’t represent you in court. If you want this matter resolved, you have to see the Judge with one of our attorneys. I’m sorry, but that’s just the reality of the situation.

4.    As an immigration attorney, I am only fluent in two languages: English & spring break Spanish!

3.   Sure, the documents are valid. I got an A in contracts when I was in law school.

2.    As a bankruptcy attorney, I am a little concerned:   If you can’t pay off your creditors, how do I know you won’t pay me?

1.    This will be the hardest case of my career. It will be nearly impossible to prove the other party is at fault. Why would anyone try to sexually harass you?  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Young Adults are Unemployed

A recent article on a Seattle area news channel highlights the ugly realties for young adults in this "Great Recession." The unemployment problem for young adults has hit the state of Washington so hard, that in fact more than 22% of the people in the state ages 18-24 are unemployed. Many people are struggling to find any job that they can get, but it is not limited to young adults. 18 years or 80 years old, it seems as if no one can find a job these days!

- The Poor Paralegal

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Law School Article in the New York Times

After David Segal wrote Is Law School a Losing Game  in The New York Times, it was one of the most e mailed stories of the year. In fact, many people are interested in learning more about whether or not law school is worth it.

A new article just came out!

 Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software came out yesterday in The New York Times, and it raises some serious questions about the future of the legal profession.

Outsourcing, stream lining, and globalization is destroying the legal profession. Most of the higher end document review jobs are being outsourced to India and legal software has substantially lowered the demand for lawyers.

David H. Autor, an economics professor at MIT even goes on to say that the US economy is being "hollowed out."

If you want more information read the article for yourself!

-The Poor Paralegal

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Retired Lawyer Tries To Blow Up Wife's Lover

Retired Lawyer Tries To Blow Up Wife's Lover!

A retired lawyer in the midwest was very upset that his wife was having an affair with another man. He put an advertisement on craigslist for a mechanic or technician to help him build a bomb to send to his wife's lover. Apparently, he did not want any competition from another man engaging in extracurricular activities with his wife. He decided to take the matter into his own hands, and hire someone to make him a bomb.

Well, it looks like his plan bombed! His craigslist advertisement  was answered by a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. After he put his advertisement on the web, he was arrested by federal authorities. If you want more information, just read the the article itself.

I wonder where he got the idea to send his wife's lover a bomb? Maybe he is watching too much tv?
(see video above)

His wife's lover sounds like someone who has no shame or guilt for ruining other peoples lives. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a law school administrator or an employee of Sallie Mae!

-The Poor Paralegal

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Great Article from an Ivy League school

The Daily Pennsylvanian has published a  new article at the University of Pennsylvania about the truths of legal employment.

It is surprising that an ivy league university is taking a positive step towards giving accurate employment figures, when the T3/T4 toilet law schools tend to publish the most inaccurate and fraudulent employment information. The article describes how many  law schools are now using greater transparency to disclose the accurate employment information of recent graduates in full time, part time and non legal employment. Hopefully more law schools will follow and get rid of their misleading employment statistics.

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is now taking steps to make sure that potential law school students have a better understanding of what they are getting into before they take the LSAT and go to law school.

The word is getting out that law school isn't really worth it for most people, unless you attend one of the T14 elite institutions. Also, if you are a "pre law major" in some economically useless major (sorry to be so harsh), it is not too late to change your major to something more practical. The real world is not kind to liberal arts majors and If you don't believe me, then watch the video above.

-The Poor Paralegal