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How to stack the doe when you’re an intern

When I was younger. this was taboo. You pretended to be great at it, while not knowing very much. Yes… I am talking about personal finance.

Here’s what I wish I knew when I started off:

Personal finance is NOT about restrictions, it’s about living the life you dreamed of. The world tells you to sacrifice and live on ramen to do it right. Not true. You don’t have to penny pinch and save 50 cents on coffee. Wins come from making a few large decisions well.

So, you just finished your internship. What should you do with your new-found intern riches?

  1. Open an account at schwab, this is the best checking account. You will never have to pay for ATM fees on your many backpacking journeys. Put a chunk of cash from your riches here, and feel free to use it on whatever you want. You worked hard, treat yourself.
  2. Open an account on Betterment. Create 3 sub accounts. Emergency, Travel, {some-other-fun-thing-or-goal-here}. This will be your base. Distribute a sizable chunk of your riches in each of these three accounts.
  3. For each of those savings accounts, set up an automatic transfer. You can start with 10 dollars. The goal is to go through the process, and start automating your finances.

Now, once you save up about ~6 months worth of runway. Ping me for more information!


Q: I will make so much money when I start working, why do I need to focus on this now?

You will feel preeetty great with an emergency fund and a travel fund. These skills will transfer.

Q: Focusing on my profession is higher leverage then personal finance.

You’re right…sort of. These are three steps, and they’re easy to do. When you have an emergency fund, you will take more fun risks in your career. When you have a travel fund, you will have a lot of fun…traveling. Plus, when you end up going to YC (hopefully you ping me to invest :>) and IPO your startup, you’ll have the infrastructure in place to move that doe.

Q: That’s it…3 things? What about Benjamin Graham and tax-loss harvesting?

When you do those 3 things, and they work out, you’ll have a lot more natural motivation to learn. Anything more is useless right now. Plus you’re right, that focusing on your friendships, work ethic, and adventure is higher leverage. I am obligated to say though, that I stole the roots of my personal finance philosophy from Ramit Sethi’s I will teach you to be rich. If you have the extra time it’s a good book to give a read. In the middle of your YC-application, or your Facebook takeover, I can give you more ideas though!

Q: Stack the doe?

Tryin to be cool here, it’s like the word bet, but for personal finance

Thoughts? Reach out to me via twitter or email : )