27 and a PhD

Home » Grad school » Finances

Finances

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

Calendar

March 2015
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,635 other followers

Follow me

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Almost 6 years ago I wrote this. I’d just gotten my first paycheck as a postdoc and ran down a list of where money was being spent. My then boyfriend, now husband, found the blog (I still don’t remember or know how), and confronted me. We talked about debt and how deep in it I was (still am) and about forms of payment, etc.

Two years after that, I got my shiny new job in NYC. NYC was expensive (rent-wise). But I moved from Canada. My province (Ontario) had a tax of like 14%, so I was used of paying more for everything. NYC wasn’t such a harsh surprise, cost-wise, except for rent. But I was very lucky in that sense too. And even though I truly never lived alone, I never paid more than $950 in rent for a room, and got to live in pretty convenient places with pretty nice people (I was very lucky and never got crazy roommates like Chandler).

At the end of my PhD, I was making ~23k. During my postdoc I made ~38k. In NYC I was making ~55k. And now I’m making ~60K. My salary has gone up slowly but steadily. And I hope that if I’m fortunate enough to leave my lab for something better, I’ll be in the 70k range.

You may also remember how, right after taking my shiny new job in NYC, I was surprised by the news that a family member had defaulted on his payments to a loan I’d co-signed. For $50k. Yeah, I almost threw up then and still feel queasy thinking about it.

Long story short, since late 2011 I’ve been dumping $ into these debts.

Today, I got my calculator and punched some numbers and concluded that, if I have a steady job for the next two years, right until December 2017, I should be debt-free. I’m also keeping my pen and ink pretty put and not signing on for new debt (or worse, signing any documents that make me liable for other people’s debt).

I’ve been very slow to erase debt. I could have been debt free much faster, like, this year I could have been debt free if I’d applied myself as far back as Canada. But I didn’t. And of course, I’m paying now in interest.

I hope this story shows some of the very real dangers of getting into debt, especially in academia. Take my advice, never sign up for anything that you sure don’t want to be help responsible for. Don’t let family or friends guilt-trip you. It’s not worth it.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Carolina says:

    Hi. I found your blog just today. I ended my PhD a year ago in Chile (sorry about my english), it has been a hard time, I reached your blog searching about post dissertation blues (I now hate everything about my PhD). I found yor blog really interesting and funny, I´m working as a research assisstant in a project in the same faculty, and I could not feel more identified about the think that you talk here. Seems that it is almost imposible to not adquire a debt while someone is in PhD, I only expect to be out of mine pretty soon. Wish me luck 🙂

  2. […] not shy about money. You can see how much I’ve written about money or salary related things here, here, here and here.  Not having to worry about money the way I was back in 2011 is yet one of […]

What's your take?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: