In this episode, Emily interviews Dr. Ian Gutierrez, a PhD in clinical psychology and former union leader at the University of Connecticut. While in graduate school, Ian served on the bargaining committee for the newly formed graduate student union, and viewed a higher income as the solution to his personal finance challenges. During his internship year, despite earning about what he had as a graduate student, Ian challenged himself to live within his means and pay down his previously accumulated debt and in the process reformed his practice financial attitudes and practices. At the end of the episode, Ian and Emily discuss the importance of both advocating for economic justice and, to the extent possible, having good personal finance practices.
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00:00 Ian: It was about at that time when all of the failings of my financial planning became extremely evident. Suddenly I realized that I had to live within my means, which was sort of embarrassing to say 29 or 30 year old.
00:23 Emily: Welcome to the Personal Finance for PhDs podcast, a higher education in personal finance. I’m your host, Dr. Emily Roberts. This is season six, episode four, and today my guest is Dr. Ian Gutierrez, a PhD in clinical psychology and former union leader at the university of Connecticut. While in graduate school, Ian served on the bargaining committee for the newly formed graduate student union and viewed a higher income as a solution to his personal finance challenges. During his internship year, despite earning about what he had as a graduate student, Ian challenged himself to live within his means and pay down his previously accumulated debt. And in the process reformed his financial attitudes and practices. At the end of the episode, Ian and I discuss the importance of both advocating for economic justice, and, to the extent possible, having good personal finance practices. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Dr. Ian Gutierrez.
Would You Please Introduce Yourself Further?
01:23 Emily: I have joining me on the podcast today, Dr. Ian Gutierrez, and Ian and I first connected actually when I was looking for guests for my “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” episode that came out season five, episode two. That was the one that was a compilation episode, with a lot of people and had a couple of guests talking about unions. Ian and I connected and we had such a great conversation that I was like, “Can we just have a whole episode, just your own interview instead of trying to cram all you have to say into just this little tiny spot. So that’s how this episode came about. So Ian, will you please introduce yourself a little bit further to the audience?
02:01 Ian: Sure. Well, first of all, thank you for having me on the podcast. This is very exciting for me. My name is Ian Gutierrez. I have a BFA from New York University in recorded music, which was actually my first love. And then I got my Master’s degree in psychology from the New School, prior to becoming a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut, where I was enrolled from 2012 to 2018 when I defended my dissertation. So I now hold a PhD in clinical psychology from UConn. Shortly following the completion of my clinical training at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, I was very briefly a postdoctoral fellow at the Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. And I am currently a research psychologist with Tech Works LLC in the Washington DC area, where I conduct psychological research on mental health and resilience in support of our nation’s service members.
The Intricacies of Unionization for Graduate Employees
03:03 Emily: It sounds like a fascinating career path, something that would be great to explore at another time, but we’re actually going to go back to your graduate school days at UConn. And of course you were involved at that time with the union. Can you talk a little bit about what the climate was UConn at that time and why you got involved with the union movement?
Impetus for the Union
03:22 Ian: Sure, absolutely. I would actually say, first and foremost that it was one of the best parts of my graduate school experience was being involved with the graduate student unionizing effort. I often tell people that the experience that I had negotiating our first contract after we unionized was one of the best classes I ever took in graduate school. I first got involved with the unionizing effort in 2013. I was serving on our university’s graduate student government, and at the time the university was moving, or attempting to move graduate students over from a state-based employee health insurance plan into a student health insurance plan. Some people call it a SHIP. And bottom line was that we were getting worse health coverage for a higher price. Within the graduate student government we tried to advocate as best we could, but parallel to that, a number of other students thought that maybe unionizing was the way to go.
04:37 Ian: Now, personally, I grew up in a union family. All of my parents are union members in the theater business, actually. So that naturally struck me as the far more effective way to go about advocating for what we needed. I joined the organizing committee for our nascent union at the time and we, after interviewing a number of international unions, where you talk to the Communication Workers of America, Service Employees International Union, AFT, the American Federation of Teachers, we ultimately decided to organized with the United Auto Workers, which had had a lot of success in the area, unionizing graduate students, for instance, just up the road at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. So we organized our union in 2013 we ran a membership drive, a card counting campaign, to get legal recognition for our union, and that it was a very successful campaign. Very exciting. The state of Connecticut recognized our union in April of 2014, and from that point we moved into the bargaining process with the university administration. At that point, ran to be one of the six members of the bargaining committee, and then over the course of the following year from starting about August of 2014, up until June of 2015, we met with the university administration, I don’t remember exactly, a dozen times, maybe more, as we negotiated our first contract. We were fortunate enough to successfully negotiate our first contract with the union in 2015.
Issues at Play in Union Negotiations
06:29 Emily: Thank you so much for giving that context. I’m wondering when you, when you went into negotiate that first contract, was it mainly the health insurance issue that you all were focusing on, or were there some other issues that also came into play?
06:42 Ian: When we went into negotiating our contract with the administration, of course health insurance was a major issue for graduate students. Of course, it wasn’t the only one. I think actually the university was quite surprised by the litany of issues that we brought up and the many things that we wanted to negotiate over. Healthcare, in the end, turned out to be a remarkably, I won’t go so far as to say easy, but there was a very equitable solution that we were able to come to. In this particular case, the state of Connecticut had what they called the Connecticut Partnership Plan, where the state would work with local governments to work out affordable health care plans for local employees, and so that provided a very nice rubric that could be applied to graduate employees at the university.
07:39 Ian: But that was again, not the only issue that we covered. I think the biggest issues that really came up for us were fee waivers, and then a lot of the rights and protections for the union itself. One of the major differences from being a graduate employee who’s not unionized to being graduate employee who is unionized is that there’s a clear grievance procedure, which in my opinion is actually one of the strongest components, one of the most important components of being unionized as an employee anywhere, is that there’s some kind of legal recourse when something comes up in the workplace, and there’s very clear rules about who to go to, who to raise the issue with, and how the difference can be resolved.
08:34 Ian: But second to that, of course money talks, right? Fee waivers for us was, I very clearly remember, was sort of the last issue that we negotiated over it at some great length and turned out to be the hardest thing for us to come to an agreement on. We ended up coming to a resolution where, what the university called it’s infrastructure fee, which was a $460 per year fee, ended up being waived for graduate assistants. And then the university provided GAs with a hundred dollar credit every year, that ramped up by a few dollars over the course of the contract, to help offset the cost of fees. So those were some of the major issues that came up. I think that barely scratches the surface and certainly we could talk for a long time about the, the 30 to 40 provisions in the contract, but healthcare, tuition and fees, and a grievance procedure where, I think, some of the biggest issues that we really cared about.
09:45 Emily: Yeah, I think all of those are also really common ones to come up in these negotiations across many universities. And I really appreciate your point about the grievance procedure being one of the most important components because it is like the wild west out there in academia. I mean, there’s all these power structures and imbalances and just lack of clarity, and so that actually sounds really great that you would have that in place after that point. Something I wanted to ask you about is from your position at the bargaining table, how did you come to understand that the university, or at least that university, that administration, the people who you were talking with, how did you understand that they viewed graduate students and especially around their financial issues?
Grad Students vs. the Administration
10:27 Ian: Yeah, really interesting question. That to me was one of the more shocking components of the experience. You know, university administrators talk a lot about how important students are to the university, and will say things about how the student body is the lifeblood of the university and the reason that it exists, of course, and there’s a whole political rhetoric around the way in which administrators talk about students. And I think a lot of that comes primarily from their dealings, especially with undergrad, what the undergraduate population, where things are a little bit cleaner. Undergraduates are the public consumers of the education that the university is providing. And they also make up the majority of the student body at almost almost any university.
11:20 Ian: With graduate students, it’s a little bit more complicated because on the one hand graduate students are students. We are receiving an education, but in our roles as research assistants, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, generally, we’re also employees. So things get a lot murkier there and they’re very comfortable talking about us as students. They’re much less comfortable talking about us as employees and at the bargaining table where we’re really presenting fully and in that context only as employees, a lot of that kumbaya rhetoric about us being students really falls away remarkably quickly.
12:03 Ian: At the same time there’s a lot of nostalgia that comes up for a lot of these administrators because most of them, not all of them, but most of them, were graduate students at one point, too, but a lot of their touchstones to what the graduate student experience was like, is what it was like in the sixties, seventies, the eighties, the nineties. And they were looking at a much different financial picture then, than graduate students are looking at now. Not only that, but the demographic of graduate students has in many cases shifted pretty dramatically as well. So it’s not like you’re getting…I mean, who’s ever heard, nowadays of somebody getting out of school through PhD at the age of 24 or 25. Impossible? No, but pretty rare. A lot of folks are getting their PhDs, I know at least in clinical psychology, the average age is about 31. So we’re talking about folks who might already have kids, maybe elderly parents to care for, potentially. Possibly chronic health problems.
13:08 Ian: We’re looking at a much different, a much more complicated picture of who we are, and for the administrators to come to the table and understand who we are, I think was a leap for them, in as much, to be perfectly frank as it was for us to understand the complicated financial picture that the university has to deal with. And I want to be clear in saying that, well certainly there are many acrimonious relationships between graduate employees and administrators at many institutions. I actually came away from the process being more proud of being a graduate of the University of Connecticut, because I think that, while we didn’t always see eye to eye, the administration was really fair in their dealings with us, and I think that we returned that to them in kind. It was certainly a learning experience for us, and I like to think of what’s a learning experience for them as well.
14:11 Emily: So fascinating. Thank you so much for adding that. And I am glad to hear that it wasn’t totally an adversarial relationship there at the table. I actually thought you might’ve been going in a little bit of a different direction when you mentioned the shifting demographics of current graduate students versus maybe some decades ago. Because I’m thinking about more like first generation students getting to graduate school and earning their PhDs. Also people who don’t necessarily come from families that can provide them financial support in the case of an emergency or just on an ongoing basis. I don’t know the stats on this, but I would assume that’s more common now than it was some decades ago, as you know, diversified who’s earning a PhD, which is a great thing, but it certainly comes with different sets of issues and problems then maybe people who got their PhDs some decades ago were facing
14:59 Ian: Just to jump in on that point, I think it’s also really important and one of the other really key components of what makes me proud to have been a part of that union too, was the union’s strong focus on diversity and representation. I understand full well that as a white man, receiving a PhD at a university that I come to the table with a lot of privilege and a voice that some other people might not have. But one of the things that really struck me in the way that our union organized is that the people who in my personal view really made it happen were the student employees of color, and the women who were in our organizing campaign. And it was really actually two women in particular who really made our union possible, and in many ways, to the extent that I was a part of it, I think I sort of rode on their coattails. And when we were negotiating at the table, equal protection policies for our students who might have green cards, or students of color, making sure that there was bathroom access for the trans community at the university — all of these things were a very large component of what our union was about. And I’m very proud of that.
16:35 Emily: Hey, social distancers, Emily here. I hope you’re doing okay. It took a few weeks, but I think I have my bearings about me in my new normal. There is a lot of uncertainty and fear right now about our public and personal health and our economy. I would like to help you feel more secure in your personal finances and plan and prepare for whatever financial future may come. You can schedule a free 15 minute call with me at PFforPhDs.com/coaching to determine if financial coaching with me is right for you at this time, I hope you will reach out, if only to speak with someone new for a few minutes. Take care. Now back to our interview.
Personal Finances in Grad School in Relation to Unionization
17:21 Emily: Okay, so you’re in graduate school, you’re at the bargaining table, you’re working for better benefits, better processes, higher stipends, fee waivers and so forth. That’s one aspect of personal finance, right? What income is coming in, what your benefits are and so forth. What was going on with you? How were you handling the money that you actually received at that time?
17:43 Ian: Oh man. I would say that despite my heavy involvement in the union, I would mostly describe my practice for personal finance in graduate school as primarily relying on some degree of magical thinking. I didn’t really have a theory of the case regarding my personal finances really in any sense. I had a big picture sense that “more money, good, less money, bad,” but I never had any kind of robust plan on how I was going to move away from debt and towards wealth. I think the implicit thought process that I had was, well, I’m a graduate student and I’m poor and I’m in debt now, and somehow it all kind of come out in the wash after I get my degree and get a real job.
18:40 Emily: I think that’s super common. That sentiment is everywhere in graduate training.
18:47 Ian: And for me, even thinking about personal finances, a component of my life was…I engaged in a lot of avoidance around my own money management. And I think, as I have read into more financial guidance, you know, your Dave Ramsey or your Suze Orman’s or whoever — where do they start? They always start with, in a budget you want to first take a look at how much money you think you have coming in every month. Well, personally, speaking personally about my family background, my family worked in theater and even though you might be a part of a union, how much money you’re making in a month, you don’t know how much money you’re necessarily making in the next week or two weeks. You don’t know when your paycheck is coming and when it comes, you don’t necessarily have the best idea of how large it’s going to be. I never really had a financial budget education from my family background. But then sort of even more strikingly, I never had it in high school. I never had it in college. I never had it in graduate school. I just never had it, which, for being a pretty well educated person, still kind of leaves me. floored. Talking about money, it was almost like talking about sex. It was like everywhere and defining the culture, but you couldn’t actually get a grasp on what was going on.
20:34 Emily: That’s a great analogy.
20:34 Ian: Really striking. I think it really is because money is so personal and it’s such a component of who we are that we all have a lot of the feelings — good, bad, otherwise — around what it says about who we are and our understanding of what our life is and where our lives are going. Long story short, I just really engaged in a lot of avoidance around it, and I also think that part of the way that my own income from graduate school was structured led me into some poor practices as well. For one example, I received half of my income from a GA stipend that I received every two weeks, like a paycheck, but then the other part of my income I received from a fellowship check, which came in these two big checks every year. What it sort of led me to believe was that, well, as an adult, twice a year, you’re just going to received this huge windfall, so I can just spend up a lot of money on a credit card, and, well, no big deal because I’m going to get this big windfall every August and every January. Come to find out, at the end of this golden brick road, that’s actually not what happens in the course of typical adult living. Suddenly, after graduate school, I had this student debt and the cavalry’s not charging over the hill anymore.
22:18 Emily: That’s so interesting. I haven’t interviewed anyone before who’s spoken about the pay frequency, which I mean what you described as maybe a little bit unusual, but there’s plenty of people who deal with a couple of times per year, big checks coming in, or maybe just a pay frequency that they were unfamiliar with, like monthly instead of biweekly, or just any kind of shift. It’s interesting just to hear how that impacted actually the way that you handled your money. Of course there are many budgeting techniques to deal with this and that’s a conversation with me for another time. But I’m really curious now to hear about what actually caused you to change these attitudes in this behavior. Was it getting out of graduate school and realizing that you had a steady paycheck and it wasn’t ever going to be these windfalls? What was your motivation to start exploring the subject area?
23:05 Ian: Well, the one thing that I did decide, and this is a little bit particular to the way that graduate education is structured in clinical psychology, is that if you’re pursuing a doctorate in clinical or counseling or school psychology, you have to complete a year long internship. Most people move for this year long internship and the internship pays a stipend that is roughly similar to what you would get paid as a graduate assistant, depending on locale. It’s anywhere from $20 to $30 grand a year. When I made this move, I knew that I wasn’t going to be enrolled in enough course credits to access loans and I can either fork up a bunch of money to take on six credit hours or whatever it was, so that I could have access to student loans, or I could not sign up for those credit hours and not be eligible for loans.
24:03 Ian: I chose to not sign up for the credit hours and not be eligible for loans. I sort of took the cold turkey approach to student loans. And it was about at that time when all of the failings of my financial planning became extremely evident, because now I wasn’t receiving my windfall fellowship twice a year and I had cut myself off from student loans and a lot of my credit card balances were fairly high. Suddenly I realized that I had to live within my means, which is sort of embarrassing to say as a 29 or 30 year old, but that’s part of the reason I’m here on the podcast saying it, is because I know that my assumption in life is that if it’s affecting me, it’s probably affecting someone else. I can only imagine that there is a silent, I don’t know that it’s a majority, but a silent plurality, of current or former graduate students out there who have also suddenly realized at the ripe age of 30, that they know nothing about financial planning, have been behaving, you know, somewhat irresponsibly, and now they’re in a bad situation.
25:26 Ian: I never really took myself as someone who lived wildly outside of my means. I bought and paid off and used car and sure, my wife and I would go out dinner from time to time, but I wasn’t living the high life by any stretch of the imagination. And yet still, after all of that, I realized that I just didn’t have any scheme for how I was going to manage any of this. To keep on with the language of addiction, and there’s certainly many parallels to be drawn between credit cards and addiction, to be sure, I had sort of hit a rock bottom, where I suddenly realized that I need to come up with a plan, not only so I can pay this stuff off, but so that I can build and save for the future.
26:20 Emily: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing that because I think you’re absolutely right that many people are waking up at some time or another to realize that in the same way that you did. So first of all, average American kind of thing, a lot of people don’t live within their means or they do in some aspects of their budgeting and they don’t in other. Like they are racking up credit card debt and then occasionally will pay it down, and there’s this cycle there. That’s pretty common. But I think that the graduate student experience sort of exacerbates that mentality. I think academia tells us that well, while you’re a graduate student, even to some extent while you’re a postdoc, you’re excused from the general financial responsibility that you might feel at another stage or at another time in life because well, you know that your pay is going to be low and so what expectations can you really have of yourself when your pay is so low. That’s one aspect of it. The other one is, as you mentioned, the access to student loans, which I think that if people aren’t necessarily using them, they may kind of forget that they do have access to them all the way through graduate school really. But it is there as a backstop, as a good decision or as a bad decision to take it out. You really are given an out all through graduate school that you don’t have to live within your means, unless you choose to, because the culture is telling you you don’t have to do, you have student loans there if you need to take them out. It kind of just contributes to that overall problems. I definitely don’t think you are at all alone.
27:46 Emily: I really think about myself going into graduate school. I very intentionally told myself I’m going to live within my means. And I actually thought about it that way at that time, for various reasons. But that was partially because I had a break between undergrad and grad school, where I had to live within my means. I didn’t have access to student loans, and so it was like, okay, I’m just going to carry forward into my graduate degree with what I learned when I was out of school. But if you don’t have the same attitudes that I do or didn’t have exposure to the same stuff, or you went continuously from college to graduate school, you may not have had the wherewithal to even think about it that way.
Personal Finances After Grad School
28:22 Emily: Okay, you’re getting into your internship year, you don’t have access to the loans, you have the high credit card balances, you’re realizing you actually have to live within the paycheck — what did you do? How did the story evolve?
28:36 Ian: Well, let’s see. I would say that I didn’t start by coping with it in a very…I mean, despite my training in clinical psychology, I want to say that I dealt with it like in a very logical or sensible way. I think mostly I felt terrified, and then anxious, and then afraid, and then hopeless, and then angry, and I cycled through all of this stuff. That was my first reaction, and of course none of that was really particularly helpful. Eventually, I took out a Dave Ramsey book from the library. And I would say that I have mixed feelings about his guidance. I certainly have mixed feelings about prosperity gospel, for sure. But I think the basics, like the super, super basics of what he, or I mean really anyone — him, or Suze Orman, Gaby Dunn — any of these folks out out there, is that the 101 clearly gets you on the right path of figuring out how much money you have coming in every month, determining your expenses, and figuring out what you need to do to balance that equation. There were some other components that I found particularly helpful, where my feeling was, I had heard about this thing called debt snowballing with credit cards and I knew that I wanted to do that, but reading, at least based on Dave Ramsey’s recommendation, that if your finances are really a hotness, which that’s me, the first thing you want to do is save $1000. Save enough money so you have some kind of stop gap if car breaks or unexpected medical bill or what have you.
30:41 Ian: I think that’s what really got me started with it, but I do also want to say that what also got me started with it was after graduate school, having an income that gave me enough hope that I could pay down some of these debts, which I think brings me sort of full circle to a point of balance in my own way of thinking about finances, where I personally believe that true financial responsibility is not just about managing your own finances, but also advocating for greater economic justice. That they’re not separate. Blaming all of your financial problems on the world and the way it is, is not the healthiest way to look at things. Viewing your finances as a personal responsibility that you, yourself need to carry like Atlas to the end of time, come hell or high water, no matter what else is going on out in the world, I also don’t think it’s particularly healthy.
31:52 Ian: There needs to be a balance where we can say to ourselves that the world can be a cruel and unfair place. We have to do whatever it is that we can to live a financially healthy life now, while advocating and fighting for a better future for ourselves and for our children. Even in sort of tying it back to my time in the graduate students union, if I have two legacies that that I left at university of Connecticut, one is my dissertation, which is going to metaphorically collect dust on a server, because the likelihood that anybody will read it except for figuring out how to format own dissertation is pretty low. But the legacy of knowing that we have left, that I and all of the other students who worked together, hand-in-hand, to create a union so that future students could have a more prosperous future while they were in graduate school, that’s something that I can really look back on with pride. I think coming to that sort of healthy balance for me is where I’m currently at in my own thinking about financial health.
33:15 Emily: Yeah, thank you so much for that articulation, that was absolutely fascinating. And I think I also am going on a similar journey to come to the same place, but starting from the opposite side of, okay, just keep your head down, focus on your own business, and not necessarily look up at the wider picture as much. I’m sort of emerging from that viewpoint. Thanks to a lot of these interviews that I’m doing through the podcast, it’s been really a big growth experience for me.
33:45 Emily: What I wanted to ask you about though is in coming to that healthy place of being able to do both of these things, what you think about the idea of the necessity of having your own personal finances in the best shape that they can be in as enabling you to go out and do that good work in the world and advocate for others. I won’t say it’s impossible to do the latter without the former, but I think if you come from an area of personal strength, that it just further enables you to do that work. What do you think about that?
34:17 Ian: I like that idea. I think it resonates with this idea that to help others you need to help yourself, like on the airplane where you’ve got to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help somebody who’s sitting next to you. I think that that can be true. I don’t think that one needs to preceed the other, however. I think that it’s important that we have a broader conversation, both within higher education, but within society as a whole, about the relationship between economic justice and the economic structures that we’re embedded in, and our own personal financial health. I think, actually, that unions could be a really nice and really good nexus at which students can find that, because at least to me, if a university administrator who’s making $200,000, $300,000 a year comes and lectures me about financial responsibility, my response is not going to be, Thank you, I appreciate that. As a graduate student, my response to that would be, go take a hike, to put it politely.
35:46 Ian: However, I think if unions can sell this idea that a stronger union, a more just economic society is one in which its advocates and its members and its stakeholders are able to responsibly manage their own finances, I think that’s really important. While, at the same time recognizing that there are some situations in which financial responsibility is not itself always the primary problem for someone who’s having financial difficulties. A few examples that come to mind are if you have a child or a loved one or yourself who has had a severe medical emergency and suddenly you have a six figure bill put on your doorstep, the problem there is our healthcare system, and not necessarily how you’ve managed your own money. Of course you still have to come up with a solution and that’s important, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture.
36:59 Ian: I think it’s also important that we recognize the impact that mental health can have on a person’s finances. While I was in graduate school, one of the things that I studied was gambling disorder, for instance. The processes that underly gambling disorders, I mean, I’m sure there are graduate students out there who have issues with gambling, but sort of more broadly just than gambling, if you think about shopping addiction, any kind of mental health problem that might lead to episodes of irresponsible financial behavior. Bipolar disorder would be another one that would fall very neatly in that category. We have to make enough room within our economic justice advocacy to recognize that there are people for whom their financial problems are not primarily caused by a lack of what you might call personal responsibility. I think we can come at it from both directions, but part of getting folks who are able to be financially responsible, to be financially responsible is to have the right vehicle for learning about that, that says the world can be a terrible and unfair place, but in light of that, in recognition of that, let’s help give you the skills to thrive to the best of your ability, financially, in spite of that adversity.
Best Financial Advice for Graduate Students and PhDs
38:27 Emily: I’m so glad you put that in the larger context. I’m really glad that we took the time for that. So as we wrap up the interview, what is your best financial advice for maybe a graduate student or another early career PhD, perhaps something that you’ve learned, post this transformation after you’ve reformed your own practice of personal finance?
38:50 Ian: Sure. I would say that I have three small pieces of advice. The first is keep track of everything that you spend. And this is just personally, I think if you keep track of every little thing you spend, you really understand where your money is going, and it starts to sort of become like a fun game of saving money, where you can go “Oh, well, you know, I could spend, you know, $4 at Starbucks or I could buy a bag of beans and make a cup of coffee at home for 25 cents.” That’s sort of my simple suggestion.
39:29 Ian: Number two is forgive yourself and it’s never too soon to start. Again, sort of having worked in the world of recovery, it’s never too soon to start. Whether you’re 22 and just thinking about graduate school or whether you had gone back to graduate school and you’re 37 and you have two or three kids and you’ve never really seriously considered how to build wealth, it’s never too soon to start.
40:07 Ian: And then number three, my final point would be make economic justice advocacy a core component of your own financial responsibility. Really own the idea in your heart, that taking care of others is taking care of yourself, and taking care of yourself is taking care of others. And in that spirit, hopefully, all of us can create a more economically just life for graduate students in higher education and more broadly, in society at large.
40:45 Emily: Thank you so much Ian. I’m so glad to learn from you and to have your perspective here on the podcast. So thank you so much for giving this interview.
40:53 Ian: Thank you so much. If you would like to, you can follow me on Twitter at @ianagutierrez and it’s been a real pleasure to be here.
41:02 Emily: Listeners, thank you for joining me for this episode. PFforPhDs.com/podcast is the hub for the personal finance for PhDs podcast. There you can find links to all the episode show notes, and a form to volunteer to be interviewed. I’d love for you to check it out and get more involved. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please consider joining my mailing list for my behind the scenes commentary about each episode. Register at PFforPhDs.com/subscribe. See you in the next episode, and remember, you don’t have to have a PhD to succeed with personal finance, but it helps. The music is stages of awakening by Poddington Bear from the Free Music Archive and is shared under CC by NC podcast editing and show notes creation by Lourdes Bobbio.