In this episode, Emily interviews Tram Pham, a 3rd-year PhD student in economics at Uppsala University in Sweden. Tram describes the financial aspect of her relationship with her boyfriend, Markus, from discussing money on their first date to how they structure their joint and separate accounts now that they live together. Even though Tram is the lower earner, she came into the relationship with savings and has guided Markus into starting to save for joint goals, such as emergencies, vacations, and gifts. She knows that her future in academia is likely to require flexibility, so she saves for the unknown. Tram and Markus have learned how to moderate one another’s natural saver/spender tendencies so that they both plan for their finances and live in the moment.
Links mentioned in the Episode
- PF for PhDs Tax Workshops (Sponsored)
- PF for PhDs Tax Workshops (Individual Purchase)
- PF for PhDs Subscribe to Mailing List
- PF for PhDs Podcast Hub
- Tram Pham Website
00:00 Tram: I try and always try to make our saving plans fun and interesting because for me, from the beginning, I’m more just focusing on saving, saving, saving, even though I don’t know what I’m saving for. And Markus is like focusing on living, living, living, just living at the moment. So right now we are trying at least to balance those things. Hey, I save, but also I don’t forget to live. And those savings will be spent on the things that I love to do or make my life more meaningful.
00:36 Emily: Welcome to the Personal Finance for PhDs Podcast: A Higher Education in Personal Finance. This podcast is for PhDs and PhDs-to-be who want to explore the hidden curriculum of finances to learn the best practices for money management, career advancement, and advocacy for yourself and others. I’m your host, Dr. Emily Roberts, a financial educator specializing in early-career PhDs and founder of Personal Finance for PhDs.
01:04 Emily: This is Season 17, Episode 4, and today my guest is Tram Pham, a 3rd-year PhD student in economics at Uppsala University in Sweden. Tram describes the financial aspect of her relationship with her boyfriend, Markus, from discussing money on their first date to how they structure their joint and separate accounts now that they live together. Even though Tram is the lower earner, she came into the relationship with savings and has guided Markus into starting to save for joint goals, such as emergencies, vacations, and gifts. She knows that her future in academia is likely to require flexibility, so she saves for the unknown. Tram and Markus have learned how to moderate one another’s natural saver/spender tendencies so that they both plan for their finances and live in the moment.
01:51 Emily: The tax year 2023 version of my tax return preparation workshop, How to Complete Your PhD Trainee Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!), is now available! This pre-recorded educational workshop explains how to identify, calculate, and report your higher education-related income and expenses on your federal tax return. Whether you are a graduate student, postdoc, or postbac, domestic or international, there is a version of this workshop designed just for you. While I do sell these workshops to individuals, I prefer to license them to universities so that the graduate students, postdocs, and postbacs can access them for free. Would you please reach out to your graduate school, graduate student government, postdoc office, international house, fellowship coordinator, etc. to request that they sponsor this workshop for you and your peers? You can find more information about licensing these workshops at P F f o r P h D s dot com slash tax dash workshops. Please pass that page on to the potential sponsor. Thank you so, so much for doing so! You can find the show notes for this episode at PFforPhDs.com/s17e4/. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Tram Pham.
Will You Please Introduce Yourself Further?
03:16 Emily: I am delighted to have joining me on the podcast today, Tram Pham. She is a therapist. third year PhD student at Uppsala University in Sweden, uh, in economics. And we are going to talk today about finances in a relationship. And this is going to be exciting because Tram and her partner do something very different than what I do and what I’ve covered on the podcast in the past. So I like this new perspective. So Tram, would you please introduce yourself a little bit further?
03:39 Tram: Thank you so much, Emily, for having me. Uh, I am Tram Pham, a PhD student. I am a student in economics at Uppsala University in Sweden, yeah, very far away. Uh, and, uh, I am doing research in labor and health economics. I am originally from Vietnam. Uh, as you said, currently I am staying with my boyfriend partner in Stockholm in Sweden.
04:05 Emily: Excellent. Um, and your partner’s name is Markus, is that right?
04:08 Tram: Yeah. So he is a Swedish, yeah.
04:11 Emily: All right. And what does Markus do for his profession?
04:15 Tram: So he is a machine learning engineer. And he is, uh, yeah, so he just had his master finish it two, three years ago. And now he’s working in a real job.
04:28 Emily: Gotcha. But he spent some time in academia, so he understands. Well, we’ll get into it, right? So how did you two first meet?
04:35 Tram: So, yeah, so we was introduced to each other through our mutual friend.
Early Financial Conversations With Your Partner
04:42 Emily: Awesome. And so when you started dating, when you first got together, how soon did conversations around finances or conversations around lifestyle, how did that start?
04:53 Tram: So, uh, I am very conscious in finance and I have been reading a lot of books and also practicing finance independence for a long time. So I think that finance is a really important topic for me. So I brought it up in the first date. Yes. So the first day meeting Markus, I was asking him about his view about finance, how he is practicing, uh, with his own money. Of course, it’s not very in detail, but like just a brief perspective to see whether he also considered that finance is important or not. And in the second date, we asked more question about, Hey, what do you like to do in your life? And, uh, what do you think that finance can help you to achieve that? And how have you planned out and things like that? So yeah, very early in the dating process.
05:47 Emily: Okay. I’m, I’m really curious about this now. Um, because the way you phrase that it sounded very interviewee, but is that how it, is that how it felt for him or for you in the moment? Or was it more like casual, like I’m going to ask a little subtle question about finances and, you know, 30 minutes later, maybe another little question, or was it really like, no, we need to be on the same page right now?
06:09 Tram: Yeah. So now that you mentioned that, I think for me, it came out really naturally because I like talking about personal finance with my friends and things, but yes, with Markus, it’s felt like an interview, like I came in as a teacher or someone interviewing him about his perspective about finance. So from the beginning, he was a bit hesitant, of course. And also he was like, yes, but then I. I think that I explained it to him that, yes, I’m not coming here trying to like interview you or something, just that because I am more serious about relationship. I don’t want to play around. I’m coming and searching for a partner and commitment and things. And I think finance is important for a relationship. That’s why I’m asking these questions. So yeah, I think after my explanation, he became a little bit more open, but of course also not like, in very details, as I wished it could be, so.
07:11 Emily: And in these early conversations, what kind of answers were you getting? Like, were you seeing that he was kind of on the same page as you, although maybe a little bit more reticent to share? Or was it like, oh, no, I’m actually detecting some differences in practices or differences in values?
07:26 Tram: Yes. So. I think that Markus know what is fire movement, what is a financial independence movement, but also in general, he and me, even, even though I am super interested in personal finance, but I don’t consider money as the most important part in my life. I just want to have the freedom and the opportunity to choose whenever I want to have. So I think for that, Markus and I was really on the same page. Like we think that yes, money is important because it allows us to, to live the life we want. And, but also in the just first few days, I could not ask in very detail about, Hey, how much you earn? Or like, what is your expenses? What is your saving? And that kind of thing. Just that On the surface, yes, it’s, it’s very similar. Hmm.
08:18 Emily: So, I haven’t been in the dating pool for a very long time, um, but what I remember reading in terms of like advice for talking about finances was to share first, like to share your, if you want to take that step with the person you’re dating, like, okay, we’re going to talk about our income or our debt or whatever. Like. You reveal first and you set the model and the tone. Is that what you did? Were you more sort of leading the way in the openness?
08:42 Tram: Yeah, so the thing about Sweden is that I think that the gap between different incomes is not a lot. It’s not very much, right? And also kind of like pay and things like is kind of very transparent and also our mutual friend is also a very close friend to Markus and she and her husband also are doing PhD. So I think that Markus kind of has some sense about the salary range that I am in. So yes, I didn’t specifically say how much I earn, but I, I expect all I could hypothesize that he knew kind of not exact, uh, amount, but kind of the range. Yes. But for me, I had zero, zero clue about how much he’s earning.
The Interplay Between Relationship, Financial, and Career Goals
09:28 Emily: So you mentioned earlier that Markus had a master’s you’re in your PhD program. And that one of your values, shared values was freedom, being able to do what you want to do, having money be a tool along that path. I’m wondering how you think about your being in a PhD program at this time, and maybe what your future career plans are and how that interplays with like the fire pursuit. And then the next layer on top of that, of course, is how Markus would feel about you being currently in academia or maybe in the future. So can you talk more about how you think about that with your finances and your career and the relationship and all that stuff?
10:05 Tram: Um, so I think that I, I really love doing research. I love my job and everything like that. But I am also aware that I, I cannot earn a lot of money or like become a millionaire just being a researcher. So, uh, since my childhood, I, my parents had taught me to save money and that kind of thing a lot. So like, I am always a saver. Yeah, regardless of how much I earn, I usually try to save at least 10 percent or even sometimes more than 50%. And also because the prospect of PhD, especially after PhD, if we want to get a good job. we have to be willing to move. So all of these also went into my consideration that, hey, I need to save money because I don’t know where I would end up to be. And also, how about the cost of moving? And, uh, how about later if I want to have babies? If I move so much, I would not receive the social benefit and that kind of thing. So for me, saving is important. And I have always been practicing that. Uh, at the same time, I think that like, Sweden has a really good social assistance, uh, security and that kind of thing. So, usually, like, okay, so I am generalizing here, but I think at least with Markus and my friends, they don’t, they don’t save a lot. Because they don’t think that it’s necessary to save even. Because, uh, after the salary, a large, uh, a large part of your salary already go for the tax and which will be paid for your pension and unemployment insurance later. So at least in term of Markus, before meeting me, he had zero saving because he didn’t think that it’s important. Yes. He think that money is important, but maybe now he’s young and also in the tech sector, he’s earning a lot. So, uh, why should I save? I, I can do that later or something like that. So yes, so when we, uh, entered relationship, I already had some amount of saving, even though my salary is always much lower than Markus and he with large salary, but, uh, yes, he, he didn’t have any saving at that time. And. As I said, I was really very transparent and honest from the beginning, so I also brought up these topics with him from the first few days. Hey, I have to move a lot. Of course, I would love to stay in Sweden, but, uh, I’m not sure whether I have that option. After my PhD,and also, yes, my salary would generally be lower than yours in, in good times. I mean, assuming that he still has a job because yes, in fact, the turnover is also very high. Uh, he understand that. I think that’s the thing that I like so much about Markus also, really very open and also trying to learn things. So yes, because of that, even though he aware of all of these things, but he know that, as long as we are more suitable in our values, and we want to build a family together. It doesn’t matter. So, yeah.
13:20 Emily: Okay. Yeah. So you’re preparing for the possibility of moving out of Sweden, um, depending on where the job opportunities are. And yeah, like that is, that is a really different, um, perspective, I think for people who are, you know, like your, your peers, maybe who are Swedish, like who are used to having that social safety net. I mean, if you moved to the U. S., it’s going to be all on you. Um, right. So that’s just so interesting to think about, like, depending on that, but making that assumption that you’re always going to be living in that country and it’s always going to have the same kinds of benefits. And you’re introducing this, like, well, Maybe I won’t always live here and why not prepare for that like sort of uncertain or like the possibility of a change in the future. And I just think it’s so interesting as you’ve been talking how you’re the lower earning, uh, partner, but you have quite a bit of financial acumen. Um, and least maybe not now, but maybe when you started the relationship more so than Markus did. It depends, of course, on the things that we’ve been talking about, like whether or not it’s necessary to save or to what degree, depending on where you live and so forth. Um, but yeah, I just think it’s interesting, you know, you’re, you’re coming in with savings with the lower income and he doesn’t have that even with the higher income.
Combining Finances With Your Partner
14:27 Emily: So let’s fast forward a little bit. You two live together now, right? And you have some, some degree of joint finances. Can you talk about that process of sort of, uh, joining up more financially?
14:38 Tram: Mm hmm. So, yes, I think as you already mentioned, at the moment we have shared economy. So, um, how it happened is that when we was considering whether to move in or not, Uh, I talk with a lot of my friends about finance and how they are doing with their partner, whether they share economy or whether they separate it. So I think that most of my Swedish friends that I talk with, they have a separate, uh, economy. But most of the Asian friends that I talk with, they have shared economies. So I could hear a lot of pros and cons also about different perspectives. And personally, I think that I also prefer the joint economy. And then I discussed that with Markus, and I discussed why I think it’s a good thing. And because I think that we are living in one household, so it’s better to join. We also will be able to check and see what each other are doing. And if we have a shared, uh, goal of buying an apartment or later moving somewhere, all of these will need to be shared. So I think it will be much also transparent and honest. It’s, it’s, it’s good. And yes, as I said, from the beginning, Markus is really, really open and supportive. He just say, yeah, let’s test it out. I don’t know how it will be, but, uh, let, let’s try it. And if, uh, it doesn’t, um. If it’s not suitable for us, then we can adjust or even change to another method. So yeah, so far we have been practicing joint, uh, account, and I think that we are doing quite well on that.
16:22 Emily: So I love that, uh, openness to experimentation. So that’s, yeah, it’s a great attitude. So you have, it sounds like. A joint account, is that right? Is it like joint checking, joint savings?
16:35 Tram: For example, my salary will go directly to my separate account, and Markus’ salary will go to his separate account, but then we already calculated like a per month how much we need as a fixed expenses, like for the bills and for the groceries for the saving. So I think 90 percent of our joint salary will go to the joint account. So we have like 10 percent left. That means that 5 percent for me and 5 percent for him. So that we can just spend as our individual allowance, like if we want to buy gift for each other, or if we want to hang out with friends, so we don’t have to ask for each other, uh, opinions or something like that. So the 90 percent will be shared between saving, and yes, I can explain that later, but the saving and the bills, the grocery, and also another account called play account, like something that we can use together when we hang out together. And for us, we eat out every week once just so that, uh, yes, it’s, it’s also helps us to understand why money is important and also like. Yeah. Energize us.
17:57 Emily: Okay. So what I’m hearing is that, um, your incomes start separate, but then almost all of them become combined, um, into this joint, joint checking and joint savings model. Um, so the separate, what you keep separate is very, a small percentage of your overall income. Um, and I think the, the listeners will like be curious about this because you mentioned that Markus has a higher salary than you do. How you both, I understand mechanically how it’s working, but how you both are like feeling about it or how he feels about it. Right. Because he’s. Subsidizing, you know, your lifestyle to a degree. So, like, have you had conversations about that?
18:32 Tram: Yeah, yeah. So, uh, I think, yes, because that was also my concern from the beginning. Hey, I am having a much lower salary. Would it be fair for you also to, to give the majority of your salary? And so far, I would say that, let’s say, if our joint account is 100%, then I am contributing around 35 ish percent, and his one is 65%. Uh, yes, Markus agrees with that, of course, but also because he entered into the relationship with a small loan, also from his student loan. So he thinks that it would be fair for him to put more in the joint account because from that we also take out some part to pay for his private loan.
19:20 Emily: I see. Okay.
19:24 Emily: Emily here for a brief interlude! Tax season is in full swing, and the best place to go for information tailored to you as a grad student, postdoc, or postbac, is PFforPhDs.com/tax/. From that page I have linked to all of my free tax resources, many of which I have updated for this tax year. On that page you will find podcast episodes, videos, and articles on all kinds of tax topics relevant to PhDs and PhDs-to-be. There are also opportunities to join the Personal Finance for PhDs mailing list to receive PDF summaries and spreadsheets that you can work with. Again, you can find all of these free resources linked from PFforPhDs.com/tax/. Now back to the interview.
Savings Goals and Using Sinking Funds
20:16 Emily: So you mentioned that you have like a few different savings goals going on right now. Can you talk about how you are, like what you’re working towards and also how you are, um, maintaining finances within your relationship, not just how it’s structured, but how you are having conversations and communication around that.
20:33 Tram: Yes. So, I think for the saving goals, the biggest, uh, saving goals right now is, uh, the coming trip to the U. S. Next year, hopefully for my exchange. So for this, uh, we estimated that, hey, we would need around 10,000 USD. I mean, because I already received the scholarship for that, um, uh, exchange, but. 10,000 would be an extra thing in case things happen or also help us to visit other states because we will stay there only for six months. So we would want to utilize the time there as much as possible and also to help us to purchase the flight tickets and insurance, that kind of thing. So for that, Every month, so far, we, uh, try to save around 2,000. So whatever we do, it doesn’t matter. Whenever the money come in, we immediately take out 2,000 for the, for the saving account. So I think, uh, that goal will be completed next month or so, and then we will try to move in other long term savings, such as, like, wedding expenses or apartment expenses. And another, uh, smaller, smaller saving goals would be, like, uh, gifts, such as, like, Christmas is coming. And I think for Swedish people and also in my family, we have a tradition of giving each other gifts. So we are so like each month so far, we add in that around 100 or 200 USD so that we will have some, some amount to buy gifts for our loved one. Another one is a vacation. We also add in, um, yeah, I think 100 or 100 ish around every month, hopefully that next year or the year after that we can afford our trip to Japan. So, yeah, so those are the common and biggest saving account so far. And oh yes, and we also have emergency fund, if you also can count that as saving. Uh, yes, so we have around 500 or so. Uh, yes. Going for the emergency fund. Actually, so far, sometimes we would take out some money from the emergency in case we spend so much money in cooking or eating outside. But we are trying to stick to that as much as we can.
23:00 Emily: I like that you’re, so the way that, the way that I talk about this is, is sinking funds or targeted savings funds. Um, and I like that so much of your saving is for like. Fun, exciting things that you get to do together, because I think that’s a really good introduction to saving for someone who maybe hasn’t practiced it or is less familiar with it. It’s like, it’s really just like planning. Like, do you want to have a December when you’re stressed because you have to buy all the gifts at once and you have no savings for it? Or would you rather build up gradually over time and be more generous because you’ve already planned for it? Like. It’s such a positive, you know, thing.
Plans for a Potential Visiting Fellowship at Harvard
23:36 Emily: Um, I want to hear more about your exchange in the U.S. Um, I’m so excited you’re going to be spending six months and you want to travel and so forth. Like, are you going to a particular university? Is it, you know, for research purposes? Just tell us more about, um, the sort of official, like, career wise reason that you’re doing the trip and then also what you plan to do for fun.
23:53 Tram: Uh, yes. So, uh, hopefully again, it also depends so much on the situation, but I will have a visiting fellow position at Harvard in Boston for six months. I’m still, I already applied and I got a scholarship from Sweden, but I still need to, uh, um, get the offer. Again, they have the possibility to reject still from Harvard. But if everything goes well, I will be there from January to June, like the spring semester. And most of the time, yes, I will be doing research in Boston area. And Markus also is going with me. So that, that will, that, that is a plus. Uh, but beside that, we also plan to visit California where my own sister is staying with her husband. And I also do have other friends there. Markus and me also plan to go to Texas where we can try out the real Texas food. We watch so much YouTube videos about that and maybe Mexico. So, yeah. Those are the plans so far, and I think, as you said, I try and we try to make our saving plans fun and interesting because for me, from the beginning, I’m more just focusing on saving, saving, saving, even though I don’t know what I’m saving for, and Markus is like focusing on living, living, living, just living at the moment, so right now we are trying at least to balance those things, hey, I save, but also I don’t forget to live, and those saving will be spent on the things that I love to do or make my life more meaningful.
25:35 Emily: Yeah, I love that approach. Um, it actually reminds me, I, I reread Die With Zero recently by Bill Perkins. Have you read it?
25:41 Tram: Oh, not yet. Okay.
25:43 Emily: Well, this is definitely a recommendation to you, um, because it just reminds me that like all the saving that we do, whether it’s for retirement or whatever, like pretty much all of it is for your own spending in the future. And hopefully to have a great lifestyle that you really enjoy in the future, uh, maybe some of it is leave a legacy, right? For other people, but probably primarily for most people who are not super high earners, it’s like to provide for yourself in the future. Um, but it’s not all about the future. Um, it’s also about living in the present. So it’s really nice that you do have that balance, but it sounds like it’s not really causing a lot of conflict, right? It’s like a, a healthy, um, I’m going to, you know, moderate you and you’re going to moderate me in terms of your like, you know, um, natural preferences. So I really like that. I’m so excited. I hope you get to do that exchange and that you get to do the traveling that you want to. I’m curious, is Markus going to continue working during those six months or is he taking like a leave of absence?
26:37 Tram: So I think that’s a blessing. thing also because his company allow him to work online during that period of time. I think that is also a thing that I like so much, uh, about his job. I mean, the flexibility to work from home or online sometimes, of course, you cannot check like that for two years or three years, but, uh. If you can explain the reason and if you still can maintain the quality of your job, you have that possibility. So yeah, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s good that we can be there together.
27:12 Emily: And that’s like a really kind of fire thing, right? Of like having the financial flexibility to work somewhere else if you want to for a while to set up your job so you have that flexibility. Like. Yeah, that’s awesome.
Communication Practices for Maintaining Finances in Your Relationship
27:22 Emily: Okay. I asked you a way too complicated question earlier. The second part of that was, um, what are your like practices around communication and finances, uh, for like maintenance purposes today?
27:32 Tram: Hmm. Okay. So I think I, I must say that the foundation of everything is that we already kind of agree with each other that we will be very transparent and honest with each other from the first, from, from everything. And from the first few days, we already had that kind of condition. So, um, yes, even though finance topic is kind of really sensitive, but, uh, we bring it up whenever we think that, Hey, for example, if I look at the joint account and I see like. Markus spend 20 or 50. So usually when we spend something, we try to write out, like when we transfer the money, we try to write out the reason why we’re spending that money. But sometimes the Markus would forget. I usually don’t. Uh, so I would say, Hey, I’m looking at the money today, it seemed like you are spending 50 somewhere. Uh, did you have something fun to do or did you eat something nice or something like that? So we would bring it up to each other and ask to know, Hey, where are the money is going? Because for me, I would be very frustrated if I don’t know where the number is going. And at the end of the month, I’m like, Hey, why are we? In short of money, why, what is going on? Like, should we readjust the budgeting things or things like that? And another thing is that every month when the salary comes, we will sit down and we call that like finance days. So we will try to discuss, Hey, this month we have spent this much on this, this, this, it seemed like we eat a lot. Or it seems like we spend a lot on buying clothes or something like that. Should we adjust something? And, uh, so far, I think it goes super well for us and, uh, to have, um, so usually what we do is we have some fun things to do. When we discuss finance, usually we could eat out in a restaurant and when we were waiting for the food to come, we would starting discussing finance or like we say, okay, first we sit here, we discuss finance and after that we can go for sauna or like a beer or something like that. So we try to incorporate some fun activities again to go in so that, like, especially for me, it’s already become a habit. But also I agree that from the beginning, Markus would find it a bit difficult and also, hey, why every time about money, money, money. So to reduce that frustration, we try to incorporate things that we would like to do and also talk about the topics, constantly discuss with each other, being transparent and honest. I think that helps so much. Another thing we also have been practicing is that we try to celebrate our wins, even though sometimes it’s super small. So for example, last week or so, I received a small scholarship. So we also went out to eat, even though every week we already go out and eat, and in the same week Markus could sell his computer, the one he doesn’t need to, need to use anymore. So we also celebrate that. So actually last week we went out and eat three times. Uh, but I think it’s, it’s, it’s good. It give us some motivation that, hey, we, we really enjoy life and, uh, we have the meaning and we like to do things together.
31:00 Emily: And I, I’m sensing that that is coming from Markus’s side, right? Like if you, like when you weren’t with him, when you were single, if you had a financial win, were you celebrating that or were you just like, great, it goes on my savings?
31:11 Tram: I do not think so. I just like, Oh, you did great. That’s all I would do. But yeah, yes, like literally celebrate and go out and buy something nice for ourselves. I think I’m also learning so much from Markus. Yeah.
31:25 Emily: And it just creates that again, like the positive cycle, right? Of like, we did something positive and we get an immediate, like nice reward to it and it encourages you to keep going. And yeah, I think that’s just beautiful. So what I was hearing about for your communications was that you have at the top of the month, you have like a planning period. Um, and then you have maybe just light check ins throughout to make sure you’re sort of, Oh, was this part of the plan? We need to adjust the plan. Um, But I like that balance. So it’s not all like reactive. It’s not all like, Oh no, we overspent. How did this happen? Blame, blame, blame. You know, it’s, it’s more like, okay, we’re, we’re getting on the same page and then we’re just going to sort of check in and make sure that everything’s going fine. And then you have that reset for the next month where you plan again, but it’s also not just planning. It’s not just like, okay, this is what we’re going to do. And we have no idea whether it happened or not. Right. You have to do like both those sides of process. So I like that you’re doing that together. Um, yeah, it reminds me, my husband and I were both pretty involved with our finances when we were both in graduate school, but I would say in the years since then, he’s kind of let me like do what I want. And like, I will ask him questions like, Hmm, okay. You spent 75 at Home Depot. What, what was that? And he’ll be, oh, remember I bought this thing. Okay. Okay. As long as we’re not like spending for spending sake at Home Depot, now that we’re homeowners, that’s the kind of problems we have. Um, okay. Well, this has been such a fun conversation and I’m so glad that you shared these elements of your relationship with us. It sounds so fun as we’ve been talking about.
Best Financial Advice for Another Early-Career PhD
32:49 Emily: As we wrap up here, would you please share with us your best financial advice for another early career PhD? And it could be something that we’ve already touched on in the interview or it could be something completely new.
33:00 Tram: So I think I would say that, yes, maybe learn to save, even though the PhD salary is not that high, but I think that, uh, saving give us the freedom and the liberation, literally to choose and also in the future. We don’t know what will happen. But at the same time, I think this I’m also learning like saving, but also do not forget to live, like try to do something fun, even though it’s just a small thing, but also make you feel like, oh, the money I’m earning really bring the meaning. So by that you can keep going in a long time instead of like, drop out in the middle of, of the journey.
33:42 Emily: yeah. Great point. Very well said. Thank you so much for coming on Tram, and it was lovely to to meet you and thanks for volunteering.
33:49 Tram: Thank you so much for having me.
33:57 Emily: Listeners, thank you for joining me for this episode! I have a gift for you! You know that final question I ask of all my guests regarding their best financial advice? My team has collected short summaries of all the answers ever given on the podcast into a document that is updated with each new episode release. You can gain access to it by registering for my mailing list at PFforPhDs.com/advice/. Would you like to access transcripts or videos of each episode? I link the show notes for each episode from PFforPhDs.com/podcast/. See you in the next episode, and remember: You don’t have to have a PhD to succeed with personal finance… but it helps! Nothing you hear on this podcast should be taken as financial, tax, or legal advice for any individual. The music is “Stages of Awakening” by Podington Bear from the Free Music Archive and is shared under CC by NC. Podcast editing by Dr. Lourdes Bobbio and show notes creation by Dr. Jill Hoffman.