I hit a milestone!

Hello and happy weekend, everyone! Today is a big day for me, because for the first time in forever, I am

NET WORTH ZERO!!!

(actually, a verrrrry small amount positive)

happy

Continue reading “I hit a milestone!”

Let’s talk about rent, baby: why living cheaply is so important for your financial future

When it comes to money management and budgeting, housing tends to occupy a large portion of the overall pie. For example, the median price for a 1 bedroom apartment in my neck of the woods is around $1400. But how much should one actually spend on rent? Apparently, lots of people want to know, since it’s the second suggested search that comes up when you type that into google. Continue reading “Let’s talk about rent, baby: why living cheaply is so important for your financial future”

Buy-Nothing Month Week 1 Update: Bumps in the Road

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” -Woody Allen

My month-long challenge of buying nothing had a bang-up opening week. For starters, I went to the dentist for what should have been a quick follow-up visit (I had oral surgery last month), only to be told I needed ANOTHER surgery within the next few weeks! And because I’ve already maxed out my dental benefits for the year, the cost will be completely out of pocket for me. Womp womp. Of course, I could refuse to have it done, but at this point, I’ve already invested 600-plus dollars (and a lot of recovery time and pain) in my teeth, and really don’t want to screw up my outcome just because I didn’t want to pay for this follow-up procedure (which would need to get done at some point in the future anyway). Additionally, I was informed that I will need to use a special toothpaste, which I got for the low, low cost of $17. Seventeen bucks! For toothpaste! Despite the pain it causes my frugal heart, I keep trying to remind myself that investing in my health NOW is much more cost-effective than paying the piper later for my sins of omission (and because I’d really like to avoid dentures if I can help it).

toothpaste
In case you were wondering, this is what $17 toothpaste looks like.

Continue reading “Buy-Nothing Month Week 1 Update: Bumps in the Road”

Why residents suck at money management (and what it means for financial independence)

A recent Medscape article, “Top Financial Mistakes of Young Doctors,”  lists four major mistakes that young physicians tend to make. This article makes some really great points, and I think they warrant further discussion to really dissect why residents often suck at money management.

Mistake #1 is spending too much too soon. The article quotes the ever-helpful White Coat Investor, Dr. James Dahle, who mentions that residents tend to spend their future income before they even earn it. And what would lead such intelligent and highly-educated young people to do such a thing? The same things I’ve noticed in my own self, namely:

Continue reading “Why residents suck at money management (and what it means for financial independence)”

Challenge: Buy-Nothing Month!

Hey friends,

I am currently prepping for an upcoming project that I’m simultaneously excited and a little anxious about. It was inspired by the Frugalwoods’ Uber-Frugal Month — I’m aiming for EXTREME frugal by having a Buy-Nothing Month! Buy nothing, as in…

  • no coffee runs at the hospital
  • no going to Target just because I’m bored or think I might need something
  • DEFINITELY no shopping at the mall
  • no online shopping (Bath and Body works, get outta my inbox!)
  • no happy hours
  • no eating out
  • and worst of all… NO GROCERY STORE (by far my favorite place in the world–seriously… waaahhhhh)
GO photo.png
Farewell, dear friend…

First of all, let me say that I definitely could’ve made this a little easier on myself. Continue reading “Challenge: Buy-Nothing Month!”

How to make extra money in residency

Many financial independence blogs tout the importance of having a “side hustle,” aka an extra income stream in addition to your regular 9-to-5 job. Side hustles can include things like having a rental property, freelancing from home, or having an online shop on a site like etsy. The problem is, most side hustles take serious time (or capital… or both). So what’s a resident working 80-hour weeks to do? Read on for a few ideas I’ve found that can work well with the residency lifestyle: Continue reading “How to make extra money in residency”

Why Financial Independence?

 

To be honest, I didn’t even know what financial independence was prior to a year ago. The idea of “early retirement” seemed to be attainable only for the independently wealthy, millionaires, or those who had won the lottery. I figured we all work til age 60 or 65 because it’s what we’re “supposed” to do; after all, that’s what my parents had done, and my grandparents, and pretty much every older person I could think of. And frankly, I was enjoying the fact that I was finally making money, and really enjoying spending it. I bought what I want, when I wanted it. I was living that middle-class dream, and felt pretty happy about it. Doing that for the next 40 or so years didn’t seem too bad, and after all, what was the alternative?

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the likes of a little blog called Mr. Money Mustache. He opened my eyes to the concepts of frugality, early retirement, and overall badassity in life. I think I read almost every post on his site over the span of the next two or three days. From there, I found other blogs, like The Mad Fientist, and the Frugalwoods. All of these people, all working toward the same goal: saving enough to quit their jobs and become completely independent, free to do whatever the hell they wanted to do. I was hooked.

Now, a little background: I come from a pretty frugal upbringing. When I was growing up, we didn’t buy things unless they were on sale. All of the cars we have ever owned lasted at least 10 years (our current minivan is still going strong at 17). My mom cut (and still cuts) my dad’s hair, and cut the kids’ hair until we were in junior high and began to protest. We insourced everything: yardwork, car maintenance, house maintenance–you name it, we did it ourselves. On family vacations, we stayed exclusively in hotels with numbers (Motel 6, Super 8). You get the picture. Growing up, I just thought we were poor(ish), and that’s how it had to be done. And unfortunately, I hated this life as a kid. I yearned for the cool name brand clothes my friends had (I never once got to actually buy anything from that damn Delia*s catalog), wondered why my family didn’t also have a cleaning lady or eat out every week, and wished more than anything that my parents would’ve gotten me a new car on my 16th birthday (shocker, they didn’t). As a result, once I started making money, I legitimately saw that as my opportunity to have that live and those things I’d always wanted. One of my ridiculous “metrics” was actually the ability to get my nails done every week. I told myself that when I could afford to have a super sweet mani/pedi done and not worry about its impact on my budget, that’s when I would know I had made it. In retrospect, I was going about it all wrong.

After reading more about financial independence and early retirement, I realized that there’s nothing I wanted more: I’m naturally a very independent person, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to the field of medicine–it offers a great deal of autonomy, as well as the opportunity for leadership. The idea of not depending on a job for a paycheck was revelatory. Why wouldn’t I want to be self-sufficient? And then, realizing I could get to that point of self-sufficiency sooner? Sign me up!

Which brings us to this blog. I have started it as a project, not only to keep myself accountable, but also to connect with others out there who are seeking financial independence. So let’s get going, shall we?