You’re about to enter medical school, and it’s a good bet that you’re already thinking about where your career will take you after graduation. But for many students, finances can be just as important as their education.
While many people think of doctors as being wealthy, the reality is that they have an average starting salary of $64,200 — and that doesn’t include any student debt they may have accrued while in school.
Still, there are ways to make ends meet while still pursuing your dream of becoming a doctor.
Here are some quick tips:
1. Keep track of your finances.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your finances is that you should always be aware of what you’re spending and where the money is going.
Keep track of all the expenses related to being a medical student: This includes tuition fees, textbooks, meals out with friends or family members during holidays.
Use an app like Mint: It’s free and easy to use. You’ll get alerts when there are pending payments coming due on certain bills so they don’t slip through the cracks unnoticed until after they’ve already been paid late fees–and then there’s nothing left over for yourself at all!
2. Set a budget and stick with it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending money on things that aren’t necessary when you’re not paying attention or don’t have a plan for your finances.
But if you know what you can spend and where, this will prevent unnecessary purchases from sneaking into your life.
If there are any unexpected expenses during the year, make sure they’re accounted for in the next month’s budget so that they don’t throw off your whole financial plan!
3. Start saving early.
One of the best ways to prepare for your future is by saving money. While you may not be able to save enough money while in medical school, it’s important that you start saving as soon as possible. The earlier you start saving, the less interest will accumulate on your investments over time and the more money will be available for retirement or other goals later on in life.
If you don’t have any savings currently, consider starting small with an automatic savings plan like an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). These accounts allow individuals who earn taxable income from employment or self-employment to contribute up until April 15th every year without being taxed on those contributions until withdrawal at retirement age. You can also consider investing in stocks through mutual funds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) – these are usually low risk investments that allow investors access to companies across industries without having all their eggs in one basket!
4. Get a part-time job.
One of the best ways to start saving money is to get a part-time job. A part-time job can help you pay for medical school and also gain experience in your field.
This is especially helpful if you plan on working in the healthcare industry after graduation, as it will allow you to practice what you’ve learned in class outside of the classroom setting.
Additionally, having a part-time job will help build up your network of contacts within the field (which may be valuable later on) and give you an idea of what kind of work environment is right for you before making any big career decisions after graduation.
5. Consider a private loan.
Private loans are not guaranteed by the federal government, so you’ll have to pay them back on your own. They also come with higher interest rates than federal loans and tend to be easier to get; however, this can make them more expensive in the long run.
Private loans can be used for any school expenses–including rent and food–but they should only be considered if you’re sure that you can pay off your debt once you graduate.
6. Avoid credit card debt.
Avoid credit card debt. Credit card interest rates are typically higher than those of other loans, making them the most expensive kind of debt to pay off.
Credit cards also aren’t a good way to save money, since any money you put into savings will be available for spending should an emergency arise or as an impulse buy.
Plus, many credit card companies use high-pressure sales tactics like “teaser” introductory APRs that only last for six months before reverting back to their standard rates–which can be anywhere from 13% all the way up past 20%!
7. Learn how to handle debt before entering medical school.
It’s important to learn how to handle debt before entering medical school. Half of all medical student graduates have over $200,000 in student loan debt, according to Medscape.
This is a lot of money for a young person who hasn’t started earning an income yet and may not be able to afford it.
Medical school is an expensive endeavor, but there are ways for students and their families who can’t afford out-of-pocket costs or don’t qualify for financial aid programs such as Federal Student Aid (FSA) or private scholarships that have been established by donors throughout the country.
The most important thing to remember is that you should always be prepared.
Get up to date compensation data from reputable sources, such as Physicians Thrive, so you know how much you can expect to earn in the near future.
You never know when an emergency will come up or how much money it will cost, so it’s best if you have some sort of backup plan in place before anything happens.
Also, don’t forget about all those little expenses that add up over time!