Match Day is an exciting yet stressful time for new physicians. On March 18, tens of thousands of med students will get their results for residencies and fellowships. After the 2021 Match became the largest in history with 38,106 total positions offered, according to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), anticipation is building for another large Match in 2022. As a financial company specializing in helping physicians and dentists, Match Day is one of our most exciting times of the year.
If you’ve experienced Match Day, or you’re about to, you’ll know it’s an auspicious time… but from a financial perspective, it can be very stressful. You’re about to go through a major transition in your career. That transition often comes with relocating, increased living expenses, and student loans coming due. Unfortunately, you are also often years away from earning the salaries medical professionals command after their residencies and fellowships.
This combination of events often adds even more stress to an already stressful time. That’s why it’s important to form healthy personal finance habits from the start. To help you navigate, and to celebrate you, below are three personal financial tips for new doctors just entering the workforce.
1. Understand the Ins and Outs of Your Spending
The first step to taking control of your finances involves gaining awareness of all of your income and expenses. Get to know everything coming in and going out. To accomplish this, some people use a spreadsheet or browser-based software. Others use an app on their phone.
To newer medical practitioners, it may not seem practical (or desirable) to do this. Many medical students allow themselves to continue growing in debt, knowing that later in their career, they’ll be able to pay everything off. However, if you take control of your finances now, you’ll be in a much better position overall by the time you advance in your career.
One thing that many people forget about is to add up their monthly subscriptions. In an increasingly subscription-based economy, it can be very easy to lose track of all the little fees going out of your accounts each month. Therefore, to clarify your expenses, use your actual bank statements from the past few months and identify where you’re actually spending your money. This is also a good time to get rid of any subscriptions you don’t really need.
2. Consolidate High Interest Debt
Consolidating loans simply means putting them all in one place, usually using a larger, single loan from a different financial institution that lowers your payments, reduces your interest rate, simplifies your finances, or a combination of all three.
If you currently make multiple payments to different high-interest lenders every month, consider simplifying your life and saving some money by consolidating with a lender who understands the realities faced by residents and new physicians. If you want to talk to an empathetic professional who offers physician-preferred loans, then feel free to reach out to us.
3. Reduce High-Interest Debt
Sometimes newer physicians use credit cards to offset expenses during their training. This might help in the short term but often creates a high-interest debt to pay down later. Most credit cards today have an APR of 13% or above, which can add up quickly when you leave debt unpaid.
To take control of your finances, consider reducing high-interest debt such as that from a credit card. You can do this very similarly to the previous tip: Getting a personal loan with lower interest and a longer term. This gives you some flexibility as far as repayment goes, and enables you to tackle the interest head-on.
If you’re interested in a personal loan to help consolidate or reduce high-interest debt, take a look at our programs. We specialize in helping doctors and dentists with their personal and professional goals, and want to make sure that finances are not the barrier to you achieving your dream.
Celebrating you this Match Day!