It’s late spring. This means lots of med students and physicians are preparing to start new jobs or hoping to advance forward in their current one. This is an exciting time, but it can be stressful as well, especially when it comes to finances. Gathering money for moving expenses, housing costs, as well as basic living expenses can be quite daunting. As someone who is moving across the country to start a fellowship myself, I completely understand the sentiment. When people ask me about ways to get money for all these expenses here are the 4 things I tell them:
- Moonlighting. As a physician one of the things we know how to do is work. Moonlighting is when we as doctors work extra shifts for added pay. Some people work in the hospital, others work in the urgent care, some even take call from home. Each employer has their own set of rules or stipulations regarding moonlighting but if your program allows it, working a little extra to cover the cost of moving expenses can be a great way to earn extra cash.
- Uber/Lyft/Doordash/Amazon. Some folks, especially med students may not have the credentials to moonlight or work extra shifts. If that’s the case for you, there are other options to consider. You can try driving for Uber or Lyft or even sign up for food and package delivery services like Amazon and Doordash. While these jobs may not be the highest paying, the flexible hours may be a great fit for your busy schedule.
- Monetize your talents. I’m a huge fan of having multiple income streams and encourage all young professionals to do so as well. Perhaps there’s a skill you have that other people would pay you to learn? For example, some of my friends are good at tennis and charge others for tennis lessons. I also have friends who are great at cooking and charge their friends for meal preps or who are great at photography and charge others for headshots. Can you think of a skill you have that you can monetize? If so, let your med school classmates or co-residents know and get started!
- Get a side hustle. Side hustles can be great. They are jobs that we do for others or passion projects that we make money from. For example, some people have started a blog or podcast and charged companies for ads. Other people do some consulting on the side. Some folks make money from social media or act as ambassadors for other companies. Think of ways to leverage what you know or who you know in order to bring in some extra cash.
- Personal Loans. When all else fails and you need some money quickly, you can always consider a loan. I’m not a huge fan of taking out debt you don’t need, but even I had to borrow money at some point, especially when I was waiting on my first residency paycheck. Moving can be expensive and trying to get money for housing and living expenses can require cash that you may not have on hand. As long as you don’t take out more than you need, getting a personal loan at a low interest rate can be quite beneficial. While there are several companies that may offer relocation loans, DOC2DOC is a company for physicians by physicians that offers loans at low interest rates to graduating med students and physicians. If you have a pressing need for cash, these types of personal loans can be a great option as well.
Written by: Altelisha “Lisha” Taylor, MD MPH of Career Money Moves