Saturday, April 17, 2010


Suddenly I remembered the other day how much easier our financial situation seemed during medical school. Because we were both in school during the second half of my husband's education, we had double the access to student loans. This gave us a hugely erroneous view of how to manage money.

Me: "It's almost December, we need to buy plane tickets to visit your family for Christmas."
Doctor: "We don't have money to buy five plane tickets right now."
Me or Doctor: "Should I take out an additional school loan?"
Doctor: "Okay."
Me: "Okay."


Some people say doctors go nuts (spending money) after they finish their training because "they have been poor for so long." I think it is because they have been "borrowing for so long." We didn't have a budget, just a record of running totals of our expense categories. We were careful and tried not to go over our "budget", but in reality we never really limited how much we spent, we just kept track so that we knew where the money was going, and, more importantly, when we needed to get an additional loan.

There was always money available if we needed extra.

I am glad that we are currently having opportunities to learn many financial (and sometimes, yes, painful) lessons. The resident physician's salaries are definitely not designed to single-handedly provide for a family of six. But, I feel that the lessons are very valuable. I believe there is a spiritual connection between learning financial self-discipline, and to be happy with what you have, instead of always wanting and wishing for more.


Katie Tyler said...

I am NOT looking forward to the life of Student Loan Budgets! (especially after we are use to an income) But I guess it is all worth it in the end!

Liz said...

Yes, it is totally the pits! - but all worth it, they tell us. I'll let you know in about a decade how I feel about it then though... It is frustrating to borrow - but for your husband to be able to spend the rest of his life doing something that he really enjoys and allows him the peace of being able to always provide for the family, it is totally "worth it."

Timani said...

You're right, "The resident physician's salaries are definitely not designed to single-handedly provide for a family of six." But they certainly can stretch enough to even care for a family of ten and have some left over for several plane tickets. I know, financial constraints are often painful, but oh the sense of accomplishment and success you gain when you learn to not be enslaved to money by knowing how much you can do without.