Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Residency & Deprivation

In the past I have used an Excel spreadsheet for our budget, to track every penny spent. Today, I discovered a budget spreadsheet in Numbers on our Mac. It was actually quite exciting and even a little fun. The spreadsheet showed me exactly how much we can save each month while living on a physician resident's income. Based on the numbers I punched in for income and expenses, the spreadsheet created a table and a bar graph of our savings. Most of the time, the graph was in the negative range, with zero at the top and the bars going down. My simplest and frugal-ist budget yielded a year-end total of -$4,000.00.

I found it quite comical and a bit entertaining.

Then, after laughing for a bit and manipulating the numbers as much as possible, I decided that I need a job.

A recent article in the Ensign counseled: "It is important when maintaining frugality as a long-term lifestyle to avoid feelings of deprivation. You can do this by using creativity and resourcefulness to fulfill your wants."

When I read this last week, I thought it was very pertinent financial advice for medical residents supporting families.

We have avoided feelings of deprivation during medical school and my husband's intern year by having a slush fund, a separate savings account that we would put a little bit ($25-$50) into each month. We could spend this slush fund however we wanted, with no guilt.

However, according to my new Numbers budget spreadsheet, there will be no slush fund, or savings fund, and we will still be in the red... unless I get a job. Previously, I argued that if I got a job, we would only find ways to spend more, and we would still need more money. This is no longer the case.

Residency just gets more and more exciting.

Maybe we should have aimed for a program in a smaller city, particularly where the cost of living was much less than where we are now.

Too late for that talk. Now I just need to focus, and find a job that will allow me to bring my four kids with me to work. Ya.


Jamie Lamb said...

Wow, good luck. I know how it feels to face that option...thankfully we were able to eeeek by until he got a small raise. But I know a lot of moms who have found something enjoyable to earn a little extra. There really are a lot of options when you don't have to worry about finding something that provides insurance! I toy with the idea of opening an etsy shop someday...sounds fun. Maybe when the school year starts up again! :)

iamwoman said...

Bring in my apartment manager job. I live onsite and in my first place my apartment WAS my office. Wierd but it worked. Right now it is attached to my home so I can open the door if need be and I make an awesome income by myself so we are not so stressed while husband is back to Grad school. The interesting twist is that if we decide he should go back to work as well, I'm going to have to bring in a nanny which costs a ton and I am not keen on the idea of daycare. Being a stay at home mom is the best thing--so the hard part is making sure your income doesn't cancel out the cost of child care or it is pointless. It is such a toss up--- but I know if you really pray then the Lord will guide you. There are a lot of at home jobs that you could research as well. If I knew what city you lived in it would help me out;) just email me if you feel so inclined and I might have some ideas.