If you’ve just started housemanship, congratulations, welcome to the real world. The feeling of having money rolling into your bank account every month must be something new for many of you, especially if being a houseman is your first real job. However, your hard-earned money can be easily wasted if you’re not careful enough. I have listed a few tips that I personally use during my houseman years, and which I still practise until today. Here’s my top personal finance tips for young doctors.
1. Spend beneath your means
This mantra is often repeated yet rarely followed. Why? It’s actually really difficult to follow! I made it a habit to track my personal finance using apps. I have tried many, and currently BlueCoins remains as my favourite app for tracking my expenses (unfortunately it is only on Android). Make it a habit to enter every single money transaction into the app and before long you’ll start to see patterns in your spending, and even discover a thing or two about yourself. It is really crucial to know small unnecessary leakages from your spending habit before they drown you in a financial cesspool.
2. Save at least 10% of your income
Housemen’s take home pay is a considerable amount. Start building your net worth by making a habit to save at least 10% of your income. I suggest opening a new savings account and siphoning off a portion of your hard-earned money into it, and make it a separate account from your day-to-day spending. Always remember to practise this step because it ties to the next habit you should form, which is –
3. Pay yourself first
What does it mean to pay yourself first? Average people slog their asses off to get their wages at the end of each month. The first thing they’d do when they get the money is to pay bills, go out and splurge on things. Then only they save whatever is left. Savvy people like you don’t do that. A savvy young doctor like you, would save a portion of your income as soon as it hits your bank account, and THEN use whatever remains to pay off your bills and whatnot. See the difference? That’s why it would be useful to have a separate bank account, so you can siphon off a portion of your salary straight into another “trust fund” and not touch it. It helps your build discipline and prevents your from spending unnecessarily.
Make time your ally, and use the powerful force of compounding to increase your net worth. I hope these few tips can help you kickstart your journey towards financial responsibility.