As I’m targeting a net worth of 75k (~125k in assets) by the end of 2016 tax, I thought it’s good to reflect back on how I managed to build up 100k in assets as a PGY3.
Old Chinese saying goes, “10,000 things, to start addressing them is the hardest.” The 1st 100k is often harder than the 2nd 100k; first million harder than the 2nd million.
There are many things and people that have helped become educational-debt free (as a PGY1) and on tract to become financially independent by the age of 38. These 5 tips, however, are what I found most impactful and widely applicable.


1.      Be realistic.
Make realistic goals. I’ve always done better than my goals, financially. Money matters are just numbers, much more straightforward than medicine and family life.
Make goals and set yourself up for success by leaving a little wiggle room so that when life happens, you don’t fall behind so much that you feel despondent.
Robert Kiyosaki said, “Failures inspire winners; failures defeat losers” Not making your financial milestones as planned provide opportunities to reflect and do better next time.


2.      Be resourceful.
Make an extra dime.  Learn another skill. Always rise up to more ownership and greater responsibility. Trust me, on one hand it may seem like, you are doing so much more than your peer PGY3 who gets the same W2 pay from the residency program, the truth is by doing more and taking ownership, you are building priceless skills and knowledge that will catapult you to greater income and wealth without you going after the money.


3.      Be creative.
Don’t follow the crowd. Be confident in your frugality. Just because you don’t hop on amazon to buy whenever you need something, doesn’t mean that you should feel ashamed or deprived.
Get in the habit creating rather than consuming. Look at the super duper rich of the America, the ones with wealth so vast to last generations and ability to donate away 99% of their wealth and still live comfortably (i.e. Facebook founder), they create rather than consume, consequently, they build wealth rather than spend money.


4.      Be disciplined.
How many times have all the big name physician finance bloggers like White Coat Investor told us to live within our means? It’s that simple. I don’t need to keep harping the same few important ground rules of building wealth.
You know it all. Putting it into practice and sticking with it is what counts, towards your first 100k or first 10 million in assets.


5.      Have fun.
As you focus your energy on creating rather than consuming and your discipline rewards you with exceeding your anticipated goals, celebrate!
I personally enjoy celebrating with loved ones, whether it’s a small vacation with family to a new place, or a staycation close to home, visiting museums, going on a new hike (plenty of beautiful hiking trails in Tucson), try out a new restaurant or new experience such as sitting in a plane flown by my 8 year old kid with the instructor in her passenger’s seat.


These same 5 principles will get you to your first 100k like it will to your first 1 million. The only difference is that if you practice these tips today while you have “little,” you will master money matters when you reach your first million.
Financial intelligence compounds your income when you make more, lack of it dissipates your income no matter how much you make.


“If they think [making more] money will solve the problems, I am afraid those people will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.” ― Robert T. KiyosakiRich Dad, Poor Dad


 If you like this article, you might enjoy other DWM articles on Personal Finance, Investing, Retirement, Practice Management, & Lifestyle.

All articles by DWM are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a professional accountant, financial adviser or lawyer, before making financial decisions.
5 Tips to Reach Your First 100k

One thought on “5 Tips to Reach Your First 100k

  • November 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm
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    These are great tips! I think the last one is actually really important. If we’re not having fun, whats the point of doing all this anyway? We are paying off $600k of student loan debt from law school and dental school and its easy to get weighed down with how stressful it can be. Its important to celebrate the small victories to help keep propelling us forward 🙂

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