I recently read a white coat investor post about a couple who’s in their mid-40 with 5 kids, 2 in college, with 300k debt still and little aggregate savings. It broke my heart and motivated me to work harder to reach more of my colleagues so that they can avoid or get out of these dire financial circumstances.
First off, I think this couple did a few things right:
- Their hearts have been in the right place, serving their community.
- They have built their children one of the greatest inheritance there is, siblings.
For those who find themselves in similarly dire financial situation as this couple (and I agree with WCI, their situation is not at all uncommon), the first step is to record a snapshot of liabilities and assets, as WCI call it add up the damage. Then setting goals and plans to accomplish them. Downsizing is really not as bad as we all think, upgrading is not as great as we believe. I wrote and recorded the 30 day mindful financial practice YouTube videos to invite everyone (struggling or not) to join me on a journey to master their money and accelerate building net worth (decrease debt and/or increase assets).
Trimming off the fat and focusing on saving and paying down debt is actually incredibly rewarding and freeing.
When we look at the rest of the world and appreciate how $38/month can support a child’s every need in El Salvador, we actually may find spending (on a worthy cause) harder than saving money. If there’s no worthy cause, saving money can be the natural “default.”
For those of us who are fortunate to have learned from WCI or other mentors early on (in med school) and become debt free and on track to early financial independence, it behooves us to reach out and help our colleagues.
And for our colleagues who are struggling financially, please don’t feel shame or guilt, ask for help.
We walked in the same shoes, faced the same challenges (high tuition, high interest, kid, etc.), and have only managed a little differently, leading to different results today. We’d be more than happy to share what we’ve learned: our mistakes, failures, and successes.
Don’t despair, you’ve accomplished much harder things in life already including medical school and medical practice, and raising a family. Money matters are simple. It’s just a matter of practicing a few boring, simple, and old principles.
I like the quote, “When money is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, everything is lost.”
You’ve got character, and hopefully you are healthy too. We can take the money issues on together. By “we” I mean you, your family plus many successful physician or non-physician financial masters like WCI, PoF, Futureproof MD, Passive Income MD, and a whole host of financial independence/money bloggers. Let’s take heart and build a better future starting today. No matter how little a step, taking the first step here and now is the only way to start our journey.
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.