We had someone come to my medical school once who outlined an ophthalmologist making $350K a year and spending $380K a year. I found it very helpful. I think some current students might find this enlightening as well. I remember thinking as a student how easy it would be to live off $50K so $200K must be cake. My wife and I don't consider ourselves big spenders and here is an example of a recent monthly budget for us. Gross Pay $17,647 Fixed Expenses Mortgage $3180 Other mortgage (still trying to sell it) $816 Taxes (Federal, State, SS, and medicare) $3925 Utilities $608 Insurance (Life, disability, property, liability-not malpractice) $700 401K $3406 Charity $1990 Subtotal of Fixed Expenses: $14,625 Variable Expenses Gas $336 Food $829 Various other stuff such as entertainment, clothing, home furnishings, kids sports, gym memberships, "allowances", gifts, healthcare etc $1235 Savings towards next car, next vacation, emergency fund etc $622 Subtotal of Variable Expenses $3022 Total Expenses $17647 Notice the absence of student loan payments, car payments, and credit card payments. For four years out of residency (while in the military) we lived much more cheaply (only had about 60% of the income) and only recently upgraded to the "attending lifestyle." (Note the size of the last mortgage payment.) My point is that there is plenty of money if you do some planning and budgeting, but that it is very easy to spend 5 figures every month with little to show for it. Not to mention the only tax break you get is the cap on SS taxes-you're phased out of the earned income credit, the child tax credit, the student loan interest credit, and if some politicians have their way, soon the home interest deduction,the charitable contribution deduction, and the retirement savings account deductions. As a partner in a year or so, my gross income will be higher, but I'll also be covering my share of the overhead, malpractice, and my health and dental insurance premiums so I don't expect my take home to go up dramatically. Obviously, I could save less for retirement, have gotten a 30 year mortgage instead of a 15 year one, give less to charity, and hopefully soon have the old house sold (or put a renter in it), but you have to choose what life you want to live. Whatever you do, don't plan a dramatic upgrade to your lifestyle immediately upon leaving residency. It's much harder to cut back later. And don't take out any more loans than you need as a student or live beyond your means as a resident. All that debt will come back to bite you..