Attending $$$: the fork in the road

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The now perma-lost Sanders thread got me thinking about my experiences and observations since crossing the threshold (and having my residency salary quintuple, give or take). I think it can be nicely encapsulated by what J. K. Rowling said about her accountant, who she hired because he said this to her:

You have to make a fundamental decision. You have to choose whether you organize your money around your life or your life around your money.

Having been around long enough to meet quite a few docs, they exist across a spectrum but seem closer to one of two extremes: those that incessantly complain about money/reimbursement/taxes, and those that appear more content and less motivated by material things.

Don't get me wrong, I do not mean that the former extreme is inherently discontent, nor that the latter group is fundamentally divorced from financial concerns. And yet the dichotomy occasionally strikes me when I interact with various colleagues. I imagine a lot of this is either hardwired or so deeply ingrained that shifting attitudes is unlikely.

As for me, I probably fall more into the content/less materialistic camp. I wont lie, getting that first large paycheck was invigorating, and our lifestyle (and number of dependents) adjusted accordingly. That said, I would not say that I am fundamentally happier now than I was when I was a resident or medical student. If anything, my point of maximum existential bliss coincided with my point of maximum adult ignorance: college.

tl;dr Enjoy whatever youth you have left.

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you are a great writer
 
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The now perma-lost Sanders thread

I'm inviting him to my wedding. I'll apologize for everyone on SDN if he shows.

Anyway, congrats on the raise. The most content person i've ever met, I later found out was a multi-millionaire. She owned a small farm, worked at it everyday, spoke softly, supported her community (in a way that didn't garner her any attention), and most importantly I think, spent most of her time outside.

Money, as it turns out, is only part of the equation. Happiness isn't some tangible thing that can be bought. Mindfulness may be equally important, to be able to wield that money with intent and purpose, to affect your happiness. Being outside as much as possible, among nature, is the best way i've found to retain perspective.
 
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That said, I would not say that I am fundamentally happier now than I was when I was a resident or medical student.

You must have picked a freakishly bad job if you're not happier as an attending than you were as a resident.
 
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Money is a huge factor in most people's happiness, and there's not anything wrong with that at all. I love material items.
 
Great post, though I'm nowhere near your stage yet.

Personally, I figured out money was not the most important thing to me from my parents. We moved to the US when they were in their early 40s and had to restart life over from scratch. Our only piece of furniture was a couch we recovered from the trash and covered in plastic and an 8 inch box television with a VHS player. Our only other possessions were two inflatable beds and one knife, fork, and plate for each member of our family. Later, my parents learned English and managed to get good, stable jobs that bumped us up to the middle class and just recently to the upper middle class (in Texas). Now that my family has money to purchase things we don't really need but just want and take trips to places that require plane tickets and long hotel stays what I realized is this: I was just as happy before as I am now. Don't get me wrong, getting a big scholarship for an already relatively affordable undergrad that allowed my parents to continue their new lifestyle once I went to college also played a big role. While I love many of the aspects of the dolce vita we can now experience (nice restaurants, vacations), they are not necessary and my family in particular spends a lot of time laughing at some of the ridiculous parts of the upper crust's lifestyles.

It also helps being from a country where people struggle to eat, cannot find the medicines or basic household goods they need, and live very insecure lives because talking to my family back home can put a lot of things in perspective.

This, among other considerations, gave me the confidence to try to pursue science as a career, knowing that I would rather have the best shot at doing the work I truly want to do as opposed to organizing my life around driving a Porsche before 40.

Of course, it has to be said that the US is probably one of the worst developed countries in the world to be poor -- if not the worst. The insecurity can be crushing, the safety nets are uneven and in many places ineffective, and something as simple as an unforeseen hospitalization in the family can obliterate all of your best laid plans (1/4 of US bankruptcies are declared as a result of insoluble medical bills). So one does need to make pretty good money in this country to really thrive, but that amount is, in my opinion, closer to a resident's salary than an attendings. (Unless you live in a coastal city and have kids, then you better be making a lot of money to support that lifestyle comfortably).
 
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Money is a huge factor in most people's happiness, and there's not anything wrong with that at all. I love material items.

The layman's version (which is all I'm really familiar with) is that income correlates with happiness up to a certain point, around where basic needs are consistently met, and after that non-monetary factors become more determinative.
 
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The layman's version (which is all I'm really familiar with) is that income correlates with happiness up to a certain point, around where basic needs are consistently met, and after that non-monetary factors become more determinative.

For those unfamiliar, that point is generally $75K. This of course fluctuates state by state and correlates with a state's general CoL.
 
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The layman's version (which is all I'm really familiar with) is that income correlates with happiness up to a certain point, around where basic needs are consistently met, and after that non-monetary factors become more determinative.

For those unfamiliar, that point is generally $75K. This of course fluctuates state by state and correlates with a state's general CoL.

That has been my experience as well. I won't pretend that tooling around in the Porsche isn't fun (it SO is! :p) but the real joy in my life comes from my family and spending my days doing work that I enjoy and find challenging. For me, the money is like a scorecard that says I'm doing well.

My father told me he defined success as "looking forward to going to work in the morning and looking forward to coming home in the evening." A very wise man...
 
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See the set point theory of happiness; it proposes that as people go through life, happiness remains at a certain constant level, and although it may spike or depress due to life's events, it remains generally constant.

Another study was done showing that money does in fact make you happier (mostly due to removing the stresses of low to mid income and all that may entail) but the correlation tapered off after 150k, below what most doctors make.

EDIT: didn't see someone already made my second point lol
 
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This post would be better suited to allo/osteo.

I doubt an undergrad student is gonna do anything different after reading this.
 
This post would be better suited to allo/osteo.

I doubt an undergrad student is gonna do anything different after reading this.

Respectfully disagree. Medical student attitudes start shifting downward very quickly after matriculation; the curricula, both visible and hidden, appear quite efficient at instilling negatives. For those who haven't yet started I would offer the following advice: identify role models as early as possible. When you find someone who is living and practicing the way you want to, emulate them in behavior and attitude. And when a significant number of your classmates board the train to Jaded-ville*, let them go on without you.


*The full name of the place is I'm-too-young-and-inexperienced-to-really-be-jaded-but-it-appears-to-be-a-dominant-cultural-attitude-in-medicine-so-I'm-going-to-go-along-with-it-ville
 
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@Med Ed Well written post!

I agree that there are the two types of physicians that you mentioned. Its easy to spot the doctor who is always complaining about money but has 2 or 3 houses and a small airplane. Its also fun to spot the doctor who takes time off to do what they love and live life on their terms. They may not be as financially rich but they have a certain happiness about them that I enjoy seeing.

The first paycheck was a great feeling and a little unreal. I had a sense of doing much less work than I was doing as a resident for 5-6 times the pay. I believe that the key is to be humble and live life in a way that will make you happy.

One of my colleagues who works with me is spending 3-4 times a month what I am and I can already seem him stressing out. One of his paychecks posted at the end of the business day instead of the beginning and he freaked out worrying that he would not have enough money to make his bills for the month. I could never live with that kind of stress.
 
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Respectfully disagree. Medical student attitudes start shifting downward very quickly after matriculation; the curricula, both visible and hidden, appear quite efficient at instilling negatives. For those who haven't yet started I would offer the following advice: identify role models as early as possible. When you find someone who is living and practicing the way you want to, emulate them in behavior and attitude. And when a significant number of your classmates board the train to Jaded-ville*, let them go on without you.


*The full name of the place is I'm-too-young-and-inexperienced-to-really-be-jaded-but-it-appears-to-be-a-dominant-cultural-attitude-in-medicine-so-I'm-going-to-go-along-with-it-ville

If your target audience is people who have been accepted to med school, I can see your point and I agree. But if its students who are still in undergrad and have not yet applied, I disagree because I would say that financial happiness as a physician is one of the last things on their mind. They are too busy studying for classes, doing extracurriculars and stressing about the MCAT.

I thought that osteo/allo forum would be better because there are students stressing out about medical school and your post helps put everything in perspective. However, there is a large population of accepted med students here so I can see where I am wrong.
 
If your target audience is people who have been accepted to med school, I can see your point and I agree. But if its students who are still in undergrad and have not yet applied, I disagree because I would say that financial happiness as a physician is one of the last things on their mind. They are too busy studying for classes, doing extracurriculars and stressing about the MCAT.

As much as people like to downplay it, whether consciously or subconsciously, money is probably a fairly big factor in many people's decision to pursue medicine.
 
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As much as people like to downplay it, whether consciously or subconsciously, money is probably a fairly big factor in many people's decision to pursue medicine.

I agree but that wasn't my point.

The point OP was making ( or atleast what I got out of it) is that after a certain point, there is no need to care so much about money and one needs to enjoy life ( should I work 5 days a week and make 400k or 3 days and make 300k, should I do the specialty I like for 300 k per year or the more lucrative one for 500k per year etc). This type of thinking is not on people's mind as many see that even the lowest paying specialty still pulls in 150k+ and that is enticing enough. My friends and I didn't care about physician salaries one bit when we were in undergrad because we knew regardless of what specialty we did, we would be making be in the top 1% and to us, it seemed like putting the cart before the horse.
 
Money is a huge factor in most people's happiness, and there's not anything wrong with that at all. I love material items.
Believe it or not, there are a great number of people that don't get a rush from "stuff." Objectively, most consumer goods only make you happy because you assign them a value based upon perceived worth that marketing campaigns have instilled within you. Objectively though, a fridge is a fridge, for instance. You'll be excited by how shiny it is, but a fancy one keeps things cold about as well as one costing four times as much. A car is a car- generally, you're going to feel excited by a new one for about two weeks, but then it does the same thing as any other, getting you from point A to point B. What is the point of a mansion with ten rooms when chances are you'll only use half of them? Acres of land when you rarely step beyond your own lawn?

I guess, what I mean to say, is that stuff is an illusion, essentially. Marketing has built within you a desire to have crap that you quite frankly don't need in the slightest and that objectively adds very little to your life or the quality thereof beyond a certain point. Which isn't to criticize materialistic people- you're falling prey to companies that exploit your basic instincts to hoard and acquire, it's fairly natural to give in- but just to highlight that if you're willing to look at life a little differently, money can take on a whole new meaning.

See, if you spend it all on crap you don't need, money becomes a prison- your debt and your visceral need to acquire more rules your life. You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you. But what if you have a lot of money and you invest it rather than spending it while living modestly? Well, then you end up in a very different situation, in which money essentially becomes a unit of freedom. Once you acquire enough, you no longer have to be a slave to your career. You can work as you please, vacation as you please, spend time with your family, work on projects and things that interest you rather than the job you're being forced to do to support the crap you need to pay for. Your children, in turn, also have the resources with which to do as they please with their education, and, one you pass, their lives, and so on and so forth. This understanding of what money is and isn't is what separates peyote who have good incomes from those that are truly wealthy- wealthy individuals tend to not look it, and are cash rich but often appear middle or upper middle class, while those who flash their cash tend to be low in overall wealth and have very little true freedom for themselves and their families, as they mortgaged their future for shiny things.

So I guess I'm not saying don't vale material things, do what you want. But realize there are other ways to do things that can result in a far more free and high quality life, if you can get past your animal urge to hoard/display status and let go of the shiny things.
 
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See the set point theory of happiness; it proposes that as people go through life, happiness remains at a certain constant level, and although it may spike or depress due to life's events, it remains generally constant.

Another study was done showing that money does in fact make you happier (mostly due to removing the stresses of low to mid income and all that may entail) but the correlation tapered off after 150k, below what most doctors make.

EDIT: didn't see someone already made my second point lol
Actually, there was a follow-up study that showed that the money-happiness correlation continues, but that the amount of money to increase a given amount of happiness doubles moving beyond a certain point, rather than moving in a linear fashion. So the amount of happiness one gets from 40k to 50k requires a jump of 50 to 100, then 100 to 200, 200 to 400, etc. So there are increases in happiness with increases in income, but the returns are diminishing as you move upward.
 
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Believe it or not, there are a great number of people that don't get a rush from "stuff." Objectively, most consumer goods only make you happy because you assign them a value based upon perceived worth that marketing campaigns have instilled within you. Objectively though, a fridge is a fridge, for instance. You'll be excited by how shiny it is, but a fancy one keeps things cold about as well as one costing four times as much. A car is a car- generally, you're going to feel excited by a new one for about two weeks, but then it does the same thing as any other, getting you from point A to point B. What is the point of a mansion with ten rooms when chances are you'll only use half of them? Acres of land when you rarely step beyond your own lawn?

I guess, what I mean to say, is that stuff is an illusion, essentially. Marketing has built within you a desire to have crap that you quite frankly don't need in the slightest and that objectively adds very little to your life or the quality thereof beyond a certain point. Which isn't to criticize materialistic people- you're falling prey to companies that exploit your basic instincts to hoard and acquire, it's fairly natural to give in- but just to highlight that if you're willing to look at life a little differently, money can take on a whole new meaning.

See, if you spend it all on crap you don't need, money becomes a prison- your debt and your visceral need to acquire more rules your life. You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you. But what if you have a lot of money and you invest it rather than spending it while living modestly? Well, then you end up in a very different situation, in which money essentially becomes a unit of freedom. Once you acquire enough, you no longer have to be a slave to your career. You can work as you please, vacation as you please, spend time with your family, work on projects and things that interest you rather than the job you're being forced to do to support the crap you need to pay for. Your children, in turn, also have the resources with which to do as they please with their education, and, one you pass, their lives, and so on and so forth. This understanding of what money is and isn't is what separates peyote who have good incomes from those that are truly wealthy- wealthy individuals tend to not look it, and are cash rich but often appear middle or upper middle class, while those who flash their cash tend to be low in overall wealth and have very little true freedom for themselves and their families, as they mortgaged their future for shiny things.

So I guess I'm not saying don't vale material things, do what you want. But realize there are other ways to do things that can result in a far more free and high quality life, if you can get past your animal urge to hoard/display status and let go of the shiny things.

That used to be me, buying new items I generally didn't need was my MO. I've realized that as I have matured and gotten older I grew out of it. I still appreciate nice things, but now it's more of a mindset of "pay more now for something that is nice and will last a long time."
 
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That used to be me, buying new items I generally didn't need was my MO. I've realized that as I have matured and gotten older I grew out of it. I still appreciate nice things, but now it's more of a mindset of "pay more now for something that is nice and will last a long time."
Same- I take the utilitarian approach of what will be the best balance of price, function, and durability. Sometimes that's higher end things (I like nice jeans, for instance) but often it's something more mid-range. One must not live like a peasant to save money, we just have to not go crazy with the higher salary.
 
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Believe it or not, there are a great number of people that don't get a rush from "stuff." Objectively, most consumer goods only make you happy because you assign them a value based upon perceived worth that marketing campaigns have instilled within you. Objectively though, a fridge is a fridge, for instance. You'll be excited by how shiny it is, but a fancy one keeps things cold about as well as one costing four times as much. A car is a car- generally, you're going to feel excited by a new one for about two weeks, but then it does the same thing as any other, getting you from point A to point B. What is the point of a mansion with ten rooms when chances are you'll only use half of them? Acres of land when you rarely step beyond your own lawn?

I guess, what I mean to say, is that stuff is an illusion, essentially. Marketing has built within you a desire to have crap that you quite frankly don't need in the slightest and that objectively adds very little to your life or the quality thereof beyond a certain point. Which isn't to criticize materialistic people- you're falling prey to companies that exploit your basic instincts to hoard and acquire, it's fairly natural to give in- but just to highlight that if you're willing to look at life a little differently, money can take on a whole new meaning.

See, if you spend it all on crap you don't need, money becomes a prison- your debt and your visceral need to acquire more rules your life. You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you. But what if you have a lot of money and you invest it rather than spending it while living modestly? Well, then you end up in a very different situation, in which money essentially becomes a unit of freedom. Once you acquire enough, you no longer have to be a slave to your career. You can work as you please, vacation as you please, spend time with your family, work on projects and things that interest you rather than the job you're being forced to do to support the crap you need to pay for. Your children, in turn, also have the resources with which to do as they please with their education, and, one you pass, their lives, and so on and so forth. This understanding of what money is and isn't is what separates peyote who have good incomes from those that are truly wealthy- wealthy individuals tend to not look it, and are cash rich but often appear middle or upper middle class, while those who flash their cash tend to be low in overall wealth and have very little true freedom for themselves and their families, as they mortgaged their future for shiny things.

So I guess I'm not saying don't vale material things, do what you want. But realize there are other ways to do things that can result in a far more free and high quality life, if you can get past your animal urge to hoard/display status and let go of the shiny things.

A very fair point, and I would agree that those who go massively into debt in the pursuit of more and more shiny things are making a mistake. For better context, my views come from the perspective of someone who will graduate next year with $0 in debt and about $75k in the bank, so I do have a different perspective than the person who is $50k in debt but still buys a new $1000 TV every year or two. For pretty much of all us, there will come a day, when we've been attendings for 10-20 years and have no debt and a huge bank account, that we will have enough money to use it both as a unit of freedom while also still having plenty to splurge on shiny things that do provide happiness.
 
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A very fair point, and I would agree that those who go massively into debt in the pursuit of more and more shiny things are making a mistake. For better context, my views come from the perspective of someone who will graduate next year with $0 in debt and about $75k in the bank, so I do have a different perspective than the person who is $50k in debt but still buys a new $1000 TV every year or two. For pretty much of all us, there will come a day, when we've been attendings for 10-20 years and have no debt and a huge bank account, that we will have enough money to use it both as a unit of freedom while also still having plenty to splurge on shiny things that do provide happiness.
I must say, that's a great way to start out. The people who graduate 400k and immediately but a nice car and a house are the ones that concern me lol.
 
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Respectfully disagree. Medical student attitudes start shifting downward very quickly after matriculation; the curricula, both visible and hidden, appear quite efficient at instilling negatives. For those who haven't yet started I would offer the following advice: identify role models as early as possible. When you find someone who is living and practicing the way you want to, emulate them in behavior and attitude. And when a significant number of your classmates board the train to Jaded-ville*, let them go on without you.


*The full name of the place is I'm-too-young-and-inexperienced-to-really-be-jaded-but-it-appears-to-be-a-dominant-cultural-attitude-in-medicine-so-I'm-going-to-go-along-with-it-ville
great advice!
 
Believe it or not, there are a great number of people that don't get a rush from "stuff." Objectively, most consumer goods only make you happy because you assign them a value based upon perceived worth that marketing campaigns have instilled within you. Objectively though, a fridge is a fridge, for instance. You'll be excited by how shiny it is, but a fancy one keeps things cold about as well as one costing four times as much. A car is a car- generally, you're going to feel excited by a new one for about two weeks, but then it does the same thing as any other, getting you from point A to point B. What is the point of a mansion with ten rooms when chances are you'll only use half of them? Acres of land when you rarely step beyond your own lawn?

I guess, what I mean to say, is that stuff is an illusion, essentially. Marketing has built within you a desire to have crap that you quite frankly don't need in the slightest and that objectively adds very little to your life or the quality thereof beyond a certain point. Which isn't to criticize materialistic people- you're falling prey to companies that exploit your basic instincts to hoard and acquire, it's fairly natural to give in- but just to highlight that if you're willing to look at life a little differently, money can take on a whole new meaning.

See, if you spend it all on crap you don't need, money becomes a prison- your debt and your visceral need to acquire more rules your life. You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you. But what if you have a lot of money and you invest it rather than spending it while living modestly? Well, then you end up in a very different situation, in which money essentially becomes a unit of freedom. Once you acquire enough, you no longer have to be a slave to your career. You can work as you please, vacation as you please, spend time with your family, work on projects and things that interest you rather than the job you're being forced to do to support the crap you need to pay for. Your children, in turn, also have the resources with which to do as they please with their education, and, one you pass, their lives, and so on and so forth. This understanding of what money is and isn't is what separates peyote who have good incomes from those that are truly wealthy- wealthy individuals tend to not look it, and are cash rich but often appear middle or upper middle class, while those who flash their cash tend to be low in overall wealth and have very little true freedom for themselves and their families, as they mortgaged their future for shiny things.

So I guess I'm not saying don't vale material things, do what you want. But realize there are other ways to do things that can result in a far more free and high quality life, if you can get past your animal urge to hoard/display status and let go of the shiny things.
rich dad, poor dad?
 
That's one of the many books that has been written on the matter. I'm more into the many early retirement forums that span the web myself.
That's one of the many books that has been written on the matter. I'm more into the many early retirement forums that span the web myself.
would you mind sharing some of those sources? trying to learn more myself
 
would you mind sharing some of those sources? trying to learn more myself
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/
http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php
http://www.investopedia.com/

Some of the more beginner level stuff. Basic tools for paycheck calculation:
http://www.paycheckcity.com/
Investment growth over time:
http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/investment-calculator#/entry_form
How much you need to save to retire early and not have your savings run out via calculations based on every market cycle that has ever existed:
http://firecalc.com/

And I'm sure there's a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting, but those are some of the more utilized sources.
 
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Oh, and the classic rule of early retirement without working- if you want to retire early, take whatever amount you want to make in retirement and multiply it by 25. That'll give you your basic number for the amount of investments you'll need to get by in retirement at a 4% withdrawal rate, assuming you leave your investments in a market-tracking account. The trouble with it is that some years will be leaner than others due to the inherent market risk, but it's a good rule of thumb to go by, and isn't all that hazardous if you pay down your home and other assets before retirement (leaving you with very little in expenses, and making all income over your basic needs an amount to have fun with).
 
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/
http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php
http://www.investopedia.com/

Some of the more beginner level stuff. Basic tools for paycheck calculation:
http://www.paycheckcity.com/
Investment growth over time:
http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/investment-calculator#/entry_form
How much you need to save to retire early and not have your savings run out via calculations based on every market cycle that has ever existed:
http://firecalc.com/

And I'm sure there's a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting, but those are some of the more utilized sources.
How do I learn to budget? Pay my taxes? Understand my crippling student loans and how I can fix my situation? ?
More importantly how do I learn how to stop blowing my money on useless crap and how do I learn how to invest my money when I start working? ??
Teach me sensei
 
How do I learn to budget? Pay my taxes? Understand my crippling student loans and how I can fix my situation? ?
More importantly how do I learn how to stop blowing my money on useless crap and how do I learn how to invest my money when I start working? ??
Teach me sensei
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/

For us, the White Coat Investor is a pretty solid forum, site, and book. The book goes over the basics of how to manage your money once you become a physician. As to not blowing money on useless crap you don't need, that's something you need to learn how to do yourself. It's actually more of a spiritual process than something I can just give you a "how to" guide on. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to understand how the consumer decisions you make every day will affect not just your life, but your children. Find something you value more than stuff- for me it's my relationship, friends, and family, so time is more important than the stuff I have around me. For some people it's their kids, or traveling, or their religion. But basically, you need to have a goal that doesn't involve stuff for you to want to save money toward rather than spend it on garbage. Ultimately you just have to realize that debt in the pursuit of things makes you a slave- you get shiny stuff that you must then work to keep, lest the bank take it all away, and most of that stuff you only want because some company managed to weasel the idea into your brain that you wanted some guy's name on your shirt's tag, or you'd feel better going 0-60 in 4.2 seconds than 6 from one red light to the next on the way to work, or that you will never feel complete without a pad that just feels perfectly filled with leather furniture and designer end tables that you'll rarely see because you're too busy working to keep them.

Do things wrong and you'll be spending 70-80 hours a week until you're 70 just so you can see some guy's name on your underwear before it lands in the hamper, so you can reach that next light a little faster, and so you can see that furniture ever so briefly on your way to bed before you start again the next day. Working to line the pockets of banks and the executives that hire you until you get put in the ground. Don't let that be you. Find something better to work for, and don't get lost in the rat race that has no real satisfaction and no end.
fight-club-quotes-were-consumers-we-are-by-product.jpg
 
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The now perma-lost Sanders thread got me thinking about my experiences and observations since crossing the threshold (and having my residency salary quintuple, give or take). I think it can be nicely encapsulated by what J. K. Rowling said about her accountant, who she hired because he said this to her:

You have to make a fundamental decision. You have to choose whether you organize your money around your life or your life around your money.

Having been around long enough to meet quite a few docs, they exist across a spectrum but seem closer to one of two extremes: those that incessantly complain about money/reimbursement/taxes, and those that appear more content and less motivated by material things.

Don't get me wrong, I do not mean that the former extreme is inherently discontent, nor that the latter group is fundamentally divorced from financial concerns. And yet the dichotomy occasionally strikes me when I interact with various colleagues. I imagine a lot of this is either hardwired or so deeply ingrained that shifting attitudes is unlikely.

As for me, I probably fall more into the content/less materialistic camp. I wont lie, getting that first large paycheck was invigorating, and our lifestyle (and number of dependents) adjusted accordingly. That said, I would not say that I am fundamentally happier now than I was when I was a resident or medical student. If anything, my point of maximum existential bliss coincided with my point of maximum adult ignorance: college.

tl;dr Enjoy whatever youth you have left.
I absolutely love this.
 
+1 this post by @Mad Jack so much.
Other sites I read aside from white coat Investor include
http://www.physicianonfire.com
https://www.bogleheads.org

Things I've learned about myself:
- Buying a $4000 watch bought me excitement for the first 20 times I wore it, now it's just another watch; spending a similar amount on a vacation with my wife to Iceland, or Australia is going to give me a lifetime of happiness everytime I reminisce about the memories from those trips with my wife.
- I'm just as happy paying $20k in cash for a brand new efficient hybrid car, playing the 'how many mpgs can we get on this tank of gas' while helping the environment, than if I financed a $50k sports car that you can't even go faster than the Corolla next to you without danger of getting pulled over.
- our 2800 sq ft house is way big enough for just the 2 of us, even if we had a child in the future it's way more space than we ever need. We hate house work so we end up spending even more money on cleaners and landscapers to keep it looking nice. We'd probably be just as happy in a 2 bedroom rented apartment or condo. Would save us on maintenance fees, property tax, don't have to worry about a $20k roof repair job in 5 years..etc etc

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/

For us, the White Coat Investor is a pretty solid forum, site, and book. The book goes over the basics of how to manage your money once you become a physician. As to not blowing money on useless crap you don't need, that's something you need to learn how to do yourself. It's actually more of a spiritual process than something I can just give you a "how to" guide on. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to understand how the consumer decisions you make every day will affect not just your life, but your children. Find something you value more than stuff- for me it's my relationship, friends, and family, so time is more important than the stuff I have around me. For some people it's their kids, or traveling, or their religion. But basically, you need to have a goal that doesn't involve stuff for you to want to save money toward rather than spend it on garbage. Ultimately you just have to realize that debt in the pursuit of things makes you a slave- you get shiny stuff that you must then work to keep, lest the bank take it all away, and most of that stuff you only want because some company managed to weasel the idea into your brain that you wanted some guy's name on your shirt's tag, or you'd feel better going 0-60 in 4.2 seconds than 6 from one red light to the next on the way to work, or that you will never feel complete without a pad that just feels perfectly filled with leather furniture and designer end tables that you'll rarely see because you're too busy working to keep them.

Do things wrong and you'll be spending 70-80 hours a week until you're 70 just so you can see some guy's name on your underwear before it lands in the hamper, so you can reach that next light a little faster, and so you can see that furniture ever so briefly on your way to bed before you start again the next day. Working to line the pockets of banks and the executives that hire you until you get put in the ground. Don't let that be you. Find something better to work for, and don't get lost in the rat race that has no real satisfaction and no end.
 
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http://whitecoatinvestor.com/
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/

For us, the White Coat Investor is a pretty solid forum, site, and book. The book goes over the basics of how to manage your money once you become a physician. As to not blowing money on useless crap you don't need, that's something you need to learn how to do yourself. It's actually more of a spiritual process than something I can just give you a "how to" guide on. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to understand how the consumer decisions you make every day will affect not just your life, but your children. Find something you value more than stuff- for me it's my relationship, friends, and family, so time is more important than the stuff I have around me. For some people it's their kids, or traveling, or their religion. But basically, you need to have a goal that doesn't involve stuff for you to want to save money toward rather than spend it on garbage. Ultimately you just have to realize that debt in the pursuit of things makes you a slave- you get shiny stuff that you must then work to keep, lest the bank take it all away, and most of that stuff you only want because some company managed to weasel the idea into your brain that you wanted some guy's name on your shirt's tag, or you'd feel better going 0-60 in 4.2 seconds than 6 from one red light to the next on the way to work, or that you will never feel complete without a pad that just feels perfectly filled with leather furniture and designer end tables that you'll rarely see because you're too busy working to keep them.

Do things wrong and you'll be spending 70-80 hours a week until you're 70 just so you can see some guy's name on your underwear before it lands in the hamper, so you can reach that next light a little faster, and so you can see that furniture ever so briefly on your way to bed before you start again the next day. Working to line the pockets of banks and the executives that hire you until you get put in the ground. Don't let that be you. Find something better to work for, and don't get lost in the rat race that has no real satisfaction and no end.
fight-club-quotes-were-consumers-we-are-by-product.jpg
very inspiring. thanks for all the tips!
 
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