Don't Squander What's in the Piggy Bank

Physician's Money Digest, February15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 3

Like many doctors, you may believe that you're indebt because you don't make enough money.Most likely, you already make as much money asit takes to become financially successful, but you'resimply not using your resources wisely.

Intelligent Decisions

Life is all about choices, and if you're in debt, itmay be because you've made some bad ones. You mayhave spent every tax refund you ever received—oftenbefore you received it. Maybe every time your salaryincreased, you upgraded your lifestyle. And while it'strue that this new income allowed you to handle thenew payments, it also did two more things: It forcedyou to maintain your income stream so you couldkeep paying for these new financial obligations, andsince the new income was preallocated, you were preventedfrom saving it or using it for other financialpurposes in the future.

Reluctant to Save

If you think you're not rich because you never hadthe opportunity to become rich, you may want to thinkagain. According to a study by the Employee BenefitResearch Institute (EBRI), 70% of nonretired Americanssay they could reduce their expenses to save for retirement,but only 18% say they are very likely to do so. Tomany physicians, living well today is more importantthan living well tomorrow.

Savings can be found everywhere. If you go out fordinner twice a month, spending $75 each time, it adds upto $1800 a year. Saving that money over 30 years at 10%interest, you'd accumulate $325,698. Yet, according toEBRI, restaurant meals “are no longer considered luxuries,but a standard part of the middle class lifestyle.â€Somaybe your problem isn't that you don't make enoughmoney, but that you simply spend too much.

Source: The Truth About Money (HarperBusiness;2004; 800-762-9797; www.ricedelman.com).