Help Alleviate the Stress of Your Finances

Physician's Money Digest, June 2006, Volume 13, Issue 6

Health

As if your duties as a physician aren'tstressful enough, there's always the addedstress of money worries. Fortunately, an articlein presents a simple five-stepplan that can help you financially de-stress.

•Identify your goals. Write down allof the important things you want toaccomplish with your money, then calculatehow much money you'll need to reachthose goals. Recognizing these objectiveswill help you to curb impulse spending,thereby saving you money.

•Stop leaking money. Make a budgetand stick to it. Write down your monthlyexpenses and break them down by theday. Once you have that, cut out what youdon't need.

•Pay your bills online. Online billpayments are a convenient way to simplifyyour monthly expenses. Setting your paymentsto automatically come out on a certaindate can help prevent late fees. Justmake sure you always have enough moneyin your account to cover them.

•Cut your credit card debt. Onlycarry the bare minimum of credit cards,and periodically contact customer serviceto score a better annual percentage rate.Also, limit your card use to major purchases,and pay off your cards in the order ofhighest interest rate first.

•Simplify saving. Automate your savingefforts by having a fixed amount comeout of your checking account each monthand into an interest-bearing account ormutual fund. Also, use any financial windfallyou receive (eg, tax returns, inheritance,bonus, etc) toward paring downyour debt and building up your savings.