Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Financial Lifestyle

Becoming a doctor is a long road fraught with delayed gratification. Like, I'm 25 and just now finally starting my first real job...although working 80 hrs/week for a salary that equates to $11/hr doesn't sound that good. And I won't be an attending physician until I'm 31 (i.e. better wait awhile before signing on the dotted line for that Lexus).

Nonetheless, going from -$50k annually in tuition to +$45k-ish in salary (no big secret here -- resident salaries are set by the Federal Government and more-or-less uniform nationwide) is a big swing and I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to spend all those Benjamins.

And don't get me started on all they ways I've been mentally spending my future earnings when I'm an attending.... The AAMC quotes average Urolgist earnings to be in the ballpark of $325-425k, which will buy Barbie a lot of pink Corvettes. (Or pay off all of my student loans, which are themselves in the 6-figures.)

So, the point of this post is, I've had money on the brain lately...but, as I go from negative-earner to positive-earner to someday primary-breadwinner, I look forward to continuing to spend smart.

I want to continue to live a 'financial lifestyle' that I can be proud of.

Financial Lifestyle? By that, I don't mean a budget exactly, but rather a balance between luxury and austerity that seems reasonable.

We believe in budgeting, money planning, and living slightly below one's means, but, beyond even that, we believe in buying things that aren't RIDICULOUS.

What is ridiculous? Well, to my mind, it's things like this:

This Waterford crystal retails for, I kid you not, $79.50 per glass. I could have as much money as Bill Gates and not justify that expenditure. Wine glasses chip in the sink, people rap forks against them to make toasts, sometimes guests accidentally-on-purpose take them home after parties... All I'm saying is, if I owned this crystal, when I entertained, I'd be wearing a velvet glove on one hand and holding a whip in the other, just to keep people in line (trust me, that's not a party any sane person wants to attend).

What I'm saying is, no matter how much money we have (or don't have) someday, I want to spend in a way that feels justifiable.

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