When you’re a physician, you’ll probably make bank. As a medical student, you’ll probably break it. Here are some things you can do to save some dough while you’re in med school:
- Make a Budget
Every penny counts – so start counting. You won’t be able to keep a full-time job in med school, which means that your financial solvency will be based on how much you save each month. Creating a budget will help you make smart financial choices and see what your money is going towards. Mint is a useful tool for putting together a streamlined budget tailored to you.
- Need to Have vs. Want to Have
Besides creating a budget, make a list of things you want and things you need. It’ll help you prioritize when choosing how to spend your money. Groceries? Definitely in the “need” column. Lobster dinners every Sunday night? Probably in the “want” column. Private, supersonic jet? I don’t know if that even exists.
Yes, coupons. Clip ‘em, Groupon ‘em, or hoard ‘em – they’re useful in any form. They’re especially useful if you want to find a reasonable place to eat out one night or buy that shampoo that was definitely two dollars more last month. Even if it’s a small savings, it’ll add up in the long term. Also, just because you have a coupon for something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Refer to your “need/want” list and see if it fits your budget plan.
- Cook at Home instead of Eating Out
Eating out is an expensive habit. Even eating fast food regularly can add up (without even considering how terrible your health would be if you ate McDonalds all the time). Cooking, however, is incredibly less expensive and usually healthier for you (depending on how you cook). You can make food for the entire week instead of blowing your food budget on one night out. Besides, all the cool people cook.
- Reuse and Repurpose
Ah, the magic of upcycling – seriously, you can take just about anything and make something beautiful and useful out of it. We’ll leave this blurb to DIY experts, but really consider what’s in your house and what can be used more efficiently – it could save you a trip to the store. And it will save money. Hence, the blog.
- Bike to Campus
Cars may be more convenient but they suck up a ton of gas money really quickly. Public transportation may not always be the most reliable. Enter: the bike. It’s cheaper than these two options and you get exercise too! You’ll probably get more out of it if you’re near campus.
- Don’t Need it Now? Wait Until Black Friday Week.
Okay, I wrote a lot about prioritizing needs over wants, but what if you really, really want something? Like, this thing will change your life and stuff? Saving money shouldn’t prevent you from treating yourself every now and again. Black Friday week is the best time to do that. Pro tip: don’t go to the store to shop Black Friday. You can find the same deals online (usually with free shipping) and you don’t have to get trampled.
What are your money saving tips for medical school? Post in the comments!