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On March 17th, 2011, I read the words that served as the culmination of all that I had worked for since my first biology class as a pre-med. I matched into my dream program and was floating on cloud nine.
If you don’t know where your money is going, you can’t make it work for you. There is no more important financial advice I could give you as you traverse through medical school. I remember when I received my first loan check at the beginning of medical school, it was by far the most money I ever had in my hand at one time. But even though it has your name on it, it is not your money…it’s the government’s money, and they will want it back sooner than you think. Therefore, the less you borrow the better, and the better you manage your money, the less you will need to borrow.
For most newly minted medical students, the loan money they received for living expenses may possibly be the most money they’ve ever managed at one time. As the popular saying goes, “more money equals more problems,” and this could not be truer than for a MS-1 with a $2,000 loan check. So how do you keep track of where your money is going? How do you use your money wisely? Below I will answer those questions based on my experiences.