My Most Extreme Strategy Yet For Making Money In Med School
You owe it to your future self to take your financial life seriously now, not in 5 years or 10 years, or when you get a "real job." Protect your future. Spend your time wisely today. Plant seeds of hard work and diligence.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
We haven't met yet. My name is Mr. MedSchool Money. Am I desperate? No. But the quote just doesn't work with "passionate times call for passionate measures." I'm passionate about eliminating costs and increasing income in med school. Why? I'm out there just like everyone else- rising and grinding to get that dream residency. I just happen to believe that it my medical education shouldn't cost as much as it currently does. As of this writing, I am at the border of $200,000 in student debt with the fast approaching federal student debt limit of $224,000. With 2 semesters left of school, I do not think my remaining federal allowed borrowing limit will be enough to pay for school and cover my living expenses. I have been on this journey for about a year now, and I have learned a lot.
I have pushed the boundaries of what I thought was practical, and after a lot of hard work and creative thinking, my family's financial future has never looked brighter.
I know I said this before, but it bears much repeating- it has been a lot of hard work. But, last month my wife and I were able to pay off one of her student loans we had been working on for years after doubling down on our expenses and focusing our efforts. That feeling was amazing. I can't imagine what it will be like to be fully debt free someday- one of our goals is to fund an orphanage in Kenya, where my wife has spent some time before. What do you want to do when you are debt free?
Last month, while on my Emergency Medicine rotation (missed honors by 1 point! shucks), I made $800. $400 from personal training and working at the gym and another $400 from donating plasma twice a week. It takes about an hour to donate. I watch Online Med Ed videos while I donate. The way many plasma centers are set up, you get paid a smaller amount for donating once a week, and if you donate a second time in the same week, you get paid twice as much. The same goes for overall times you donate in a given month- getting to a certain number results in a bonus payment.
Clearly, the plasma centers stack the odds in their favor. But that's OK. You can handle it. If you ask your patients to get poked daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for the labs your ordering, you can put up with a little needle twice a week to make some extra cash.
I admit that this is a bit extreme. It is something I do inconsistently because even a 2-hour time commitment a week can be difficult to swing. But for a few really lean months for our family, this plasma money came in clutch!
It Gets Worse
Last thing. I promise. I now use the money I make with donating plasma to buy stocks. I have a couple hundred dollars in a certain American automaker, as of this writing. I know that sounds pretty silly- shouldn't I just be putting extra money against my student loans? By the numbers, yes, I think that is a very sound strategy. But there is something more powerful than the numbers that comes after the $ sign- knowledge. Some people say money is power; some say knowledge is power. I would have to go with the latter. Who cares how much money you have if you lack the knowledge and discipline to manage it? You'll lose it faster than you can say "My first big boy (or girl) paycheck!" Knowledge about money and how it works in our world is SO MUCH more important than the actual amount of money that your currently have.
I'm a bit extreme. But desperate times call for desperate measures. And, I am DESPERATE to be financially independent!
Now that you have heard my confession, I want to know what you think. What is your favorite money-saving/money-making strategy? Are you an Extremist like me?