Check in with June Goals

June has just been whizzing by as I’m slowly getting my mind straight and focused on ending work, going back to school and getting back on the student debt train.

Mostly I’ve been away because I’ve been on a bit of a shopping spree, but once I get over the guilt I’ll talk about it! Anyways, how did I do on my June goals?

1. Get back into running slowly. Run at least 4 times a week with at least one structured run (5k or longer) a week.

Check! I’ve been running between 4-6 times a week all month and this past week I’ve built up to a solid 6k pace, as well as mixing in some pilates. I am hoping to start a more structured running schedule next week.  I’m feeling way stronger and very ready to build up to my pre-pneumonia fitness levels. 

2. Finalize details for my student line of credit.

Done! I actually finalized this in the last days of May and early days of June. I’m all set up with my line, credit card and chequing account. And I haven’t touched the line!

3. Cancel credit card to consolidate accounts with line of credit company and home bank

Done! This was surprisingly easy. I cancelled my first every credit card with an easy phone call.

4. Finalize moving details- rent truck, start packing, start cleaning. Oh and move!

Done! Moving was a breeze and not even 2 weeks into the new place we are basically all set up, organized and decorated!

5. Update address on all documents- insurance, banking, government, bills, etc.

90% done. Everything is changed except my health card.

6. Cancel all pre-authorized payments from my accounts.

Done! Again, super easy to just pay out my insurance for the year and cancel my pre-authorized payments. Banking is very easy when you know what is going on! 

7. Make plans to hang out with coworkers at least 1 more time before I leave and have a plan to stay in touch.

Done! Had some nice drinks and parties with friends and coworkers outside work and hopefully will have a little something at the new place before school gets going!

6.9/7, not too bad at all- How was your month?

Leaving My Job to Go Into Debt Full Time

Upon learning that I got into medical school I read the email 4 times to be sure I wasn’t seeing things, jumped up and down, called my parents and tried to convince them that no I wasn’t lying and then realized that I’ll have to leave my very interesting and great job.

My last day at work is at actually today (sad face), so this is my last full month with a salary.

I wrote about my June budget here  and have planned to spend about $2400 of my $2700 coming in.Specifically, I plan to save at least $700 this month.

Between my last day of work and first day of school I have about 4 weeks to get through. I do have a line of credit, but in a more intelligent move, I have a plan for these ‘transition weeks’.

Although I haven’t finalized my July monthly budget, I do plan on starting on my first financial goal of limiting my living expenses to under $1450.

July Budget: 1450

700 from June savings

750 from planned tuition savings, in an effort to minimize usage of line of credit or loans

I do expect there to be huge school expenses this month, but this will come out of the planned tuition savings. School expenses will be over and above the living expenses, as I know the first month has tons of upfront expenses (unfortunately they haven’t given us any details).

What do you think? Should I save the planned savings to actually be put towards tuition or is it wise to spend as much as my money first before even touching any credit?

How to Make a Medical School Budget- Part 4

Hopefully I haven’t bored you yet with my obsession with school budgets.
I’ve managed to make a pretty detailed and evidence-based living expenses school budget, but you may have noticed that it is completely missing any school costs.

Ha ha ha, I just like to pretend these don’t exist.

Here is my estimate of school expenses

  Yearly 3 years
Tuition 15012 45036
Fees 1620 4860
Books/instruments 4000 12000
Totals 20632 61896

I do know that each year has costs that are specific to the year, but I don’t know all the details yet, so I’m basing the 3 year totals off of the first year costs.(So unfortunately this is likely a low-ball number)

Holy poopy $61 896 is a lot of money for school!

To combine the school expenses with living expenses you get an even poopier number:

Oh fuck.
Welcome to medical school.

The good news is that I’m actually doing these numbers and realizing how much shit I could actually get into if I didn’t have a budget.

The better news is that banks love med students and throw lots of money at you; with an average professional line of credit being between $200-250,000.

And the best news is that now I have a comprehensive budget and am not planning to go anywhere near needing $200,000.

And knowing how much debt you are taking on makes it very clear about how fast you need to repay it once you start working. $113,000 seems bananas to me (and this is not including my already existing undergrad loan of about $15,000), but once I start residency I will make at least $50,000 a year with staff bringing in between $100-250,000, depending on what you do and where you work.
So it’s all under control right?

Using Planned Savings

I have written a lot about my big tuition planned savings goal. I have written (and thought) much less about how I’m actually going to use this money I had saved up.

Obviously on tuition, but I hadn’t thought about all the little things that have to be taken care of before school even starts. ($6000 will not cover even one semester of tuition anyways.)

My plan is to track my spending as I withdrawal money from my planned savings account.

This is what I have so far:

Tuition for 2014 Date Activity Balance Reason
  2014-05-13 6619.7 6000  
  2014-05-16 -507.5 6112.2 deposit
  2014-05-19 -65 6047.2 first aid
  2014-05-20 -85 5962.2 immunizations
    -498 5464.2 trip to see mom/dad
    -90.28 5373.92 flowers for references
    -40.5 5333.42 agenda/file folder
    -144 5189.42 purse
    -85 5104.42 flats, two shirts


And yes, I’ve been a bad (but honest) personal finance blogger by tracking even the not-so-essential school expenses I’ve ‘expensed’ from this tuition account so far.

My theory is by carrying over this explicit spending tracking into the planned spending account I will be more honest about

a) Where the money is going and b) How much I actually have.

I have spent a good chunk so far.

Yes, I didn’t need a number of these things, but they do directly relate to school and I did not use a credit card or any credit to buy them, so I do not feel guilty at all!

I’m unsure about whether or not to use this money for living expenses in the weeks leading up to school or not, but perhaps I’ll write about that later.

Regardless, expect regularly spending tracking reports from this planned savings account in the future! I encourage you to do the same!

You counted every dollar saving it, you should also make sure you track where it goes!

New Financial Goals

I’ve met both of my 2014 financial goals and it’s only half way through the year!It’s pretty good timing, even though I didn’t plan it.

This is all excellent and I’m very proud and excited, but the truth is that it calls for more goals.

Since this next 6 months will include my transition from full time work into full time school (debt), my priorities are changing for sure.

2nd Half of 2014 Financial Goals:

  1. Stay below a monthly living expenses budget of $1450.

  2. Stay on top of tracking all expenses, doing month-end, quarterly and yearly reports.

So not exciting, I know.

I’m sad to realize that this next part of my life will not be full of awesome, savings-goal-smashing months, but with all opportunities come sacrifices right?

I mostly just want to keep on keeping on with all of the great financial skills I’ve used this past year, and help keep me under budget and keep this line of credit living as minimal as possible.

This is the first time that I’m in school and not financially drunk, so this is going to be very interesting. I’m confident that I will be able to carry forward all my financial skills through school and not fall back into my ‘I’m too busy to do this I’m a student’ mode of yesteryear.

I will also aim to have monthly financial goals and perhaps once school settles in have some monthly challenges where I aim to spend as little as possible.


Bring on the next six months !

How to Make a Medical School Budget- Part 3

I’ve wrote at length about my commitment to budget during school.

Here is my projected school budget.

  School living expenses predicted School Actual
Rent 750  
Utilities 87  
transportation 60  
phone 40  
groceries/personal care 250  
restaurant 50  
clothes 50  
gifts 0  
alcohol 60  
entertainment 50  
bank fees 0  
savings 0  
debt repayment 0  
retirement 0  
Travel 0  
Income 0  
spent 1397  
Difference -1397  
  personal savings rate:  

This is comfortably under my goal max budget of $1429/month! Let’s hope this good plan will carry me through!

It’s pretty important to me as I will be financing my living through school primarily through credit.
If I can keep to my goal max budget, that translates into

$17 148/year and

$51 444/3 years of debt

Just for living expenses.


My loan will be at a decent rate of prime for the duration of my studies and training, but it’s still a loan!

Hopefully thinking about how I will get charged 3% interest immediately plus the cost of whatever I buy will help me think about whether I need something or not during school.

June Monthly Budget

Very busy month ahead, but I want to also carve out some relaxing time before school starts next month and life really gets hectic.
Here is my budget, which is hopefully more realistic than the shit-show that was May (at least I called it).

  June predicted June Actual Difference
Rent 750    
Utilities 87    
transportation 120    
phone 40    
groceries/personal care 250    
restaurant 50    
clothes 0    
gifts 0    
alcohol 50    
entertainment 50    
bank fees 15    
savings 700    
debt repayment 300    
retirement 50    
Income 2700    
Spent 2462    
Difference 238 0  
  personal savings rate:    

I know we will need a moving truck, so I put a bit more in transportation. I am also leaving my job this month (sad face) and so I am going to try to save as much as I can.