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So my biggest dream came true: I got into med school! I am going to become a doctor, and I am so excited to finally begin this journey! 
 

But then comes the notion of a miserable, sleep deprived, fatigued, and poor medical student. A med student is prescribed to conserve. To conserve energy, money, and resources for the “sweet” attending life. Somehow the life that we lead from the beginning of med school to the end of residency is only justified by the end, not by the means. At least, that’s the prevalent notion. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am prepared. If that is the ONLY way ahead of me, I will succumb to the misery and cynicism that taints this journey.

But I want to enjoy my 20s, or at least take control of one thing I have at my disposal - money. Not at the expense of the sweet attending life, but at the compromise of a well-stricken balance between pre-attending and attending life.

For example, I need a car for med school. People say I should get an old $2K Corolla just to get myself from point A to B. I want a Dodge Challenger, around $20K . It’s been dream to own one for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know if I’ll still want that as a 35 years old staff physician. Nonetheless, apparently spending money during med school and residency on yourself in any big way is a sin. People think “wow, look at this guy, he’s just wasting his LOC”.
 

I literally do not get the point of saving pennies in med school when I am going to make a 300K+ salary one day. The difference between someone who has to pay 200K in debts vs someone who has to pay 300K in debts is marginal once you consider the amount you make as an attending. I have not heard of one staff physician saying that they wish they spent less in med school because now they’re having difficulty paying back their loans.


Yes, more debt does mean more time to pay the debt. But I believe that comes down to your philosophy of living. I believe that a little more time spent paying back loans in my mid 30s is a well-justified compromise if it means I can enjoy my 20s a little more. With surgery on my mind, I may have a decade more of my life to go through before I am an attending.

10 years! That’s a long period of my life I am never going to get back. There are things I  want now that I probably won’t care about once I am 35. I want to invest in my present life with a future income. I know the traditional method is investing into your future, but I believe I have already procured that investment with the education I am about to receive.
 

Is it so wrong to live comfortably during med school and residency? What are your thoughts?

 

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It's all about risk tolerance and what you're willing to accept. You're correct, it may only take an additional year of attendinghood to pay off the marginal debt but here are a couple of considerations:

1) You may not want to be a surgeon at the end of medical school

2) You may not get surgery even if you want it

3) You may not enjoy medicine at the end of the training

4) The true impact of compound interest over the span of a working career (that 100k difference of debt is not truly 100k at the end of your career)

I am fortunate that I enjoy what I do but I work with many people who are not as enthusiastic as they were when they were medical students. I'm a big believer in keeping life sustainable and working towards happiness. If those purchases will keep you balanced in life then you don't have to justify that to anyone else but yourself. However, I would caution students to not spend like they are printing money for the rest of their career because you never know how life might change in the upcoming 30+ years.

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Incoming med student as well. I've looked up the advice of senior students/residents/physicians on this website and others. The consensus is to spend enough so that you can focus entirely on med school. If that means buying an apartment with in-suite laundry so that you aren't taking your laundry to a nearby landro-mat during exam season, so be it. If that means buying a new computer with a premium service warranty to carry you through the next four years, indulge. 

It gets trickier when it comes to say, buying furniture for a new apartment. Some classmates will blow a decent chunk of their LOC right out of the gates to make their apartments look like luxury stage homes. One could argue that a dining table is a dining table, whether it costs you $300 on Facebook Marketplace or $2600 on a premium website. So, should you spend that extra $2300 to make it look nice? Maybe this is important to you - maybe you like to host friends at your place as a way to relax. So, maybe a nice table is worth it. But are you then going to apply that to your TV, your kitchen appliances, your chairs, your couch, your bed,  your bookshelves, ect? 

I will say this: if you spend too much money today, it isn't just about delaying your ability to pay it back at the end of residency. I'd argue the more-significant consequence is you you will decrease the amount that you can invest into your retirement fund once you are practicing. A few extra years of compound interest at the end of your career is significant - losing out on that by spending lots today can actually add up and impact you later in life. 

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Honestly, I think it's just up to the individual. Nobody is going to judge you for living a comfortable life during med school and residency. Nobody would know if your lifestyle is funded entirely by your LOC or familial support.

You can take on as much debt as you feel comfortable taking. Personally, I'm just going to be a little prudent during med school, especially pre-clerkship, because clerkship can be expensive with electives and CaRMS interview tour and such.

And even in residency when you are making money, huge expenses come in the form of relocation, licensing exams, etc. It's dangerous to end med school with more than 250k in LOC debt (for a comfortably med school life), simply because after graduation, you would have to consolidate your OSAP loans into your LOC (idk about your situation, but I'm looking at roughly 50-70k in OSAP loans being consolidated into my LOC by then).

Assuming you're going to UofT and will be living in Toronto close to downtown: your tuition would be about $26k, your accommodation alone would probs be $20k, a car would cost $5k (conservatively estimating insurance), school supplies $2k, plus food and other expenses ~ $3k. That's already $224k. With electives and CaRMS and LMCC thrown in, it would easily get to $250k. And this hasn't even accounted for compound interest and other "fun" expenses.

So you'd already be dangerously close to 325k with all that taken into account. Will you be able to survive residency and all its expenses with just 25k left in breathing room? Lots of posts have been made about residency expenses and how many people accrue significant debt during their residencies. So I would just be careful during the first few years to see how I manage.

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I've also been thinking about this topic a lot lately with my LOC, and I think it's good to start now in making financially smart decisions. For example, I spent maybe $50 a month during my undergrad on fun things, because I felt bad making my parents foot the bill. For med school, I plan on increasing it to at least $100 a month, and that's already a big increase in my lifestyle for me. I think this is a good decision so that when I transition to residency and then staff, I avoid a huge lifestyle creep.

That being said though, there's a lot to think about with personal finance - it's exactly that, personal. I personally don't believe that $20k for a new car is that much if you drive it for 10 years (idk anything about cars though so idk if that particular car is a good car or whatever) and if it's something that really makes you happy, I would consider it. That being said, I think $100k difference in debt is a big difference, even when making $200k+ salary.

Other comments have raised good points: LOC has a limit, and in residency debt often stays the same or increases instead of decreasing. Another is the compound interest for retirement. Best to do a lot of research and figure out how costly life is going to be, and figure out how risk averse you are, before making any big decisions.

Edit: Also another thing I think to consider is your age! I think being 25 vs 21 is a big difference.

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41 minutes ago, bruh said:

So my biggest dream came true: I got into med school! I am going to become a doctor, and I am so excited to finally begin this journey! 
 

But then comes the notion of a miserable, sleep deprived, fatigued, and poor medical student. A med student is prescribed to conserve. To conserve energy, money, and resources for the “sweet” attending life. Somehow the life that we lead from the beginning of med school to the end of residency is only justified by the end, not by the means. At least, that’s the prevalent notion. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am prepared. If that is the ONLY way ahead of me, I will succumb to the misery and cynicism that taints this journey.

But I want to enjoy my 20s, or at least take control of one thing I have at my disposal - money. Not at the expense of the sweet attending life, but at the compromise of a well-stricken balance between pre-attending and attending life.

For example, I need a car for med school. People say I should get an old $2K Corolla just to get myself from point A to B. I want a Dodge Challenger, around $20K . It’s been dream to own one for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know if I’ll still want that as a 35 years old staff physician. Nonetheless, apparently spending money during med school and residency on yourself in any big way is a sin. People think “wow, look at this guy, he’s just wasting his LOC”.
 

I literally do not get the point of saving pennies in med school when I am going to make a 300K+ salary one day. The difference between someone who has to pay 200K in debts vs someone who has to pay 300K in debts is marginal once you consider the amount you make as an attending. I have not heard of one staff physician saying that they wish they spent less in med school because now they’re having difficulty paying back their loans.


Yes, more debt does mean more time to pay the debt. But I believe that comes down to your philosophy of living. I believe that a little more time spent paying back loans in my mid 30s is a well-justified compromise if it means I can enjoy my 20s a little more. With surgery on my mind, I may have a decade more of my life to go through before I am an attending.

10 years! That’s a long period of my life I am never going to get back. There are things I  want now that I probably won’t care about once I am 35. I want to invest in my present life with a future income. I know the traditional method is investing into your future, but I believe I have already procured that investment with the education I am about to receive.
 

Is it so wrong to live comfortably during med school and residency? What are your thoughts?

 

Being an "older" incoming med student (mid 20s) I share some of your feelings.

For me something I cannot compromise is my next two summers. I want to have them off to travel. Its important to me and I was and still am very sad I wasn't able to do it this summer.

I worked my ass off every year and summer so far (bachelor, master). I will have to spend money to do this. It's the first time since being out of high school that I'm not gonna be making any money... it's scary but I would live a life of regret if i didnt spend part of my 20s travelling 

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I had a brz for residency I leased in my second year. Put a smile on my face every day I saw it and drove it. Was it responsible? Not the most responsible car, but also good on gas. Med school I knew a few people that bought beaters, one that had a bmw. I would not get something extravagant, but if you’re in the market, probably would focus on something to last you through to the end of residency at least. Which means that should be reliable and good in the snow for when you’re on call (the dodges now have awd I think? Mind you I say this coming from a rwd car. Lol). 20k dodge isn’t going to break the bank; it’s not a Lexus. 
 

Two points - as I understand, with the pandemic, dealer inventory is low and used car prices are at a market high, so unless you can find some dealer incentives on a new purchase, then it may make sense to wait out the current shortage. Maybe. Also be aware that there are often 500-1000 off offers to new grads through the manufacturer that you could take advantage of.

Second point - keep in mind future income is not guaranteed at all. You may decide to pursue primary care and have a take home after tax/overhead income of 150k, in which case you may want to be more choosy or practical with your purchase. But you gotta live your life.

I helped an out of province friend find a cheap Yaris in M1. Reliable, cheap cost of ownership, great shape, financially prudent and responsible. I don’t think he preferred the bare bones econobox nature of the car in time though.

Give it some thought, don’t rush into things, and good luck.

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Hey man, I'm a huge dodge challenger guy. I'll give you my 2 cents from a car perspective. A $20k dodge challenger you're probably looking at something that is already 10+ years old with 140km's and you might not even get the HEMI engine and its probably rear wheel drive which is a pain in the snow (but yes this is a classic muscle car feature). In my opinion, youd have to drop at least $35k to get the real deal challenger (performance specs, engine, updated body style) and something that is sustainable for the foreseeable future. This is why I didnt bother getting one with my LOC haha. All the muscle car enthusiasts would probably agree. I've had this car on my radar for many years and I was going to get it for myself after my med acceptance. but i just felt that my budget would have geared me (no pun intended) towards purchasing something that would not even last the next 4 years and give me more headaches than enjoyment. I personally would'nt mind ripping a V8 challenger when I'm in my mid 30s so I decided to just wait until then haha. The way I concluded it for myself: the challenger isnt a crazy expensive car for when I actually have a job, but is it worth getting an older model for still a hefty price tag knowing it wont age well + living in debt as a student? My answer was: probably not. 

I also do not agree with "cheaping" out on a car, like a 2k$ tin can. They're going to cost you alot of maintenance fees and you're probably going to end up buying another car which is more money down the drain. I personally bought a car very recently that is relatively new (and fun to drive) and I'd be able to sell it in 4 years for half the price. I think it was a good "investment" as I can get some money back in the long run. 

This is all just my opinion. At the end of the day, if you're comfortable with that type of purchase then u have every right to it. Hopefully this sheds some light at least. If you end up getting one let me know!! 

Cheers 

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Financial decisions are very personal. No one can tell you if you should or shouldn't spend your money in a particular way. However, you have to think long and hard about what having all this debt means. The money you spend now is money "future you" is on the hook for. What does "future you" want out of life? Where will you be later on in 10 years when you finally start tackling all this debt? In your 30s, you might start really resenting "old you" for some choices you made earlier on. Will you want to buy a house? Have kids? Support aging parents? Think about your own individual circumstances, and see if you are comfortable spending your LOC money that way. Everyone has a different tolerance to risk (e.g. a risk adverse individual would rather make financial decisions based on going into FM just in case). How you perceive debt is another thing to consider. For some, it becomes this soul crushing weight, and you have to think long and hard NOW and make sure it won't stress you out in the future, or make you miserable.

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6 hours ago, blah1234 said:

It's all about risk tolerance and what you're willing to accept. You're correct, it may only take an additional year of attendinghood to pay off the marginal debt but here are a couple of considerations:

1) You may not want to be a surgeon at the end of medical school

2) You may not get surgery even if you want it

However, I would caution students to not spend like they are printing money for the rest of their career because you never know how life might change in the upcoming 30+ years.

Those are very good points. Regarding the first point, I am mentally in a place where I can stubbornly take the risk of saying I am going to be a surgeon. I know I may change my mind once I gain more exposure, but I also know myself well enough to wager that I won't go into primary care. Re: #2 I may not get surgery in a desired location, but I have always been fully open to relocating and even moving to the US if it means getting the residency I want. I think I have always been a very certain person about my future goals, but I 100% agree that no one can fully predict what their future holds regardless of our intentions. There is also the select few who don't even match, which would be a disaster if I blow through an entire 350K LOC.

6 hours ago, Sleepywood said:

It gets trickier when it comes to say, buying furniture for a new apartment. Some classmates will blow a decent chunk of their LOC right out of the gates to make their apartments look like luxury stage homes. One could argue that a dining table is a dining table, whether it costs you $300 on Facebook Marketplace or $2600 on a premium website. So, should you spend that extra $2300 to make it look nice? Maybe this is important to you - maybe you like to host friends at your place as a way to relax. So, maybe a nice table is worth it. But are you then going to apply that to your TV, your kitchen appliances, your chairs, your couch, your bed,  your bookshelves, ect? 

I think this is an important nuance that you brought up. While I do want to buy myself a nice premium sports car, it doesn't mean that I am going to splurge on every item I am going to buy for the next 4 years. I think if you really want to have a new car, or travel somewhere you have dreamt of, or wanted a gaming console, VR headset, you could indulge in one of them. For me, I am willing to go out less, buy cheap furniture, and travel less, but have me self a nice car. It's just about finding the balance between being comfortable but also not spending your entire 350K LOC on luxuries. 

6 hours ago, DrOtter said:

Honestly, I think it's just up to the individual. Nobody is going to judge you for living a comfortable life during med school and residency. Nobody would know if your lifestyle is funded entirely by your LOC or familial support.

You can take on as much debt as you feel comfortable taking. Personally, I'm just going to be a little prudent during med school, especially pre-clerkship, because clerkship can be expensive with electives and CaRMS interview tour and such.

And even in residency when you are making money, huge expenses come in the form of relocation, licensing exams, etc. It's dangerous to end med school with more than 250k in LOC debt (for a comfortably med school life), simply because after graduation, you would have to consolidate your OSAP loans into your LOC (idk about your situation, but I'm looking at roughly 50-70k in OSAP loans being consolidated into my LOC by then).

Assuming you're going to UofT and will be living in Toronto close to downtown: your tuition would be about $26k, your accommodation alone would probs be $20k, a car would cost $5k (conservatively estimating insurance), school supplies $2k, plus food and other expenses ~ $3k. That's already $224k. With electives and CaRMS and LMCC thrown in, it would easily get to $250k. And this hasn't even accounted for compound interest and other "fun" expenses.

So you'd already be dangerously close to 325k with all that taken into account. Will you be able to survive residency and all its expenses with just 25k left in breathing room? Lots of posts have been made about residency expenses and how many people accrue significant debt during their residencies. So I would just be careful during the first few years to see how I manage.

@DrOtter Thank you for speaking about the expense incurred during clerkship. I have been trying to create a budget for all 4 years of med school but it has been so hard to actually get an accurate understanding (E.g., I didn't account for LMCC and CaRMS expenses, and I also recently found out we get a $9K stipend in 4th year). I have no idea where to begin. The only good thing I can tell you right now is that I won't be moving downtown at least until January since most things are online anyways. I also have the option to only live in downtown during school and stay with my parents in the summer since I live close to downtown. So my thinking is that since I am able to save quite a bit by not living in Toronto all-year round, I could indulge in one luxury and get a nice V8 Challenger or mustang.

5 hours ago, dooogs said:

Being an "older" incoming med student (mid 20s) I share some of your feelings.

For me something I cannot compromise is my next two summers. I want to have them off to travel. Its important to me and I was and still am very sad I wasn't able to do it this summer.

I worked my ass off every year and summer so far (bachelor, master). I will have to spend money to do this. It's the first time since being out of high school that I'm not gonna be making any money... it's scary but I would live a life of regret if i didnt spend part of my 20s travelling 

I am also in my mid-20s so I understand what you mean.  We definitely could wait until we are in our mid-30s to do the things we have dreamt of but the reality is that we may not have the circumstances by then to do them. It doesn't mean we should live our lives like we are already an attending, but time is going to pass and if there is something you really want to do right now, I wouldn't hold back.

5 hours ago, ChemPetE said:

I had a brz for residency I leased in my second year. Put a smile on my face every day I saw it and drove it. Was it responsible? Not the most responsible car, but also good on gas. Med school I knew a few people that bought beaters, one that had a bmw. I would not get something extravagant, but if you’re in the market, probably would focus on something to last you through to the end of residency at least. Which means that should be reliable and good in the snow for when you’re on call (the dodges now have awd I think? Mind you I say this coming from a rwd car. Lol). 20k dodge isn’t going to break the bank; it’s not a Lexus. 

Very good considerations. I think it's important to think about the car I want to have not only today but something that I would comfortably use for the next 4-8 years. The BRZ is awesome btw, I'm just more of a muscle car guy haha. The good thing is I actually do have a daily AWD hybrid car that I intend to keep if I buy the challenger. It's just that my current car is over 10 years old and beaten. I could drive it during the winter and keep the sports car for the rest of the year! 

2 hours ago, premed72 said:

Hey man, I'm a huge dodge challenger guy. I'll give you my 2 cents from a car perspective. A $20k dodge challenger you're probably looking at something that is already 10+ years old with 140km's and you might not even get the HEMI engine and its probably rear wheel drive which is a pain in the snow (but yes this is a classic muscle car feature). In my opinion, youd have to drop at least $35k to get the real deal challenger (performance specs, engine, updated body style) and something that is sustainable for the foreseeable future. This is why I didnt bother getting one with my LOC haha. All the muscle car enthusiasts would probably agree. I've had this car on my radar for many years and I was going to get it for myself after my med acceptance. but i just felt that my budget would have geared me (no pun intended) towards purchasing something that would not even last the next 4 years and give me more headaches than enjoyment. I personally would'nt mind ripping a V8 challenger when I'm in my mid 30s so I decided to just wait until then haha. The way I concluded it for myself: the challenger isnt a crazy expensive car for when I actually have a job, but is it worth getting an older model for still a hefty price tag knowing it wont age well + living in debt as a student? My answer was: probably not. 

I also do not agree with "cheaping" out on a car, like a 2k$ tin can. They're going to cost you alot of maintenance fees and you're probably going to end up buying another car which is more money down the drain. I personally bought a car very recently that is relatively new (and fun to drive) and I'd be able to sell it in 4 years for half the price. I think it was a good "investment" as I can get some money back in the long run. 

This is all just my opinion. At the end of the day, if you're comfortable with that type of purchase then u have every right to it. Hopefully this sheds some light at least. If you end up getting one let me know!! 

Cheers 

Solid advice man! I'll be honest, I was a little in denial talking about $20K challengers haha. I have found some 2016+ HEMI models with less than 50k km going for ~$30K. There is also V6 S550 Mustangs going for ~$20K that's really catching my eye mostly because it's $10K cheaper! but I think I'll hate myself for getting anything other than a V8. The thing is I do have a daily driving car at the moment, but it's just a beaten, '07 car that I think I could use during winters. 

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21 minutes ago, bruh said:

Those are very good points. Regarding the first point, I am mentally in a place where I can stubbornly take the risk of saying I am going to be a surgeon. I know I may change my mind once I gain more exposure, but I also know myself well enough to wager that I won't go into primary care. Re: #2 I may not get surgery in a desired location, but I have always been fully open to relocating and even moving to the US if it means getting the residency I want. I think I have always been a very certain person about my future goals, but I 100% agree that no one can fully predict what their future holds regardless of our intentions. There is also the select few who don't even match, which would be a disaster if I blow through an entire 350K LOC.

I think this is an important nuance that you brought up. While I do want to buy myself a nice premium sports car, it doesn't mean that I am going to splurge on every item I am going to buy for the next 4 years. I think if you really want to have a new car, or travel somewhere you have dreamt of, or wanted a gaming console, VR headset, you could indulge in one of them. For me, I am willing to go out less, buy cheap furniture, and travel less, but have me self a nice car. It's just about finding the balance between being comfortable but also not spending your entire 350K LOC on luxuries. 

@DrOtter Thank you for speaking about the expense incurred during clerkship. I have been trying to create a budget for all 4 years of med school but it has been so hard to actually get an accurate understanding (E.g., I didn't account for LMCC and CaRMS expenses, and I also recently found out we get a $9K stipend in 4th year). I have no idea where to begin. The only good thing I can tell you right now is that I won't be moving downtown at least until January since most things are online anyways. I also have the option to only live in downtown during school and stay with my parents in the summer since I live close to downtown. So my thinking is that since I am able to save quite a bit by not living in Toronto all-year round, I could indulge in one luxury and get a nice V8 Challenger or mustang.

I am also in my mid-20s so I understand what you mean.  We definitely could wait until we are in our mid-30s to do the things we have dreamt of but the reality is that we may not have the circumstances by then to do them. It doesn't mean we should live our lives like we are already an attending, but time is going to pass and if there is something you really want to do right now, I wouldn't hold back.

Very good considerations. I think it's important to think about the car I want to have not only today but something that I would comfortably use for the next 4-8 years. The BRZ is awesome btw, I'm just more of a muscle car guy haha. The good thing is I actually do have a daily AWD hybrid car that I intend to keep if I buy the challenger. It's just that my current car is over 10 years old and beaten. I could drive it during the winter and keep the sports car for the rest of the year! 

Solid advice man! I'll be honest, I was a little in denial talking about $20K challengers haha. I have found some 2016+ HEMI models with less than 50k km going for ~$30K. There is also V6 S550 Mustangs going for ~$20K that's really catching my eye mostly because it's $10K cheaper! but I think I'll hate myself for getting anything other than a V8. The thing is I do have a daily driving car at the moment, but it's just a beaten, '07 car that I think I could use during winters. 

Oh yea if you manage to save on living costs, definitely reallocate that to things you enjoy then! Everyone's finances is their own. You shouldn't feel guilty to enjoy yourself to make this journey easier! 

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To OP as mentioned previously financial decisions all come down to personal risk levels and in the end only you can be the one to decide whether indulging now is worth it or not in the long run... that being said as a fellow incoming student, 

Last summer I ended up selling my motorcycle to start financing a S550 mustang GT and was it a responsible decision? Definitely not. But as a young automotive enthusiast I can say that everyday I drive my car it puts a huge smile on my face and at this moment in my life I would do it a thousand times again! Over the year I have been able to attend autocross/track day events and develop stronger friendships with many of the great people in the car community (These car community events have been priceless in so much that many of these individuals are not academically focused so to myself it's the perfect way to separate myself from the stress of school and take moments to just enjoy a passion that has nothing to do with academics)

A couple things to add in that I had to account for are; having two cars can make finding a place to live tricky as parking spaces in metro centres can be hard/pricey to come by and if you plan on driving it in the winter I can confirm is near impossible hahaha. From your posts I think you have already mentally made your decision to buy a sports car and I wish you the best of luck with entering the car community you're going to love it ;)

P.S: I'm not sure how the PM feature works on this blog but if you have any questions on pricing and costs of ownership feel free to shoot me a PM and I can tell you about my experience so far

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1 hour ago, bruh said:

Solid advice man! I'll be honest, I was a little in denial talking about $20K challengers haha. I have found some 2016+ HEMI models with less than 50k km going for ~$30K. There is also V6 S550 Mustangs going for ~$20K that's really catching my eye mostly because it's $10K cheaper! but I think I'll hate myself for getting anything other than a V8. The thing is I do have a daily driving car at the moment, but it's just a beaten, '07 car that I think I could use during winters

I love the mustang too!! I personally like any model 2015+. Or a 1960s one...haha

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I know someone who bought a $50,000 Lexus with the LOC. If I didn't already have a sports car (Its a tuned/modified BRZ but its a legitimate sports car ok?), I'd probably do the same. I'm a car enthusiast who takes his car canyon carving at least once a week but its been almost everyday this summer. Cars are my life. But its kinda hard to justify two sports cars and I don't have the space and I feel guilty just thinking about it. The risk is pretty low and the interest rates are lower than most car loans anyways. Life is short, you never know when it will end and you only live once. Literally YOLO.

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11 hours ago, bruh said:

So my biggest dream came true: I got into med school! I am going to become a doctor, and I am so excited to finally begin this journey! 
 

But then comes the notion of a miserable, sleep deprived, fatigued, and poor medical student. A med student is prescribed to conserve. To conserve energy, money, and resources for the “sweet” attending life. Somehow the life that we lead from the beginning of med school to the end of residency is only justified by the end, not by the means. At least, that’s the prevalent notion. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am prepared. If that is the ONLY way ahead of me, I will succumb to the misery and cynicism that taints this journey.

But I want to enjoy my 20s, or at least take control of one thing I have at my disposal - money. Not at the expense of the sweet attending life, but at the compromise of a well-stricken balance between pre-attending and attending life.

For example, I need a car for med school. People say I should get an old $2K Corolla just to get myself from point A to B. I want a Dodge Challenger, around $20K . It’s been dream to own one for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know if I’ll still want that as a 35 years old staff physician. Nonetheless, apparently spending money during med school and residency on yourself in any big way is a sin. People think “wow, look at this guy, he’s just wasting his LOC”.
 

I literally do not get the point of saving pennies in med school when I am going to make a 300K+ salary one day. The difference between someone who has to pay 200K in debts vs someone who has to pay 300K in debts is marginal once you consider the amount you make as an attending. I have not heard of one staff physician saying that they wish they spent less in med school because now they’re having difficulty paying back their loans.


Yes, more debt does mean more time to pay the debt. But I believe that comes down to your philosophy of living. I believe that a little more time spent paying back loans in my mid 30s is a well-justified compromise if it means I can enjoy my 20s a little more. With surgery on my mind, I may have a decade more of my life to go through before I am an attending.

10 years! That’s a long period of my life I am never going to get back. There are things I  want now that I probably won’t care about once I am 35. I want to invest in my present life with a future income. I know the traditional method is investing into your future, but I believe I have already procured that investment with the education I am about to receive.
 

Is it so wrong to live comfortably during med school and residency? What are your thoughts?

 

Nope, not wrong. All depends on your priorities and your philosophy of what it means to ‘live’, as you say. 

My long and short-term priority is to work as little as I have to to meet a standard of living I find comfortable while succeeding at what I do - for me that means working keeping myself clothed, fed and entertained in a relatively inexpensive way and being moderate about the debt I take on. Because I always want to be in a position to work as much or as little as I want to, when I want to. No interest in being trapped by my debt.
 

 

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It's your life, your (future) money, your priorities, your personal decision. 

Having said that, you (and all of us) should look into personal finance. There's a lot of online resources. You want to make sure you spend your money wisely so you have enough money and time left over to live the life you want.

When some people come across such a big sum of money in the form of a LOC, the tendency is to either reward themselves with something expensive or feel the need to "invest". If you haven't looked into the world of personal finance, I think now is a good time to start, because it will answer a lot of your questions that other people can't really answer. And sit down and do the math, because it may surprise you on what you are willing to spend or save. 

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15 minutes ago, ZBL said:

I will play the role of enabler:

Med school is tough. You will make money later. Don’t underestimate the enjoyment of your youth, it disappears fast. Residency is hell, so play the part - get the Demon or Hellcat. 

Lmaooo ^^ his daily is a hybrid right now that 808hp would send him into another dimension but I like the support :lol:

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I haven't read all of the comments in this thread, but I think that buying an expensive car when you get into med school is a very poor financial decision. You are buying a depreciating asset that you will be paying for in 6 years. By that time, you are more than likely going to want to buy a nicer, more expensive car. So you will end up paying for two cars - one of which is worthless.

That said, do what you want. If you think that having a car like that is going to benefit your life for the foreseeable future, go for it. But you're going to be paying for it. You're bound to make stupid financial decisions in your life anyway. Just make sure you spend money on stuff that actually benefits your life: food, shelter, other things that are going to benefit your mental and physical health. I anticipate spending money on bikes and whatnot, because they keep my headspace and body healthy. I can't imagine an expensive car doing that, but you do you.

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:43 AM, bruh said:

So my biggest dream came true: I got into med school! I am going to become a doctor, and I am so excited to finally begin this journey! 
 

But then comes the notion of a miserable, sleep deprived, fatigued, and poor medical student. A med student is prescribed to conserve. To conserve energy, money, and resources for the “sweet” attending life. Somehow the life that we lead from the beginning of med school to the end of residency is only justified by the end, not by the means. At least, that’s the prevalent notion. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am prepared. If that is the ONLY way ahead of me, I will succumb to the misery and cynicism that taints this journey.

But I want to enjoy my 20s, or at least take control of one thing I have at my disposal - money. Not at the expense of the sweet attending life, but at the compromise of a well-stricken balance between pre-attending and attending life.

For example, I need a car for med school. People say I should get an old $2K Corolla just to get myself from point A to B. I want a Dodge Challenger, around $20K . It’s been dream to own one for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know if I’ll still want that as a 35 years old staff physician. Nonetheless, apparently spending money during med school and residency on yourself in any big way is a sin. People think “wow, look at this guy, he’s just wasting his LOC”.
 

I literally do not get the point of saving pennies in med school when I am going to make a 300K+ salary one day. The difference between someone who has to pay 200K in debts vs someone who has to pay 300K in debts is marginal once you consider the amount you make as an attending. I have not heard of one staff physician saying that they wish they spent less in med school because now they’re having difficulty paying back their loans.


Yes, more debt does mean more time to pay the debt. But I believe that comes down to your philosophy of living. I believe that a little more time spent paying back loans in my mid 30s is a well-justified compromise if it means I can enjoy my 20s a little more. With surgery on my mind, I may have a decade more of my life to go through before I am an attending.

10 years! That’s a long period of my life I am never going to get back. There are things I  want now that I probably won’t care about once I am 35. I want to invest in my present life with a future income. I know the traditional method is investing into your future, but I believe I have already procured that investment with the education I am about to receive.
 

Is it so wrong to live comfortably during med school and residency? What are your thoughts?

 

You can live kinda comfortably with the LOC. Mostly this translates into renting a nicer place, eating out more, and having a few nicer vacations each year. You won't have much more money than that unless you're getting outside help. You could probably buy a nicer car if you forgo the vacations. You can't do a whole lot more than that unless you have help from your family since you'll be in training for 5-7+ years.

Overall the main threat of debt is running out of money during residency. Yes this happens to people. No banks don't just magically give more money on top of what has already been loaned because you tell them you'll make decent money a few years down the road. What happens if you run out of money or get close to it during residency? Other than the obvious issues with rent and daily costs/expenses, you won't be able to afford to travel for conferences or pay for licensing exams/fees. You may not be able to afford to do a fellowship in X city/country because of the expenses and COL. And of course this will compound stress on what will already be one of, if not the most stressful time in your life.

Let's say you make it past that and you complete your residency/fellowship. Steady employment is not guaranteed in every specialty. There are fields where you will struggle to find full-time employment where you want to live. You may have to work in an environment where you're underemployed or underpaid. Moreover, what if your future group wants to take X% of your billings for the next year or next few years? What if they want a 6 figure buy-in to allow you to join the practice? What if you get minimal elective OR time because you're the lowest rung on the totem pole? What if you're just way slower/inefficient than other surgeons? Most of these things won't stop you from paying off your debt eventually, but it may add a significant number of years (or hours per week) onto how much you have to work to be financially comfortable.

Edit: One more thing, your LOC/debt levels will affect the amount of money you can get for a mortgage. Also for at least one bank in one province (i.e. mine) you can use your LOC directly as a downpayment. Sure you may not want your own condo/house now in M0, but your priorities may change as you progress through training or if you decide to start a family.

Bottom line is that you can afford some nice things like I said above, but you probably don't want to blow your entire LOC on something that will end up leading to more stress or compromise your ability to practice/live the way you want in the future.

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