Millions of people are finally regaining their financial footing after the pandemic left us all scrambling to cover our bills. If you’re like most of us, your income took a hit over the past two years, and you may have depleted much of your savings, too.
Whatever the reason, you’re ready to add some buffer to your budget, but you don’t have enough disposable income yet. You need some extra money. As a doctor, your schedule is already full to overflowing, so what can you do that you’re not already doing?
There are two ways to have extra cash: Stop spending what you’re spending and/or make more money.
Both of these ideas are smart in theory, but they’re only helpful if they’re put into practice. Try these three strategies to increase your disposable income budget over the next year.
Cut Your Expenses
The first step to having extra funds is to stop spending unnecessarily. You might not be trying to keep up with the Joneses, but you could have a lot of debt that you don’t need.
Do you know where your money is going? Many physicians have someone else taking care of their bills, and that’s fine. You’re busy, and you have a lot of expenses to juggle.
The Highlighter Method
It will be worth it to take an hour out of your week and sit down with your bank statement and a variety of highlighters. You’ll get a vividly clear picture of where your money is going that will help you decide your next goals.
Take your highlighters and assign each color a category, i.e., yellow for medical expenses, blue for entertainment, green for household expenses, etc. Then, highlight each transaction on your statement accordingly.
When you’re done, total the spending for the various categories. Where is all your money going? Where can you cut back?
It might be that you need to cancel subscriptions you don’t use or call around to some of the top disability insurance companies to get a better rate on your policies. By the time you’re done, you should be saving a few hundred dollars a month or more simply by knowing where your money is going.
Get a Side Gig
You know where you need to cut back, but that’s not quite enough to do what your want with your money. Why not join the 33% or more of Americans who have a side hustle?
A side gig gives you an income on top of your salary. Typically, these are flexible jobs that work around your primary responsibilities.
Depending on your specialty and your main work, you could find physician side jobs such as:
- Starting a podcast or YouTube channel answering questions for your audience
- Completing freelance writing blogs and articles for health websites
- Tutoring students trying to pass their MCAT or pre-med courses
- Getting credentialed as an expert witness for trials
- Covering other physicians when they take time off from work
Do any of these sound interesting? If they fit with your schedule, any and all are excellent sources of extra money.
Find a Passive Income Stream
You’re already burning the candle at both ends. A side job isn’t going to work for you when you need those last four to six hours to sleep. So, how about a passive income stream?
A famous quote by Idowu Koyenikan states, “The more your money works for you, the less you have to work for money.” This is popular with investors who understand that the surest way to financial freedom is through multiple passive income streams.
You’ll have to take a little time upfront to research how to get started. Here are some physician-favorite methods to generate the money you’re not working for:
- Renting office space or medical equipment you aren’t using frequently
- Investing in lucrative fields like real estate and cybertechnology
- Creating workbooks or printables for workshops, creating an online course, or writing a book and self-publishing (once you’ve done the work, everything that sells after you publish them is passive income)
- Hiring a physician assistant to see more patients in your office
The results you get from these mostly passive streams are more than worth the return on your initial time and income investment.
It’s okay that you need more money; we all do. As a doctor, you have the potential to make a higher salary, but you also have greater expenses.
The good news is that your intellect and talents give you access to a wide array of possible money-making avenues, like these three strategies.
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