Author Topic: Case Study for a single lady with a good income but not a lot of wealth YET  (Read 3223 times)

doctorlady

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Me: 37 y/o single female physician living and working in Manhattan

Financial Good News
-Have put my 30K emergency fund AND about 6K/month to my student loans this past year and I will be PAID IN FULL by the end of 2018 just in time for my 38th birthday 
-I have a MUCH more frugal lifestyle than everyone else I know in my demographic
-I make 225K working full time
-I have 60K in retirement accounts. I am contributing max of 18.5K to my 403b and next year after my student loans are paid off I will also contribute the max (18.5K) to a 457b plan.
-I have a random SoFi Wealth account with 11K in there that I contribute $100/month. 80% stocks, 20% bonds. I am not sure what this is for! Just basic wealth I guess. I wanted to start investing and felt 10K opening account with additional $100/month was something small to start with while mostly focusing on paying down student loans

Financial Bad News
-I will be 38 soon with not a lot of wealth to my name despite high income and old-ish age
-After student loans are paid off I will have only about 10K in checking/savings, 11.5 K in Sofi Wealth account, 60K in retirement, and another 20K coming to me. (I lent this to a reliable financially savvy cousin to buy rental properties. He has been paying me 5% interest ($100/month) and will pay me the 20K back by June 2019.
-I pay 2.5K per month in rent
-I donít have any money for a down payment
-I donít have money now for a baby. But I should be able to save this pretty quickly next year. I have read it may cost between 10-25K for the adoption process alone. Never mind the cost of having a baby. Nanny? Day care? I would rather stay at home with my baby to bond/attach, but simply can't do that as a single person because someone has to pay the rent! 

Life Good News
-My job is cool. I feel privileged to do what I do.
-I want to adopt a baby!

Life Bad News
-I work a lot of night shifts and weekend shifts.
-I will be a single parent paying housing and child care costs by myself. (This is only bad news in terms of $, in real life I am thrilled to be able to do this, and I am not complaining. I feel amazing about it actually! Good for hubby if he comes along, but I am done waiting around!)

Summary of Assets:
-60K in 403B
-20K lent out at 5% interest, coming back to me by June 2019
-10K checking/savings
-11K in SoFi investment account

Summary of Liabilities
-2.5K monthly rent
-need to save for baby asap
-want to save for a home upstate eventually
-kind of also want financial freedom Ė thatís why Iím here!

Simplifed Current Budget
-Monthly income of ~10K after withdrawals for 403b
-2.5K out in rent
-6K to student loans Ė not sure I can keep this pace up, but I could def continue to save 5-5.5K per month come next year. I was going to start with adding to a 457b right away, so that will take a chunk of my savings.
-1.5K for living costs (medical, professional costs, transportation, groceries, food on the go, clothing, fitness, subscriptions, etc.)
See attached screenshot for my monthly budget - actually I am trying to figure out how to post this (?!)   

Decisions/Questions:
-What to do with my money once I pay down my student loans?!
-Overall I feel lucky but challenged financially. Any advice for how to manage both my desire to stay at home as much as possible with a baby but yet also save for retirement and financial freedom?? As a single person?
-Invest money to save for retirement or invest money to save for down-payment?
-Where/how to invest money that I want to use soon, like $ for baby or down-payment?

ixtap

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-You are currently saving about 40% of gross, but talking about cutting back. I don't have the Simple Math (TM) in front of me, but that is a ways off for FI.

-It looks like the average adoption is $28k, so you may need to round up from your estimates. You will also want to build up your emergency fund before committing to raising a human.

-As for what to do with your money, have you looked at the order of investments?

-As for lifestyle, how long are you willing to put off adoption? Are you willing to make lifestyle choices now that will let you achieve FI within a few years? Could you increase your income? Get a roommate? Get a job with paid maternity leave? Take six month maternity leave to bond before going back to work, even if it isn't paid? Could you save more by moving to Upstate now, rather than later?

lhamo

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What kind of medicine do you practice?  If something where you could have more regular night shifts, you might want to think about setting yourself up with 2-3br apartment so that you could have a live-in care-taker to cover the full night shift and then maybe a few hours during the day as well.  It might be a win-win situation for you both, and give you more stability/security in terms of reliable help.


doctorlady

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Good ideas - thank you!

I don't want to wait too long to adopt as I am already almost 38. It will take 1-2 years as is. Yes I will have to save a good emergency fund and 25+ K to adopt, but I could do that within a year if I forget about trying to save more for a down payment.

Very cool idea about getting a bigger apartment for live-in help! Love it.

And yes, I am thinking about moving upstate earlier. I would sacrifice the income but save in housing costs.

Sorry my case study didn't have a lot of details - I am clearly still trying to sort out the big picture and VERY new to mustachianism. I was spending much more money before this year. Only newly decided to throw so much at student loans.

doctorlady

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Also, to clarify I am currently SAVING 60% of my take-home income and spending about 40%. (take home 10K per month AFTER retirement contributions. Of that 6K has been going to student loans and 4K has been for spending including rent. So I am still far from FI, but not that far. The twist is the big expenses of baby/home in the near-ish future.

Freedomin5

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As mentioned by a previous poster, take a look at the Investment Order thread. That should answer many of your questions regarding where and when to put the extra money. Hereís the link to the Investment Order thread:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/investment-order/

Get an estimate of what your FIRE expenses might be, then multiply that annual amount by 25 to get an estimate of the stash you need to sustain FI. So for example, if youíre currently spending $48K (letís say $60k when taxes are included) per year, youíre going to need a stash of $1.5M before you are FI. Unless you cut down your $1.5k of monthly expenses. If you post a case study following the proper case study format, there are good people here who can help.

Link to ďHow to Write a Case StudyĒ thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/

The other thing to watch out for is lifestyle inflation. I have a similar after tax income to yours and live in an HCOL city, and itís really easy to think ďOh, I make so much money and have no student loans, I can afford to splurge/treat myself since Iím doing so much better than my colleagues.Ē Well, Mustachians donít compare themselves to Ďnormalí people saving 10-20%. I think someone posted a poll a while ago and most Mustachians seem to save between 50-80% of their after-tax pay. Thereís a thread somewhere here on how to calculate your savings rate.

Welcome to Mustachianism and to the forums! If you buckle down and focus, youíll be amazed what you can achieve FI-wise. We will be FI next year (after four years on the forums, working on increasing income and minimizing expenses through the tips found here), so with your high income, itís definitely doable within a relatively short timeframe.

doctorlady

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Thanks so much Freedomin5! Very helpful info, especially the investment order stuff. I feel like since I am older my money will come mostly from savings rather than investment gains. So I may put my money more in bonds than stocks, but I clearly have to look more closely at what my goals are. Thanks again! I love this site!

ixtap

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Thanks so much Freedomin5! Very helpful info, especially the investment order stuff. I feel like since I am older my money will come mostly from savings rather than investment gains. So I may put my money more in bonds than stocks, but I clearly have to look more closely at what my goals are. Thanks again! I love this site!

You are only "older" than the youngest savers. You are still at a good age, with a good salary and good habits. Adoption money and emergency fund should be in stable investments, but you will still rely on growth to get our through your dotage.

doctorlady

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Thanks ixtap! I appreciate the motivation. I am realizing I can slash more from my spending and just keep working full time for awhile. Adoption costs and emergency fund can be built back up within a year. Then I can take a maternity leave and go back to work somewhere between 75% time and full time while saving for FIRE AND enjoying time with baby. Live-in nanny for mostly night shifts sounds great as it could be cost-saving and would help me feel at ease about my kid. (I do emergency medicine, so I could DEFINITELY ask to do more night shifts - no one else wants them!) This way my pay for my nanny could be paying for her rent with perhaps a stipend but she would also be able to work another job as caring for my baby wouldn't be traditional full time hours.  The downpayment can wait. I can also do some moonlighting to increase income for now. I won't move yet as I don't even have a downpayment and I do like my job. I also enjoy not having a car etc, and that would change upstate. Feeling good. Thanks all for helping me think through these big picture questions!

kei te pai

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You can do this!
But please, please do not plan to work night shift and then care for your baby during the day without someone else as back up. The consequences professionally of mistakes due to fatigue can be devastating.
Your nanny would need to cover the hours you are away at work, and also the hours you sleep during the day.

Dr Kidstache

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Hey there, single female (former) physician here. I have a few thoughts.

Firstly, way to go on the loans! Killing it!

Secondly, do you have disability insurance? I didn't see it in your budget. An *individual* disability insurance policy is absolutely essential for any physician. You almost certainly have a policy through your employer as a benefit but that type of coverage is not adequate. Disability is the single greatest risk to your wealth-building career and it's shockingly common for physicians. If you're not adequately insured, getting a policy should be your next priority. White Coat Investor has a lot of info on his site to get started (though not all of it is accurate). You need a gender neutral policy, occupation specific, and includes coverage for mental health (insurance companies consider all sorts of things "mental health" that you never would like MS, brain injuries, chronic pain, etc.) You do NOT need bells & whistles like residual disability riders (these sound good but can actually be used to limit your coverage by the insurance company).

Thirdly, what's the deal with only getting paid $225k for EM???? Are you working for charity? I (as former EM) am baffled why you're making so little but maybe there's a suppressed salary bubble in NYC? I think your assumption that you would take a pay cut somewhere else is dead wrong. You can make $225k in EM in *academic* medicine almost anywhere in the country. If you're in private, then you can make $400k+ EASILY in lots of places. And move somewhere like Houston Texas where there is insatiable demand for doctors and no state income tax and keep even more of it. Why on earth are you working for so little in such a HCOL area????

Fourthly, is there anywhere that you have family to help with adoption? If so, move there. I had single colleagues with children and they all had live-in help or family. Night shifts are so tough to get child care for + there's the time during the day that you need to sleep and also have child care so it's essentially around the clock child care need. The costs of live-in help are going to vary regionally as well (plus the costs for larger housing) and so this is another reason to seriously consider moving elsewhere.

Good luck! You're ahead of so many of your colleagues who are hoping that their loans will magically disappear. Physicians are terrible at managing our finances so kudos for getting serious about it.

doctorlady

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LOL you got me Dr. Kidstache. And thanks for all the great advice!

I am in academics and thus the salary not so high. I am also in emergency psychiatry but didn't want to mention that right away because people get weird and so much personal info... So yeah 225K is not that high, but I feel fine with it. I truly love my job, especially the academic part. Being with/teaching residents and students gives me deep joy and satisfaction. I also love my city. I do have to think about whether or not living here is worth it though taking into consideration everything else. My family is close by (sisters are here in the city and parents are nearby upstate) so that is actually a huge part of why I want to STAY here for my future baby and childcare/emotional support issues.

I never felt a pull to make tons of money. Just not why I went into this. So I wouldn't move just to make more. My assumption was if I were to move out of the city I would do private practice. I would not want to work at crappy local hospitals for big salaries. Just can't do it. PP may or may not be a good salary, but I can't guarantee it, especially if I move to a lower income area. People pay big $$ in Manhattan and Westchester but not so much further upstate. And I would have to pay my own health insurance, retirement, etc. So that's why I made that assumption. I could still be naive and maybe I would make more doing PP upstate? Hard to figure out. Right now I love ER psych and the QOL that comes with it. (No voicemails, no emails, no prescription refills!) (Teaching, socializing, encouraging students!) HENCE I am willing to stick with this job and salary for now.

I hope that clarifies it.

I am actually embarassingly not sure if I have disability insurance. I will look into it!

Thanks for the inspo! What are you doing as a retired physician?! I literally imagine myself retired and think, gosh I would like to use my free time and skills to help families suffering with mental illness... LOL how weird is that. I can't wait to work on my own terms.

doctorlady

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You can do this!
But please, please do not plan to work night shift and then care for your baby during the day without someone else as back up. The consequences professionally of mistakes due to fatigue can be devastating.
Your nanny would need to cover the hours you are away at work, and also the hours you sleep during the day.

Thank you! Yes good point. I will be sure to get my zzz's :) But since I don't work every day the nanny could still theoretically have another part time job and therefore I wouldn't be responsible for paying her full time. Fun to think about creative ways to do childcare.

bacchi

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What rate are your student loans?

A 457 is perhaps the best FIRE savings vehicle available. Unless the investment choices are craptastic (an annuity and only an annuity), you should strongly consider putting money into it. The investment-order link has the cut-offs for each vehicle. A 457 isn't listed but it should probably go as #3, before the HSA.

ixtap

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You can do this!
But please, please do not plan to work night shift and then care for your baby during the day without someone else as back up. The consequences professionally of mistakes due to fatigue can be devastating.
Your nanny would need to cover the hours you are away at work, and also the hours you sleep during the day.

Thank you! Yes good point. I will be sure to get my zzz's :) But since I don't work every day the nanny could still theoretically have another part time job and therefore I wouldn't be responsible for paying her full time. Fun to think about creative ways to do childcare.



I think to get someone to do such an odd schedule, likely as a live in, you are likely to have to pay that person full time. Is your schedule consistent enough for someone to know what days they can work in 4 weeks? Are you ever on call?

lhamo

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You can do this!
But please, please do not plan to work night shift and then care for your baby during the day without someone else as back up. The consequences professionally of mistakes due to fatigue can be devastating.
Your nanny would need to cover the hours you are away at work, and also the hours you sleep during the day.

Thank you! Yes good point. I will be sure to get my zzz's :) But since I don't work every day the nanny could still theoretically have another part time job and therefore I wouldn't be responsible for paying her full time. Fun to think about creative ways to do childcare.



I think to get someone to do such an odd schedule, likely as a live in, you are likely to have to pay that person full time. Is your schedule consistent enough for someone to know what days they can work in 4 weeks? Are you ever on call?

Don't forget she would be providing housing in NYC, which can be a huge percentage of a person's living costs.


Capt j-rod

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Also look at your contract to make sure malpractice tail coverage is provided. The wife is OB and tail is insane! $100k seems to be the magic number. Lots of employers try to avoid this like the plague.

Dee18

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I would suggest you go ahead and fund the 457 this year, even if it means a slight postponement in paying off the student loans.


Dr Kidstache

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Ok, some of the numbers make a bit more sense now that you've clarified that you're academic psych. 225k seems like a typical salary number for that nationally even though it's brutal for NYC. Of course you didn't go into psych for the money! But don't make the mistake of equating knowing your value and advocating for the best possible compensation with being money grubbing. There's no shame (despite how most female docs feel) in getting paid what you're worth. Do you know if there's a gender pay gap in your department? Have you ever negotiated your salary or benefits? Do you know the metrics that are used to determine salary increases & how you compare to those metrics? There might be room to bump your current salary if you haven't tried recently. Your institution would be a unicorn if you're not getting underpaid relative to some of your male colleagues.

Definitely get on the disability insurance. Do not stop go until you've purchased an individual policy. I'm not retired so I'm afraid I don't have any great stories about it. I'm disabled from a freak injury that ended my medical career. I have had multiple colleagues develop disabilities at every place I've worked. It's the most common, most insurable threat to physician careers.

Having family nearby makes your current location more reasonable. Especially since even live-in help still needs days off that you'll need to cover child care. Are your sisters able/willing to do that? Are they actually in NYC or in an area where you could still move to lower your COL but have them accessible (eg, if they live in NJ maybe you could take an academic job at UMDNJ)? I don't even know what to ballpark for the cost of larger housing + full-time staff + adoption/early childhood costs in NYC. Do you have a sense? Are we talking 50% of take-home pay? Are you comfortable with that?

Are you by any chance working at the same institution that you trained at? Have you ever worked at a hospital outside of NYC? I'm hearing a lot of assumptions about your current job vs potential other jobs. I'm calling you out on it because I used to have the same hangups about "local hospitals" or universities outside of ivory tower places. I was suuuuuper academic - research, grants, etc and unfortunately that can equal ill-informed snobbishness. I think you're spot on that the benefits of an academic position generally outweigh the reduced salary, especially for a single parent. But there are great academic jobs EVERYWHERE. Even in emergency psych. There is nothing special about academic jobs in NYC except that you probably get paid less and get skinnier benefits than in other areas. If you're serious about becoming a single parent, it might be worthwhile for you to actually look at some jobs in other places. Do some interviews, talk to faculty there, get a sense of how your institution actually compares and what the trade-offs are of staying/going.  It's a good exercise for any doc who doesn't have a lot of experience at a variety of medical centers. Don't just drink the Kool-Aid from your institution/dept chair.

montgomery212

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How much did you start with in loans and at what interest rate? I understand that with huge loans people want to be done ASAP, I too double-paid on my law school loans. BUT 6k a month so that you're done what, within 10 yrs of residency? Seems like a LOT esp at a time when the market is up 9.75% YTD was up 19+% last year etc. Unless your interest rates exceed 9.75% and I doubt it, you could make a LOT more from a net worth perspective by putting money into a 457b and more into your taxable account. Sure keep overpaying your loans too so you're not working on them for 30 years, but maybe slow down loan repayment for net worth building purposes. If I'm reading it right, your employer gives you BOTH a 457b and a 403 -- that's 37k/yr that you can invest, why not do that?

I think it's especially important since you have other goals (adoption/child rearing) that will cost money -- better to build up your NW as much as you can pre-child esp. in NYC where the costs of having kids are huge as you know. You'll likely need to go from a 1 to 2 bedroom esp with a nanny; yrs of nanny costs; by age 3-4 you're going to be needing to send that child to preschool. AVERAGE preschool tuition in Manhattan can be 17-20k/yr and let's be honest that average is dragged down by programs that you won't qualify for at your income and on top of preschool you will still need to keep a nanny bc given your hours, it's not like you'll be leaving at 3 pm to pick up your child. And then there's the whole dilemma of public vs. private school. While private is certainly NOT necessary, in the Manhattan school lottery, you are guaranteed a spot in a school in your borough -- that's it; so if you live/work in upper east and you get a school in the financial district -- there's more nanny hours there for drop off/pick up.

Honestly it sounds like if you start the process today, you'd hopefully be placed with a child in 1-2 yrs. I'd try to make/invest as much as possible in the next yr or 2. Start picking up as many night shifts as you can now bc you're going to be less inclined to want them with a baby at home. And start making a plan where you decide if/when you'll leave the city -- there's a reason lots of people raise babies/toddlers in Manhattan but when preschool time hits, they're in Westchester. IDK if an ER doc can commute from Westchester (maybe but IDK if there's requirements re living nearby or if it's too much life/time wise with a stressful job), so start thinking of options in Westchester/upstate where you'd actually want to work. Seems like you like and are a good match for academic medicine as opposed to PP -- would you consider someplace like Albany or SUNY Upstate? Sure it's not the same cache of Cornell/NYU/Columbia but it'd still give you that teaching med students/residents aspect of your career that you like.

doctorlady

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You can do this!
But please, please do not plan to work night shift and then care for your baby during the day without someone else as back up. The consequences professionally of mistakes due to fatigue can be devastating.
Your nanny would need to cover the hours you are away at work, and also the hours you sleep during the day.

Thank you! Yes good point. I will be sure to get my zzz's :) But since I don't work every day the nanny could still theoretically have another part time job and therefore I wouldn't be responsible for paying her full time. Fun to think about creative ways to do childcare.



I think to get someone to do such an odd schedule, likely as a live in, you are likely to have to pay that person full time. Is your schedule consistent enough for someone to know what days they can work in 4 weeks? Are you ever on call?

Don't forget she would be providing housing in NYC, which can be a huge percentage of a person's living costs.

Yes I am not so wealthy as to be able to afford to pay another adult a full time salary AND NYC rent! My shifts are only 3/week, and I know my schedule well in advance. So either I would have someone come work per shift and pay them that way; or have someone live in and pay them only for the day shifts and the post-night shift hours (NOT the night shifts.) I would pay my nanny generously for her time because I value it, but I won't be able to afford more than that.

I will think more about options and likely post here when baby time comes, as I really love the advice!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 10:20:10 PM by doctorlady »

doctorlady

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Also look at your contract to make sure malpractice tail coverage is provided. The wife is OB and tail is insane! $100k seems to be the magic number. Lots of employers try to avoid this like the plague.

Thanks for thinking of me with that! Luckily I do have generous malpractice tail coverage and thank goodness psych malpractice is low. OB is so insanely high! Oof.

doctorlady

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Thank you bachchi, Dee18 and montgomery212 for the 457 advice. I decided to change strategies and will dump as much money as possible to the 457b this year and postpone paying off student loans for a few more months.

In terms of delaying paying them back beyond that and investing the money instead, I realize I am not making the most rational decision in terms of pure math. My interest rate is low but I have been paying them so long, I simply can't take it anymore, so I just HAVE to be done with them even if the math doesn't add up. The psychological aspect is SO motivating for me. Not even sure I would be motivated to put so much money into investments, even though I know I "should." I feel lighter and happier just thinking of them being gone :)

Dr Kidstache/montgomery212, thank you for CALLING ME OUT! I needed that. I love where I work, but also am an ivory tower snob,  and scared to ask for raises... So it may be that I need to think a lot deeper about what I really want/where I could really work and be happy without being "stuck" in Manhattan with a decent -but not stellar- salary. I grew up in a household of abundant joy and education with both of my parents being public school teachers. So I never felt right "complaining" about my high salary. Though of course, why did I see it as complaining? Lots to sort through here. Thanks again.

I have to sort through the various costs of moving and childcare. Short term plan is to save like a wild maniac and see where I am at in a year. Meanwhile I am researching adoption and going to just start moving forward from that end with or without all the rest of it set. Baby is calling my name loud and clear :)

Thanks all. More to come :) 

ixtap

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What do you mean you wouldn't pay for the night shift hours? They lose their choice of where to be, they have to be ready to care for a child. You may not.vakue them, but those night shift hours are worth a premium on the open market.

Salary includes the housing, that may be one of the points of confusion?

doctorlady

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don't worry I am going to pay my nanny generously. Free housing would be part of salary. I would figure it out.

Capt j-rod

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Kids are amazing... They are the ultimate sacrifice in life. Everything you ever thought was important kinds falls into the background. The hardest part of parenting for me is the society in which we live and trying to get your core values instilled into the kids. My problem would be hiring someone to do this when I'm not there. My wife is the doc and I work from home. Her first job was horrible and she was never home. The hospital literally was her home. She switched employers and things have changed for the better. My daughters wanted a dog for their birthday this year... I honestly couldn't do it. I already have so much on my plate. You will love being a parent. It is truly one of the most amazing changes that I have ever experienced.

marty998

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Welcome to the forums Doc. I don't really have anything to add to this case study but I had a chuckle when I saw this line:

People pay big $$ in Manhattan and Westchester but not so much further upstate.

There was a monumentally huge spending woman from Westchester who came here for help early on in the life of the forum. The poor dear couldn't bring herself to spend less than $500,000 a year on account of not wanting to appear poor in front of her friends and peers, or something like that.

There was much sitting back with popcorn enjoying the show with that thread haha.

doctorlady

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There was a monumentally huge spending woman from Westchester who came here for help early on in the life of the forum. The poor dear couldn't bring herself to spend less than $500,000 a year on account of not wanting to appear poor in front of her friends and peers, or something like that.

There was much sitting back with popcorn enjoying the show with that thread haha.

That's hilarious!! Oh man, so many rich people problems around these parts!

doctorlady

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Thanks Capt-j-rod! I am thrilled with my decision. Can't wait to be a parent. Going to figure out how to be there as much as can, single or not!

reeshau

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In terms of delaying paying them back beyond that and investing the money instead, I realize I am not making the most rational decision in terms of pure math. My interest rate is low but I have been paying them so long, I simply can't take it anymore, so I just HAVE to be done with them even if the math doesn't add up. The psychological aspect is SO motivating for me. Not even sure I would be motivated to put so much money into investments, even though I know I "should." I feel lighter and happier just thinking of them being gone :)

This is exactly the insight that Dave Ramsey picks up on.  Money + Psychology = motivation, which leads to a solution.  Either path is viable, but given you are preparing to face the challenge of single parenthood, I think it's wise to clear the decks otherwise of worry and risk.  Paying off your student loans or not is a question of *optimization*, not of success or failure.  And that optimization is in both dimensions.

dr_sassy

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Late reply, but I wanted to congratulate @doctorlady on her upcoming motherhood and successful career to date. I'm excited for you. I don't have much to add. You know you'll have to build up your stash now and cut expenses so you can have more babytime later. Good luck, and message me if you ever want to talk. I also work shifts, although not psych, and in a LCOL area, but we're still part of the same tribe.

Speaking of which, same goes to @Dr Kidstache. Nice to see other female physicians on the forum.

doctorlady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 16
@dr_sassy thank you! Here's to our tribe! Yeah, I am excited. Already feeling embarrassed re buying too much shit over the past few years, but happy it's not as bad as it could have been. I am going super frugal for the rest of 2018 and 2019. Won't bring me close to FI but will help me save a lot for more flexibility with a baby.

Have to slash internet and phone expenses next.

I've biked to work every day this week too. (Bus home when I feel too delirious to steer, lol)

Thanks again to all for the support! I feel free-er already

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1783
  • Location: Florida
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Dr Kidstache/montgomery212, thank you for CALLING ME OUT! I needed that. I love where I work, but also am an ivory tower snob,  and scared to ask for raises... So it may be that I need to think a lot deeper about what I really want/where I could really work and be happy without being "stuck" in Manhattan with a decent -but not stellar- salary. I grew up in a household of abundant joy and education with both of my parents being public school teachers. So I never felt right "complaining" about my high salary. Though of course, why did I see it as complaining? Lots to sort through here. Thanks again.

Well, I thought I'd chime in and remind you ... it will not do to be too scared to ask for raises. If you'd already put in for one you might already have paid down a substantial chunk of debt just from your salary increase. Make it your mission to find out everything about salaries at your place of work and then scope out the competition.

Think of it this way - if you will not do it for yourself, do it for your future kid:) The better off you are, the better off your kid will be. I'm not necessarily talking about buying the coolest stuff on the market - I'm talking about giving your child security. Being able to pay for an expensive procedure not covered by insurance or having more than one year of expenses in your emergency savings if you lost your job tomorrow.

Everything changes once you have a child - it is OK for you to lose a job and scramble, but it will not do once you have a baby in the house. Based on Murphy's law this will be the moment you lose your lease, causing moving expenses etc.
Have your financial house in order before that baby arrives - everything will become much harder afterward.

Asking for a raise trumps saving money on groceries, because that new raise becomes your new total earnings upon which your next raise is based - sort of like compounding interest.