We sat down with Dr. Matt Geller, OD, Adam Cmejla, CFP, and Gary Topple, CPA at Vision Expo West 2018 to ask them what their number one financial tip for new healthcare professionals would be. Getting your finances in order, especially as you set out to pay off student loans, begin your career, and start to consider other major life purchases, can make the process much more smooth.
Tips from a healthcare professional
Dr. Geller shared a few of his thoughts on the importance of setting financial goals for yourself. Setting goals and sticking to them means that you can plan well in advance. “My biggest tip? You’ve gotta start with your end goal in mind. Write it down on paper; write it down in a journal. Be upfront with your goal and revise it every year. If you aren’t, you’re really just wandering in the dark.”
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“You have to understand where you’re trying to go. Meanwhile, the law of attraction helps you move toward that goal.” Maintaining a clear vision of what your financial future looks like goes hand in hand with the plan itself!
A few lessons from a CFP
“I can’t do one, so I’ll keep it to three,” says Adam. With years of experience in financial planning he’s boiled his tips down to:
- If you fail to plan, plan to fail. You have to plan and be intentional.
- Let your savings habits dictate your spending habits. Saving really is a habit. What you earn on your investment return is not nearly as important as the act of saving.
- Realize your own intellectual limitations and capital. You have to align yourself with partners that will help you save time, save money, and be effective and efficient at what you do.
“You just have to budget. It’s that simple.”
Obviously, these tips are easier to manage on paper than they are in execution, but reminding yourself of them can help you to stay on track. Know when and how much to save, and structure the remainder of your financial decisions around that. Having a goal in mind to start will dictate your saving habits and, by extension, the rest of your financial management.
A note from your friendly CPA
Gary echoes Adam’s push to save efficiently. “Pay yourself first. Really, save money before you pay for an extra expense that you might not necessarily need. Budget and figure out what you have coming in. It’s simple, but it becomes a psychological issue.”
“I joke. I say ‘as a CPA I never took psychology classes,’ but I spend half of my time discussing [the psychology behind spending and saving] with clients. ‘How do you feel about x,’ and ‘how can we work to make you feel better about x?’
At the end of the day, he distilled his wisdom to a single lesson: “You just have to budget. It’s that simple.”
As a young OD, life never gets cheaper. As goals, aspirations, and business and family prospects begin to develop, it becomes clear that planning properly today means having a secure future.