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  • Ann C Wood

10 Money Mistakes Doctors Often Make

Money Mistakes To Avoid

As medical professionals, you've dedicated years to mastering the intricacies of human health, but what about your financial well-being?

After years of rigorous study and training, you finally land your dream job as a doctor. The future looks bright, doesn't it?  But wait – have you ever stopped to consider if you're making the most of your hard-earned income?

You might have experienced the weight of student loans or felt the pressure to maintain a certain lifestyle. These are common challenges that many doctors face.

But here's the good news: You have the power to take control of your financial future. In this blog, we'll explore 10 money mistakes that doctors often make, and more importantly, how you can avoid them.


Are you making these common money mistakes?

Neglecting financial planning

One mistake that doctors often make is failing to create a financial plan. Without prioritizing a financial plan, they might find themselves aimlessly spending their money.

It’s important to treat your money like you would a patient—with care, attention, and planning. Dedicate time each month to review your finances and create a roadmap for your financial goals.

A few steps to creating a financial plan:

  • Define your goal- both long term and short term

  • Understand your current financial situation

  • Create a realistic budget that aligns with your income and expenses 

  • Develop actionable strategies to achieve each goal  

High standard of living

Doctors sometimes overspend by indulging in luxury items and costly vacations. It's important for them to prioritize their expenses and stick to items that align with their financial means.

Example: Instead of purchasing a luxury car that stretches their budget, doctors could opt for a reliable and more affordable vehicle that meets their transportation needs without breaking the bank.

No investment strategy

To acquire financial security, it’s important to know about various investment plans. Doctors should start investing in their early careers, taking advantage of retirement accounts such as 40(k) and individual retirement accounts.


Mutual funds, systematic investment plans, and working with a financial advisor can offer personalized guidance based on individual goals, which can help them in their investment journey.

Not allocating a budget

Before you address your long-term goal, it's important to allocate your budget. The purpose is to know what your required expenses are and understand where your money is going. 


A good way to start is by following the 50-30-20 rule. Allocate 50% of your income to general living expenses like lodging and food, 30% to savings, and the remaining 20% to living life.

Additional steps to create a budget:

  • Use a Google spreadsheet and list down all your expenses into different categories

  • Name them as rent, home maintenance costs, entertainment, groceries, and coffee expenses

  • Set up an emergency fund

  • Get the employer match for your retirement contributions


Not having an emergency fund

An emergency fund acts as a guard against disaster. It protects you from any uncertain situation. Start your financial plan by building an emergency fund. That way, you have a strategy or roadmap towards financial independence.

Steps to build an emergency fund: 

  • Determine the amount you need. Set clear goals and determine the amount you want to save

  • Automate savings: Set up an automatic transfer to your emergency fund each time you can make a paycheck

  • Budgeting Your Money: Decide how much of your income goes towards expenses and how much you'll set aside for emergencies

  • Growing Your Emergency Fund: Move any surplus money or bonuses into your emergency savings account

Ignoring burnout and mental health

Bad mental health can often lead to burnout and fatigue. This might cause various health issues as well. Doctors who neglect their well-being may experience reduced productivity.

It’s important to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed. A healthy work-life balance is essential to financial success.

Ignoring student loan debt

Don’t let student loan repayment overshadow your retirement savings. Save at least 20% of your income or leverage tax-advantaged accounts. 

Not considering all the hidden costs 

The hidden cost here refers to the ongoing cost of starting or managing your medical practice. The hidden cost goes beyond medical supplies and equipment. 

While eliminating these expenses isn’t possible, there are several strategies doctors can use to manage them effectively:

  • Review all recurring expenses. This includes rent, utilities, malpractice, and insurance.

  • Evaluate staffing needs: Decide to hire multi-skilled personnel who can handle administrative tasks and patient care.

Neglecting estate planning

Without a proper estate plan, your assets might not be distributed according to your wishes, and your loved ones could face legal and financial burdens.


Consider working with an attorney to create a will, power of attorney, and healthcare directive.

In the end

Doctors are the ultimate healers, sometimes even the best healers need a financial checkup. While high income can be a blessing, it can also lead to a false sense of security.

It’s important to remember that financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. Start today, make smart choices, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with financial security.

Prime Financial Services is dedicated to empowering medical professionals like you with comprehensive financial support. From financial planning and tax guidance to addressing the unique needs of medical practice, insurance, and retirement, we're here for you every step of the way.

Join our informative seminars tailored specifically for medical professionals. Learn more and request a seminar today


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