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Lives of Doctor Wives: Residency Roundup: 43 Money Saving Tips

Monday, January 21, 2013

Residency Roundup: 43 Money Saving Tips

Unless you have a well-paying job to supplement your spouse or partner's residency income, you are probably feeling some financial strain during his training years.  Between the costs of moving after medical school, beginning to pay back those hefty student loans, and the high costs of licencing fees, board exams, or purchasing medical equipment and various textbooks, you may find that there is not much left over to support a family.  Money may be particularly tight if you matched in a high cost of living area, have children, are not working or recently purchased a home.

Whatever your situation, you may be looking for ways to stretch your dollars.  Here are some ideas from our Lives of Doctor Wives community members for saving money:

·       Get rid of cable
·       Find free or low cost activities for your family to together 
·       Come up with a budget and stick to it, don’t buy things you don’t really need
·       Shop at second hand stores or search craigslist for things you do need
·       Repair clothing or furniture rather than buy new
·       Live within your means, don’t rent or buy a home you can’t afford
·       See if you can get by with just one car; look into carpooling, biking, or using public transit
·       Drive the speed limit and avoid tickets
·       Do one large grocery shopping trip once or twice a month; when you run to the store for “ just milk” you tend to come home with more things that you don’t need!
·       Pack lunches at home
·       Cook the majority of your meals at home
·       Instead of paying preschool tuition, start a preschool co-op with other moms in your area
·       Buy some workout videos to do at home instead of paying for a gym membership
·       Call your utilities companies to see if you can get a better rate
·       Combine errands into one trip to save on gas
·       Borrow movies and books from the library instead of buying
·       Switch to cloth napkins
·       Cancel your home phone
·       Extend the time you go between haircuts
·       Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions
·       Line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer
·       Keep your home cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer
·       Shop for a better deal on car insurance
·       No more recreational shopping, you may be tempted to buy!
·       Cook vegetarian at least once a week
·       Learn to do your own home and car maintenance
·       Swap babysitting with another family
·       Don’t carry a balance on your credit card
·       Buy more whole foods and less snacks
·       Remember to turn off the lights
·       Double your recipe and freeze the leftovers for another night
·       Make a meal plan for the week based on what is on sale at the grocery store
·       Use less water: turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and take short showers instead of baths
·       Wash all your laundry in cold water
·       Buy a reusable water bottle
·       Go on a “spending fast” for one month (only pay bills and buy absolute necessities like food) to get your spending in check
·       Keep any spare change you find around the house in a jar.  When the jar is full, take it to a coin machine (some banks have these for free) and turn it into bills!
·       Use a product like Dryel instead of going to the dry cleaners
·       Throw a clothing swap party with friends
·       Brew or make your favorite drink at home instead of hitting up Starbucks or McDonalds
·       Sell things you aren’t using at a consignment shop, on eBay or Craigslist
·       Re-use wrapping paper, or use other items (paper bags, butcher paper, leftover fabric) to wrap gifts
·       Buy generics and store brands

Join the conversation!  Connect with our community on Facebook and find other wives and partners of physicians in various stages of training.

Melissa Stringham



Blogger Nelson Mcglaughlin said...

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August 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM  

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