My husband is just weeks away from finishing his third year of medical school, which means that residency applications are just around the corner. Basically, he will decide what type of doctor he wants to be and apply to programs across the country so he can secure a spot for his next 4-5 years of training (yeah, unfortunately, he’s not quite done with the learning part yet!)
Like everything in medical school, from the $2,500 board exam hubs has to take in June to the books and fees etc., residency applications are freaking expensive. Because hubs will be applying to over 100 programs, the application fee alone will be about $2,000+. Then, if he gets interviews – fingers crossed – we will have to pay for plane flights, hotel rooms, a suit, haircuts (he’s got the McDreamy hair right now, y’all) and possibly more flights if we opt to ask or opt to take programs up on a second look, which means flying back to his top residency program choice to get a better feel for the program and make sure that’s where he wants to go.
After hubs is done with his interviews, he will rank where he wants to go in order of his favorite program to least favorite, and that list will be put into a computer. Then, all the residency programs will rank their top choices for people they want in their program. All of this information is put into a computer algorithm which, after just a few minutes of shuffling up our fate (called “The Match”), will spit out where we will be living for the next few years of our lives.
Some of our friends who are in medical school a year before hubs paid $8,000-$10,000 for this entire process due to cross country flights from NYC to California. Because I am about as Type-A of a planner as you can get, I have close to 200,000 airline miles saved up for this so I am hoping to keep our costs at $5,000 but would like to try to save $6,000 just in case.
Here’s my plan:
1. I already have a Smarty Pig account set up. (Read my review of this savings program and e-mail me for a referral code!) It has $532 dollars in it after $100 is automatically put in each month.
2. I’m going to move $1,000 from my business account into the dedicated residency savings fund. I keep a separate business savings account with some money in it to use for re-investing in my business, like paying for courses or coaching or design updates. I have a few thousand in there right now, and I’ve already spent a lot on business updates this year so I will gift hubby $1,000 of it.
3. Sell every-freaking-thing. Yes, I am on the war path. Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife! Hang on tight to the shirt on your back. I am in e-bay and Craigslist selling mode people. We just sold our infant carseats for $150 and I have been spring cleaning like crazy and making a big pile of things to sell. I’m hoping I can sell $500 more worth of items and use that money towards the suit and frequent haircuts. I know my hubs and he will not go for a cheap suit whatsoever, so I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a few hundred dollars.
4. Give hubby a portion of my extra income each month until September. So, each month I have to make a certain amount to cover our bills and overall budget. Sometimes I reach this amount very quickly and sometimes I have to borrow from other months. You can see what I mean below. Here is how my freelance income has wavered since I became self employed. I don’t include numbers but you can see how much it varies.
So, basically, I’m going to hustle like crazy. I will do anything to save up as much as possible for this process, and if I don’t have enough, for once I really am willing to (gasp!) put it on a credit card. Residency applications will absolutely determine the rest of our lives and our ability to pay back $400,000 worth of student loans so its much more important to spend on applying to as many programs as possible than to be cheap about it. Still, the goal is to avoid all that and get this savings fund poppin’!
So, what do you think? Have you ever had to save up a big amount before?
Oh and because it’s Friday, I wanted to include a small wrap-up with some weekend reading for your viewing pleasure. 😉
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