Education & Finances: Balance your life and budget
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
WHY ? Decreasing spending on "want" items is the first step towards accumulating savings, to truly have the life you have dreamed of. Decrease your loans, give in charity, start your business venture or invest to stretch your dollar. The possibilities are endless.
HOW ? Divide your take-home pay into three general spending categories:
NEEDS 50%: Housing, food and transportation
WANTS 20%: Travel, entertainment and other nonessentials.
SAVINGS 30%: Student loans, credit card loans, bank savings and investments.
Senator Elizabeth Warren who initially popularized this 50/20/30 concept says to spend 30% on wants. In my opinion, if you want a more meaningful life in 1-2 years, it’s better to save and better yet, invest or start a business with the 30% that accumulates in savings overtime.
One of my investments of $10k as an OBGYN resident went on to become $100k in a couple years (We will talk about investments later).
If you have a very low income, the needs may take up more than 50% which means you give up on either savings or wants. I would give up wants (I have been there).
Balance your life and education HOW TO STUDY EFFECTIVELY:
MINDSET CHANGE: First off, change the mindset. It is not a punishment. It is a remarkable opportunity to learn.
READ EVERYDAY: Study/Read even when there is no exam! Otherwise, the habit can break. If you are a professional, read your professional journals and stay on the top of your game. At least 30 min 2 hours.
LEARNING STYLE: Fleming’s VARK Model There are 4 types of learners. We are able to retain maximum information by doing ONE or MORE of the following. Most are a combination of these. Figure out which styles maximize your memory retention:
Visual: Visual elements such as videos, images, and demonstrations.
Auditory: Audio elements, such as lectures and verbalizing lessons.
Read & Write: Studying with textbooks and note taking. Writing out notes by hand during studying involves more areas of the brain and help with retention. Studies have shown that compared to laptop note-takers, students who take handwritten notes score higher on retention tests. These results were even seen when the test was delayed by a week and all students were given additional study time.
Kinesthetic: whole-body movement to process new and difficult information, hands-on activities (surgery etc)
POMODORO method: Assign 25 min concentrated reading with a 5 min break. Do that for 4 cycles and then take a 20 min break. OR my modified pomodoro method where you spend 50 min in concentrated reading and 10 min break. Do it for 2 cycles before taking a 20 min break. And then start the cycles again until your goal for that day is met.