This episode covers the personal finance basics for optometrists and optometry students. In this Vlog episode, we cover the 7 steps to getting your finances in order. You can also download our FREE student loan payoff spreadsheet and investment spreadsheet.
As an optometrist it's important to know that personal finance begins with understanding your financial goals.
Following these 7 basics steps will make sure you check all the boxes in priority order without missing a critical piece of the financial puzzle.
We've included an investment spreadsheet that will make it simple to understand how much money your investments can generate.
We've included a student loan payoff spreadsheet that will make it simple to understand how long it will take you to pay off your student loans, and the risk vs. reward of investing instead of paying loans.
Matt Geller, OD
CEO - CovalentCareers.com
Founder - NewGradOptometry.com
Before you begin working on your personal finances (or your business finances), you need to start setting goals. Everyone will have different goals when it comes to finances, and what that looks like is based on what you envision your life to be.
If you haven't read our 27 page ebook dedicated to finances and optometry student loans, that is a great place to start!
Here are a couple of simple fundamental concepts about personal finances to get things started.
1. Set realistic expenses and goals. Think about where you want to be in life when you are 40 years old, 60 years old, 80 years old, 100 years old! What you envision your life to be like at various points in time is going to impact your financial goals. "Living like a student" is something we hear often. It might not necessarily be the best way to live.
2. Build an emergency fund. This can vary from person to person, but some advisors advocate having between 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved up in the event of an emergency. Check out savings account options that may give you extra interest on your holdings. Some Ally savings accounts return 1.8%. (Disclosure: No association or affiliations to disclose.)
3. Put money into employer matched funds. Some optometrist employers might offer you the opportunity to participate in a 401k or other retirement savings account. You need to take advantage of this FREE money! Keep in mind tax implications of Roth vs Traditional IRAs if that is an option.
4. Pay down high, then moderate interest loans. Credit card debt typically will cost you the most in terms of interest. Pay this debt down FIRST. The higher the interest rate on the loan, the more damage it can cause you. Knock out the high interest loans and then attack the low interest loans. You should research "avalanche vs. snowball method" of paying debt. The compounding interest on high loans will absolutely bleed you out. We created a compounding calculator tool you can use to better understand this. You can download it for free at the bottom of this page—just select the Loan Interest Calculator!
5. Contribute to your retirement. You might be doing some of this already in your 401k. There are other avenues of investing for retirement like a Traditional or Roth IRA. What to invest in? That is a challenging question to answer. If you are looking to minimize risk, index funds are a great place to start. The ability for money to grow over time by compounding is oftentimes regarded as another wonder of the world! If you want to know how long it will take to double your money, you can use our Loan Interest Calculator for this as well!
6. Save more for retirement. Have you noticed a common theme here? Understanding how much you need for retirement is an important consideration. There are other forms of investments, whether by investing in a company, creating your own company, or investing into real estate.
7. Continue saving. Saving for retirement is obviously important, but it is important to save money for short term ventures. That might be using money to purchase cars, take vacations, or other items that you find pleasure in!
Like everything else, understanding personal finance involves learning. There are a few tools that you can use to help you in goal setting and understanding finances more effectively.
Using these tools can provide you with an overall snapshot of where you stand financially and understand if you are on pace to achieve your goals.
You can tailor those financial tools to represent your specific situation, and better understand what you need to do in order to meet the financial goals you set. You can also set the stage to see how investing an extra $10,000 into a retirement in your first year out of school as opposed to putting it towards your student loans might change your financial picture in the long term!
You would be truly amazed at how small changes can have a MAJOR impact on your student loans and investments.
Download the customizable financial tools discussed in the film to better understand student loans, investments, and compounding interest! 😎👉👉
Be sure to watch the full Vlog episode that teaches exactly how to use these tools!