My New Dentist Life: New Year, new more financially stable me
Editor’s note: This is the latest article in a New Dentist Now blog series, My New Dentist Life, following a new dentist’s first year experiences out of dental school. The views expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author and are not intended to reflect the views, positions or policies of the ADA or the New Dentist Committee. To read previous articles in the series, visit ADA.org/mynewdentistlife.
Why hello there, dentites! It has been awhile since my last post…The holidays were a whirlwind of emotional quick hellos and goodbyes to friends and loved ones who live far away, and surprisingly things picked up quite a bit at my office…
Now we find ourselves in 2016! Some people love it and some people hate it, but I am one of those people who absolutely LOVE making New Year’s resolutions. I love a fresh start and making new goals always sparks my motivation! In the past, I have made some pretty crazy resolutions. In 2013, my goal was to run 3 miles every single day…And I actually did it!
Last year, one of my goals was to be more financially aware and to get better at budgeting. I downloaded an app called YNAB a.k.a. You Need A Budget (which is offered free to students and I liked so much that I actually pay to use now). This app helps you to keep track of every single dollar that you spend. You can make categories, transfer between different accounts, set spending and savings goals, etc. I found this extremely helpful in dental school when every penny counted, and it is coming in handy now that I am actually making a paycheck.
It is simultaneously exciting to get the paycheck and depressing to instantly allocate all of the funds (that haven’t been taken away for taxes) to student loans, rent and utilities, car payments, and credit card payments. I’ve also made sure you to put a little something away from my paycheck into my savings. I actually feel about the same financially as I did in dental school to be honest. My car of eight years recently died (a new engine would cost over $4,000), and I decided to get a new one. My old car had been paid off, so adding another monthly expense was not so fun!
Additionally, I have had credit card debt looming over me since before dental school. I actually racked it up in my last year of undergrad to pay for school expenses, such as textbooks and lab equipment, and it continued into dental school when my student loans would not cover everything that I needed to get by, and I didn’t have any cash to spare to pay it off.
My resolution for 2016 is to be credit card debt free! Since I started working, I have already paid down a significant amount, but I am hoping to finally pay off my credit card debt completely this year. I want to improve my credit score so that I can refinance my student loan and car loan. My goal is to improve my credit score and eventually apply for refinancing through DRB (which is an awesome new ADA member benefit). Even though I always make my payments on time, being a student for so long has taken its toll. When I bought my new car, I was even worried that they wouldn’t give me a loan. The dealer said that I hadn’t really done anything wrong, but that I just don’t have a lot on my credit report yet…I am hoping that paying off the last of my credit card debt will be a step in the right direction!
What’s your dental New Year’s resolution? Any other new dentists out there having the same problems? Any seasoned dentists have any advice?
Dr. Emily Hobart is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and an estranged Canadian who grew up in Glendale, Arizona, where she attended dental school at Midwestern University. She is now finding her way as a new dentist in Columbia, South Carolina. In her free time, she loves running, rock climbing, pub trivia, karaoke and traveling!