Personal Finances

Anderson Stuart Building, housing the Medical ...
Image via Wikipedia

As I have alluded to in previous posts, I have recently become interested in personal finance and investing. Cash flow is now net positive (as opposed to in medical school) and for the first time, I have the opportunity to spend earned money, rather than federal loan money.

Like the writer of Debt Sucks,if I publicize my financial situation and become accountable to the ether, I might have a greater impetus to eliminate my debt, so here goes…

My post-medical school debt is $86,800, fairly low, considering the national average is ~$158,000. I was fortunate in that my four-year BA from an Ivy League university was only about $12,000, thanks to very generous scholarships (need-based).However, life during medical school in Manhattan cost a bit more than was provided in those loans, so I entered residency is with ~$8500 worth of credit card consumer debt. A few months into residency, I got into a very minor car accident (at literally 10 mph) that ended up totaling my inexpensive compact, I ended up financing a new car, something that every personal finance book tells me not to do, but given that I needed a car ASAP, I had little choice.

Shopping in Suburbia

Flatiron District
Image by Definitive HDR via Flickr

Having spent a good amount of time living in Manhattan, I became used to the huge selection of shopping available. The standard stores like Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, and Barneys New York had a remarkable selection, and the “little” shops like Club Monaco, Armani Exchange, and Urban Outfitters in the Flatiron District and the Village were a lot of fun; you could walk 15 minutes in any direction and find almost anything you wanted.

I recently went to a mall in suburbia where I grew up and my parents live, and after walking around the same brand stores, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy – the selection was really abysmal. Although I read a lot about style online and try to be somewhat fashion-conscious, my former budget, being a student, was pretty low so my options were limited. Now that I make a decent salary, I want to be able to buy what I want, but it’s difficult when it’s not even available! It makes for a good excuse to go the city, but I long for the ease of just hopping on the 6 train and heading downtown for an afternoon of shopping.