We acknowledge that money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance. Many of us are coming from various financial backgrounds and we understand that financially transitioning into and out of medical school with student loans affects our wellness. Plus, Boston isn’t the cheapest place to live. Our goal is to to share some financial resources to try to offset some of this burden and give you a little more autonomy and control back into your life.
DISCLAIMER - No members of the Wellness Initiative are trained financial professionals. This page features tools, apps, educational books & podcasts, and websites that current and past members have anecdotally found useful or created a buzz on the internet.
+ Phone applications
- Mint: This is a free app for managing your money from the company behind TurboTax and QuickBooks. “This is an all-in-one resource for creating a budget, tracking your spending and getting smart about your money. You can connect all your bank and credit card accounts, as well as all your monthly bills, so all your finances are in one convenient place.” - Investopedia.com
- Wally: This is an app for tracking where all your money goes. “Instead of manually logging your expenses at the end of the day (or week or month), Wally lets you simply take a photo of your receipts. And if you use geo-location on your device, it even fills in that info, saving you several steps” - Investopedia.com. The lite version is free to download with more features offered on their paid version.
- Venmo: Seriously, if you don’t have this app downloaded by now you’re splitting bills over dinner wrong. And if you haven’t heard of this app before, we request that you kindly come out from under your rock. WELCOME. It’s nice out here.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB): YNAB (free to download) takes a unique approach to budgeting apps. Rather than rely on traditional budgeting buckets, you build your budget based on your income, giving every dollar a job in your budget. Those jobs include everything from living expenses to debt payments to savings and investments. Leaving no dollar unaccounted for forces you to think about every dollar you spend. The app is great for individuals or couples working together on their budget. It offers both desktop and mobile interfaces, options to sync your bank accounts automatically or enter expenses manually, and includes debt payoff and goal tracking features to help motivate you to reach your money goals.
- Good Budget: Home budget “can be shared by multiple users to allow everyone involved to participate in planning, evaluating, and budgeting family funds. With a lot of options for customizing the app to your own needs, Home Budget is a good platform for those who like hands-on experience and want to be very pro-active in their planning” - thebalance.com. This app is also available to try on Windows Desktop (just google it!)
- Credit Karma: This app helps you track your credit scores for free without putting hard inquiries on your credit report. While full credit reports are not included, having access to scores in one place is helpful. Credit Karma also alerts you to any unusual financial activity tied to your identity and offers services such as tax filing.
- Albert: “Connect your financial institution accounts and Albert’s algorithms analyze your income, spending, budget, and overall financial health to find ways to save money and improve your financial well-being…[the app will] create a personalized budget, detect unwanted fees or rising bills, help you pay down debt faster, think about investing, and much more. You also have the option of working with Albert's team of human financial experts as part of [the] Genius service. They find savings you’re missing, identify bills you’re overpaying, help you pay down debt faster, save automatically for you, and much more.” - albert.com
We know you barely have time to read. This is dedicated to all those 4th years with plenty of time on their hands after interview season or anyone else who is better at time management than the person typing this up. For the collective rest, remember these are available as audiobooks to listen to on your commute via bus, train, bird, etc.
Pro-tip from a Wellness Initiative member who is an avid audiobook listener: download the app OverDrive so you can borrow audiobooks for free via local library memberships (which is also freeeee).
- The White Coat Investor by James A. Dahle: “SUPER helpful. Addresses all the financial woes that you hear about after your graduate med school. Probably best to listen to this first and go buy the actual book later for reference. There is also a pretty thorough website to supplement the book and saves trees” - a member of the Wellness Initiative
- The Investment Answer by Daniel Goldie and Gordon S. Murray: “This book is jam-packed with investing wisdom, plain and simple. You can learn something from this book no matter what investing level you are at. The Investment Answer breaks down into five basic decisions to keep you focused and help you build a profitable portfolio.” - someone on the internet
- You Only Live Once by Jason Vitug: “Jason brilliantly simplifies budgeting and integrates it with mindful living. After all these years of reading self help books and believing I had the perfect budget, this is the first time someone has provided a plan to combine the two in order to budget for your lifestyle. Makes it easy to stick to the budget!” - An Amazon User
- Listen, Money Matters with Andrew Fiebert & Thomas Frank: Andrew and Thomas offer uncensored, straight shooter advice every week over a cold beer. Listen, Money Matters covers tough topics without all the lecturing and while making room for real life. “They break down financial literacy topics into digestible chunks and they won’t put you to sleep while doing it. cough cough not a typical monotone NPR piece. Bonus, I also learn more about craft beer along the way.” - a Wellness Initiative Member.
- Stacking Benjamins with Joe Saul-Sehy, OG & the gang: Joe, OG, Doug and the crew are laugh-out-loud funny. With plenty for the finance geek or the newbie, you’ll feel like your chatting with friends. The team’s mission per Joe: “Where some podcasts try to be the last word in personal finance, Stacking Benjamins was designed to just spark the conversation. We want to introduce our friends to lots of concepts, ideas, and motivating stories. I personally like fast-paced, lightweight shows, so we present everything in a magazine-style format, covering headlines, a main story, and listener money questions every episode... all from my mom's half-finished basement.”
- ChooseFI with Jonathan Mendonsa & Brad Barrett: On the podcast, Jonathan and Brad discuss how you can reduce expenses, eliminate debt, optimize credit card rewards, and more to design a life you love. Brad shares, "We view FI as a 'life optimization strategy' that goes way beyond just the nuts and bolts of personal finance and allows you to take a step back, figure out what you want from life, what makes you happy, and what you truly value and run towards that life of purpose, connection, and happiness."
- The Fairer Cents with Kara Perez and Tanja Hester: This podcast isn’t about financial advice, but on the complex issues that surround money for women. Tanja emphasizes that “there are plenty of podcasts out there that give women tips on how to manage money, there's not a lot of conversation happening about the broader societal and systemic factors that make women's experience with money so different from men's. We're trying to change that.”
- AAMC: The AAMC website is chock full of resources. They have a section called “Managing your finances during Medical School” where they share budgeting worksheets, tips on financially transitioning to med school, tips for saving money on the residency interview trail and much more.
- AMA: If you are not already signed up for the American Medical Association, do it now. They have a section on their website that also offers finance tips. Although, this information is geared towards physicians, it can be useful for 4th years gearing towards graduating and in general it’s never too early to know what you’re getting yourself into when you graduate, and to be familiar with financial options (and hope) as a working physician.
- BUSM Financial Services: And remember, take advantage of our financial services office! They have more tips and tricks on their website. You can make an appointment via email or just stop by to talk to someone. Their whole department is revamped now, in a fancy schmancy renovated part of the med school, are super nice and will make time to see you if possible even if you don’t have an appointment. Even the receptionists have financial literacy backgrounds and are a great resource! They are located in the Collamore building on the 4th floor. A little tricky to find (very detailed instructions here), but totally worth it.