A Resident Doctor In Palm Springs, CA

Occupation: Resident doctor
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 29
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Salary: $58,240
Net Worth: -$254,294 (checking: $1,357, HYSA: $6,929, Roth IRA: $3,367. I live with my partner, but we don’t share finances. We trade off buying groceries and split large joint purchases and meals.)
Debt: $265,947 (in federal student loans)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,171.29
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $700 (paid to a family member who owns the house but lives in a different state)
Student Loans: $0 (My payments were paused after graduation because of COVID-19. For the next year, they will be $0 with SAVE).
Internet: $25 (for my half)
Phone: $0 (I’m on my dad’s plan. I have offered to switch over but he’s continuing to pay for now.)
Car Insurance: $0 (My mom gifted me her car when she got a new one and just finished paying off her loan. She’s transferring the title to me, and I will start paying insurance next month).
Peloton App: $22 (for my half)
Spotify: $10.99
Apple iCloud: $2.99
Amazon Prime: $7.53
Netflix: $6.99
Health Insurance: $0 (Covered California)
Savings & Roth IRA: ~$350 (Whatever is leftover from my month’s expenses, which I meticulously track on a spreadsheet. The average for this year was $250 to my Roth IRA and $100 to my HYSA. Next year, I will max out my Roth IRA first because I have plenty in my savings for emergencies.)

Annual Expenses
The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens Membership: $75 (my half)

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes, it wasn’t really a question. My grandmother had a fund for my higher education, and I remember her telling me I could go to any school I wanted to. I went to a public school out of state, and everything was paid for, including tuition, supplies, rent, and even an allowance. I worked as a barista for the last couple of years for extra spending money. I wasn’t expected to go back to school for a higher degree, but I felt totally at a loss graduating with a degree in biology. I took out federal student loans for medical school and honestly try not to think about them too much. I’m happy that, under the new rules, paying the minimum means no more interest is added.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent(s)/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
We had no conversations about money. When I was a senior in high school, my mom explained that her side of the family has a trust that is very substantial.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got a job at the Sanrio store in the mall a few days a week at age 16 for extra spending money and because I thought the work experience would look good on future résumés.

Did you worry about money growing up?
Not that I can remember. My mom was a receptionist, and my dad worked in sales. My mom started receiving money from the trust when my grandmother died while I was away at college, and finances really seemed to change at that point. My mom stopped working and has lived entirely off the dividends from the trust.

Do you worry about money now?
Yes. My student loans are laughably large, and I don’t really have the motivation or energy right now to hustle and substantially increase my income, which is possible but very hard work in my profession. I’m comfortable right now because my rent is so low, but I haven’t been able to cut my spending and save as much as I want. My retirement fund is low due to being in school for so long. My partner is still working on increasing his income. I don’t see how we’ll ever have money for retirement, kids, or buying a house. I’ve been logging every expense for the past year, and it definitely increased my money worries without causing a substantial shift in my spending habits.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I’ve never been fully financially responsible. My mom recently gave me her car and still pays for the insurance, and my dad pays my phone bill. I try not to feel guilty about these things and practice gratitude. I’ve moved in with both of my parents at various times since graduating from undergrad and know that I could move in with either of them if I needed to.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
This year, my mom started giving my sister and me $500 per quarter as a dividend from the trust. I know we will split what my mom currently gets when she passes, but I try to live my life without expecting this. I don’t really know how these things work. I have no idea how much she gets quarterly, and I guess anything could happen because the amount is based on “the market”? I’ve already benefited immensely from this trust through gifts, vacations, education, and much more.

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