Most dental students know what it’s like to live on a budget. After graduation, money will stay tight when student loans come due. Before long, a new dentist will want to buy a practice, buy a house or start a family. As your dental career begins, your financial planning skills will be just as critical as your treatment planning skills. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone — your greatest ally is already in your pocket. Here are four financial resources you can access from your smartphone:
The White Coat Investor (Website)
While not dental-specific, this website covers an array of relevant topics tailored to doctors. From smart investing to debt management, insurance questions and more, The White Coat Investor is a tremendous starting point on your financial journey. And it doesn’t end at the website; check out the book and the podcast as well. The best wisdom I gained from White Coat Investor was about healthy debt-to-income ratios and simple approaches to retirement savings.
Credit Karma (App, Website)
There’s no quicker way to sink your financial ship than trashing your credit. Know where you stand with Credit Karma. Federal law guarantees everyone a free annual credit report, but Credit Karma goes beyond with free score calculation in real time. What’s more, you’ll gain some credit wisdom. Do you really understand how your creditworthiness is calculated? Credit Karma explains the factors affecting your credit score and which factors matter most. Learn this sooner, not later.
Mint (App, Website)
Mint is a powerful and popular tool for budgeting and saving. You can’t achieve financial control if you don’t know where your money goes. A few months of data is all it takes to quickly open your eyes to spending habits. Set monthly spending goals and track every transaction, or better yet, automate as much as you can by connecting your accounts and cards.
The Dave Ramsey Show (Podcast, Website) and EveryDollar (App, Website)
Dave Ramsey is a financial celebrity, known for multiple books and the nationally syndicated “The Dave Ramsey Show.” People who call in to the show receive a healthy dose of tough love in Dave’s signature fashion. While some may not agree with all of his hard-line views, it’s easy to appreciate his pep talks for attacking student debt with “gazelle-like intensity.” In the same vein as Dave’s show and books is Dave’s budgeting app, EveryDollar. You might find it to be a simpler, more welcoming alternative to Mint.
For the future
Robinhood (App, Website): Fee-free stock trades on a user-friendly platform.
Personal Capital (App, Website): A comprehensive dashboard for monitoring all aspects of your personal finances, including spending and savings goals, net worth tracking and investment analytics.
~ Dr. Ryan Dulde, Marquette ’11, General Dentist