Mike Meyers in Coffee Talk on SNL, saying "Now I'm getting a little verklepmt." Makes the point that you don't have to get verklempt when you get started with your personal finances.

How to Get Started With Your Personal Finances

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Break down barriers to getting started with your money.

I recently published an awesome new FREE guide: the Money Med School Guide to Getting Started Taking Control of Your Personal Finances Step-By Step

I wrote this guide to give you a place to get started, for real.  I always hated it when I’d go to a personal finance blog and I’d click on the “Start Here” button, only to be directed to a random assortment of recycled blog posts that didn’t lead anywhere.  That left me frustrated and still overwhelmed, because I still had no plan.

What I wanted was a step-by-step plan that held my hand and told me exactly what to do to get up and running with my finances.  And that’s what I’ve created.  One of the things this guide helps you do is to overcome the hurdles to getting started with your personal finances.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest barriers to getting started with our finances, and how we can overcome them.

1. Cluelessness & Overwhelm

One of the biggest barriers to getting started with personal finance is not knowing what to do: Where do I begin? What steps do I take? What do I do first? This is daunting, and can make you feel overwhelmed.  The stakes are high (making sure you have enough money to avoid dying alone in a gutter) and the knowledge is low.  

As physicians, we don’t like being in a Low Knowledge State.  That’s because our culture of medicine bases our worth on how much we know.  Our knowledge is currency.  We feel very uncomfortable, even ashamed, when we don’t know something.  Discomfort and shame lead to avoidance, and so we never get started looking at our finances.  Because who wants to face feeling like that?

Breakdown: Let this BS limiting belief about worth=knowledge go.  It’s time to get your learn on, and that’s okay.

2. Discombobulation:

You don’t know where all your stuff is and finding it takes ages— by the time you collect your login info, bank website, account number, etc, you’re exhausted and you haven’t even done anything yet!  Just the thought of having to figure out where you put that information is draining.  It makes it hard to begin. 

Breakdown: Have all of your information collected in one place that’s easy to access. 

3. Mind Trash: We avoid our money.  We really do.  Think about it, does the idea of sitting down to figure out your finances give you a knot in your stomach? Is it the last thing you feel like doing? Would you rather stick a fork in your eye than look at your credit card statements?  If yes, then you’ve got some mind trash.  

Mind trash is the garbage we tell ourselves about money.  These are negative thoughts that we think in response to any money topic, and they make us feel like garbage.  When something makes us feel like garbage, we tend to avoid it.  Hence, avoidance of money topics.

Breakdown: The best way to figure out if you have mind trash is to notice how you feel when you think of a money topic.  For example, think about how you feel when you open your credit card statement.  Do you open your credit card statement?  Maybe you don’t, maybe it’s too painful.  That’s a key sign that there’s money trash there. Face your feelings.  Then think about what you’re telling yourself that leads to these feelings.  Start a journal and write these down— these are the keys to identifying your limiting beliefs and that’s the first step in fixing them.

4. No reason to: We may think, well, I make a lot of money, so who cares if I know all the details?  I’ll always have enough, and I just pay all my bills and I buy what I want, and it all works out.  Ok, but unless you have a serious amount of wealth coming in from elsewhere, your physician income is not usually massive enough to handle being mismanaged or neglected.  You’ll get away with it for a while, but eventually, not having invested, leaving money in a bank account to depreciate, not putting enough away for retirement.. it will catch up with you.  Probably when you’re old and it’s too late.  

When we don’t pay attention to our money, it doesn’t get managed.  It gets neglected.  And nothing does well with neglect.  Except, perhaps, weeds. Everything else does poorly at best.  Peter Drucker, the father of modern business management, said “What gets measured gets managed.” And that’s true— if you look at your numbers, you’ll manage them.  If you don’t, you won’t.  If you don’t set aside a certain amount for savings first, each month, then you’ll never save.  We think we’ll save “whatever’s left over” but that doesn’t work, for two reasons: 1) nothing’s left over 2) we forget to do it anyway.  If you don’t figure out how much you need to save/invest for retirement, then you won’t save and invest for retirement.  You’ll be like, “oh, yeah, I’ve got money in my account” but do you know if that’s enough?  $100,000 in savings may seem like a lot, but is it enough to fund 30 years of retirement?  Hmm.  The answer is NOPE.  Thinking you have “no reason” to manage your money is just more mind trash— you’re afraid to look at your money, so you don’t.


You can’t be an ostrich and retire on a yacht.  Go ahead, write that down— quotable quote— and you heard it here first.

In Summary:

So, in order to get started with taking control of our finances, we’ve got to overcome:




-Mind Trash

Here’s how:

-To overcome cluelessness—> get a guide

-To overcome overwhelm—> make a plan

-To overcome discombobulation —> get organized

-To overcome mind trash—> reframe old thoughts that don’t serve you and replace them with new ones that do.

The FREE Guide will get you started with all 4 of these, and more. Check it out: FREE Guide: Money Med School Get Started Taking Control of Your Personal Finances Step-By-Step

Stop feeling overwhelmed and start taking action with the Money Med School FREE Guide to Getting Started with Your Finances. Take control of your money without dying of boredom!

5 yellow rubber duckies, all in a row, to illustrate the concept of "get your financial ducks in a row". Three are facing left, the second to the left duck has sunglasses on and a stethoscope, and is facing the reader. This duck is a cool, calm and collected doctor duck who has taken control of it's finances with Money Med School teaches simple personal finances for doctors.