Saving Money While in Medical School

Note: This is a guest post from Elsevier Health.

Medical school is expensive. It is a time where being thrifty and more conscious of how you spend your money can pay off in the long run. You may have to prepare yourself for this lifestyle change. The median tuition at public medical institution was $28,685 and $46,899 at a private institution in 2011-2012, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Keep in mind that this does not include textbooks, lab fees, food and housing.

Student Discounts and Renting Textbooks

First and foremost, you can use your student status for discounts. Your student ID card might come in handy at museums, movie theaters or restaurants. Check business websites to see if they offer student discounts. Student Rate offers local and national student discounts that can aid in saving money on computers to clothes. You can research online and take advantage of daily deals you come across on Groupon or Living Social.

Using coupons and online discount codes can also save you tons of money. From food and house cleaning needs to school supplies and books. Taking the time to cut out coupons and researching for discount codes for online ordering is a smart and easy money saving technique.

You also have the option today to rent textbooks through the new e-readers that are available, such as the Kindle or iPad. Books can be easily purchased and downloaded through Amazon and the iTunes store. You only pay for the amount of time you need the textbooks, such as a semester or two. However, when you are in the medical profession, it is often helpful to have textbooks handy for future reference. Purchasing hard copies of textbooks are often the best option for medical students. Looking up promotional codes online and comparing various textbook sites for the best prices is very helpful.

Take Advantage of Campus Resources

Using resources available on your campus is a great start to saving money during the school year. For example, take advantage and utilize the campus library. The library is filled with free books for studying or reference materials. Free Wi-Fi and computers are also available to you. It is also full of space for you to study quietly and effectively.

You may also want to see if your campus has a gym that is free for students. Staying healthy and fit will help relieve stress and focus better on your work.

If you live off campus, doing away with a TV will also help in lowering your living costs. Between schoolwork, rotations at the hospital and studying, you will most likely find that you have very little down time to watch TV anyway. Full episodes of your favorite show are most likely streaming on the internet, or if you’re a sports fan, head to a friend’s house to catch the game.

To save on food, perhaps there is a discount for employees at the hospital in which you are working? Making coffee at home and cutting out cups of coffee from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks can save significant money as well. Eating healthy on a budget may not be easy, and as medical professional, you
know high sodium foods such as Ramen Noodles or Campbell’s soups, while affordable are not exactly healthy. Finding healthy foods on a budget may be hard but worth the investment.

Keep in mind that you are doing a noble thing. You are educating yourself to become a physician someday. Soon you will be saving lives and helping people stay healthy and live longer. Keep in mind that this point in your life will be a distant memory someday. Embrace your time in medical school and enjoy your experience while it lasts! Saving money is helpful, but remember to treat yourself as well! If you score high on a test, go out to dinner or to a movie with friends. If you find you have some extra down time, attend a party, or hang out with some close friends. Keeping sane and staying true to you is very important – to you and your patients!

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