Financial tips for when you start your medical career

Lectures, assignments, clinical placements—the last few years have stretched you in every possible way. But graduation is finally in sight. Soon we’ll have another enthusiastic doctor, vet or dentist in our community. Starting your career will be exciting, and by organising just a few basic financial elements now, you’ll reap the rewards.

Stick it in a Bank

Once you’re finally working, you’ll need at least two bank accounts. One is a transactional account where your pay will be deposited and you can access your money for bills, living expenses and so on. The other is a savings account which will earn more interest. Obviously the less you access your savings account, the better.

Don’t lose it before you can use it

Do you have a tax file number (TFN)? You’ll need one to quote to your employer or they’ll be forced to take 47 per cent out of your pay in tax. To get your TFN, just look up the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.

It’s stuck. I can’t budget.

That was a terrible pun. But not as terrible as wasting your hard-earnt money. By setting up a budget you can make sure you have money for bills, entertainment, savings and life’s occasional surprises. There’s some great tips and online tools at the Australian government’s Moneysmart website.

That’ll be super.

It’s strange to be talking about what happens at the end of the career before it’s even started. Pick a good Super fund now, and start putting a little bit extra away every month. You have time on your side; take advantage of it! Again, you’ll find some great information and calculators on Moneysmart.gov.au.

The rewards of sacrifice

One of the perks of working in large organisations like the public health system is salary packaging, where you can reduce the amount of tax you pay by paying for some items or services from your pre-tax salary. Cars, insurances, some loans, computers, tools of the trade and more could all be eligible, so ask your employer what you can do.

Do you need a receipt?

There are many work-related expenses you may be able to claim to reduce their tax bill. For example, you can claim the membership fee for a professional association like the AMA or ADA. You can claim on work-related car and computer expenses. Dental and Veterinary graduates can claim on uniforms if they wear one. You can refer to the ATO website for eligible deductions.

Let’s do this

You know the hours and demands will be challenging. But when you finally get to care for your own patients and clients, it’s an incredible buzz. And by following the steps above you can also ensure you get the most out of your hard-earnt money.

 

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The information contained in this article (Information) is general in nature and has been provided in good faith and has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs.