First Post… What would you do with 5k?

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  • Avatar bosdent 
    Status: Student
    Posts: 4
    Joined: 08/22/2019



    This is my first post on this Forum. I am looking for some guidance. What would you do if you were currently a dental student who was just awarded about $5,000 (not related to school) to do what you want with? I just bought the WCI book, but school is starting in a couple days and I am not sure if I’ll have time to finish and comprehend. I have read 1 personal finance book so far, but I figured I would ask here since this Forum is geared towards people like me. I know time is important when you want your dollar to work for you, so I am trying to allocate this money ASAP so it will pay off in the future.


    Stage of Life: D2

    Social Situation: Single, no dependants

    Annual Income: 0

    Net Worth: expected to graduate with around -$210k from loans

    I do have an Acorns account that I have set to do the automatic $5 deposit feature. I also have a little cryptocurrency I had as an experiment


    Any input would be appreciated!

    #240764 Reply
    Avatar DCdoc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 562
    Joined: 06/14/2016

    210k in net worth or loans? Truthfully (likely regardless of the answer) I would likely use the money for a nice vacation. I’m not sure that’s what you were hoping to hear but it’s the truth.

    #240773 Reply
    Liked by bosdent
    Avatar bosdent 
    Status: Student
    Posts: 4
    Joined: 08/22/2019

    haha you would do that even with knowing what you know now??

    #240778 Reply
    Avatar Ghetto 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 126
    Joined: 08/13/2017

    Use it to find and woo a rich girl to marry

    Avatar Larry Ragman 
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 617
    Joined: 08/30/2018

    The advice so far is light hearted and probably well intended. But put this question in a slightly broader perspective. If you don’t develop good instincts and a plan now for what you will do with income, when will you develop it? So what should you do with income both now and over the next few years? First, do you have an emergency fund? If not, put it all in a Vanguard money market fund (some here use high yield savings at Ally or other online banks). If you do have a bit by for emergencies then drop this windfall into the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund. Rinse & repeat for future income.

    Two related thoughts. First, Don’t let school stop you from digesting WCI’s book. There are some near term lessons on managing your loans, insurance, etc. Also, you will understand how to answer your own question. Second, sell the cryptocurrency and stop that! Good luck!

    #240782 Reply
    Avatar jhwkr542 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1316
    Joined: 02/15/2016

    I’d just put it in the bank.

    #240786 Reply
    SerrateAndDominate SerrateAndDominate 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 487
    Joined: 02/01/2018


    Maybe treat yourself to something like a nice dinner or small weekend getaway then keep rest in savings.


    Take breaks and still read WCI and anything non-dental every now and then.


    Focus on your schoolin’

    Earn everything.

    #240787 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4452
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Save it.

    #240799 Reply
    Liked by bosdent
    Avatar nephron 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 227
    Joined: 05/09/2019

    Another way to ask this question would be “what would you do if you were graduating with 205K in debt vs 210K in debt”.   Congratulations on your windfall, it’s probably not going to change your financial needle that much.

    #240800 Reply
    Liked by Craigy, bosdent
    Avatar Antares 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 507
    Joined: 01/20/2016

    Yeah, it’s not enough to do much more than do something nice for yourself and put the rest away. But that’s not nothing. Larry’s advice is quite sound.

    #240815 Reply
    Avatar Gamma Knives 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 169
    Joined: 06/25/2017

    My usual approach with extra money is to allow myself to spend 10-20% (of the amount after taxes) and save the rest. You want to find a balance between living life now and paying your future self.

    If you want to follow that maybe allow yourself to spend $500-$1000 on something fun and save the rest (emergency fund in high yield savings or money market if needed).

    #241030 Reply
    Liked by bosdent
    Avatar bosdent 
    Status: Student
    Posts: 4
    Joined: 08/22/2019

    Thanks a lot for everyone’s advice. It seems most people are saying treat myself a little and put it away. Must be because I still have a while to go. I forgot to add I do have like $2k for emergency in a money market account with an online bank. I believe the APY is 1.26%. I will look into Larry’s advice and check out Vanguard Total Stock Market Index funds. Anyone have any advice not said before?

    #241049 Reply
    Craigy Craigy 
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 2059
    Joined: 09/16/2016

    Yeah this feels like a lot of money right now, but compared to what you should make during your career (hopefully), it’s peanuts.


    #241067 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis, bosdent
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1863
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    If you need money for Efund then it should stay there.  If you do not need the money you could use it to cover living expenses and take out a little less loans vs start a taxable account and invest it.  To bad you do not have any earned income or a Roth would have been a good choice.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #241071 Reply
    Liked by bosdent
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 937
    Joined: 02/06/2016

    I would recommend saving the money in a high yield online savings account.

    You might put $500 towards something fun, but only if it is worth it to you.

    And you could consider putting $1000 in a vanguard stock mutual fund to learn about how it feels to stay the course in both up and down markets.

    Most of all, cautious spending and saving is best at this point. When I was your age, I lived in a small apartment in a marginal neighborhood for $200/month when typical rents were so much higher. And those were some happy times. I didn’t need much money to find fun things to do.

    #241151 Reply
    Liked by bosdent

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