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Financial empowerment

Gamify your money: a powerful money mindset, in a nutshell.

March 11, 2021

Hey there! I’m so excited for Women’s History Month and our upcoming virtual SIR meeting- the Society of Interventional Radiology meeting- that I’ve been swamped! I’m speaking 4 times the week of SIR, not to mention the virtual shadowing and student-led sessions I’ve been doing. Sorry for the absence last week, it’s been a whirlwind. This week, I’m sharing an idea I’ve wanted to write about for a while: my money mindset, in a nutshell, which has to do with making it like a fun game. Gamify your money!

Really, this is parallel to my work as an interventional radiologist. Many of us who enjoy our jobs, may see some aspects of the job almost like a game. Not to trivialize how important the work is, when you’re in someone’s organs, arteries, and veins, but I’m driving where I want to go under image guidance, and it’s like a video game. This is just like finances. You need to take the time to craft some sort of vision for what you want financially, so you can navigate there. Sure, if you overthink it, it could be scary, and the stakes are sometimes high. If you screw up your investments or your taxes, you could see some real consequences. But in general, I think you’ll be more successful if you learn to gamify it. Let me explain.

1. Look at your financial future as a puzzle to solve- but one with infinite solutions.

This is what I do, and it motivates me to keep learning and looking at what other successful people are doing. That’s why learning aspects of personal finance has become fun for me. It’s so empowering to learn and implement a trick or strategy that could help my money grow.

2. Look at money as a tool for self-growth.

Did you know that our culture is imbued with a ton of baggage around money? Do you think it’s wrong to want more? Have you considered how much good you could do if you wielded more money? I adore looking at money as a means to learn more about myself, my values, my past, and my future. Money is a tool in many ways, and in this way, it’s so valuable.

Check out Dr. Bonnie Koo’s podcast. I binge-listened to it on my way to work, and I think she is absolutely killing it! Maybe it’s my feminist mindset, but her latest episodes had me riveted.

Listen to this episode on The History of Women and Money. It’s fascinating what rights women have had in ancient societies, and how recently we’ve recouped them.

3. Gamify your money

Did you know that the more you learn about money, the more fun it can be? After learning about the history of the stock market and of Vanguard in J.L. Collins’ book, Simple Path to Wealth, (I actually listened to the author himself read it on Audible), I felt really empowered. And I think you should too. Unless you’re nearing retirement, you have a relatively long time span to invest, and time works in your favor.

Now, when I look at my accounts on E*trade, seeing a green or red (gain or loss) for the day doesn’t affect me much. But I log in to see the investment there growing, and to research different ticker symbols. There’s a wealth of information there. Beyond learning, I can optimize my investments in small ways, like re-investing dividends I receive. Click on this E*trade link to get a cash bonus to help you get started with investing there. It’s user-friendly and fast! I remember decades ago how my dad had to call up his broker to place a stock order, but now you can order with a few clicks. Pretty rad.

4. Push yourself.

I did this recently by speaking at the annual White Coat Investor Conference on Physician Wellness & Financial Literacy. I synthesized the money mindset and the 5 most important money moves I credit with making it to a net worth of a million in my early career. You can see my preliminary notes as the talk came together here. What an experience and an honor to speak alongside a mentor of mine, and the godfather of personal finance bloggers, Dr. Jim Dahle. I really had to push myself to synthesize my best hacks for a broad audience of healthcare professionals.

I encourage you to flex your courage with your money. Pick an area of study, and dive in. If you’re at the beginning of your journey, read on student loan optimization or emergency funds. If you’re further along, look at the money in your accounts and the potential it holds. Realize that money lying in a low-interest checking or savings account is losing buying power every day. Investing entails some risk, but that knowledge (about inflation) certainly helped to motivate me!

By the way, you can still register for the WCI Conference, now an on-demand virtual experience, featuring hours of expert material. If you register via this link, I include personal coaching and a book bundle too!

5. What do you really want?

Think about it. What kind of impact do you want to have in your career, on your family, on your community, and in the world? Maybe it’s my recent birthday, but I’ve been thinking about the years I have left, in this one life (depending on your religious beliefs). It’s a big question, but you know yourself best.

I want to use my time and efforts to empower women to live their lives as fully as I have. And I’m going to keep pushing for more. More impact, and more empowerment. Because when women wield more money, I know the world is going to be a better place for us all.

Let me know what you think of these tips to gamify your money. And please share your own strategies in the comments below.

The next phase of my mission involves the launch of a course, The Broke to Breadwinner Method. It’s for women in medicine and the STEM fields who want to fully own their career potential, and use that to build an empire. I’m so excited. Click here to get a FREE preview module 🙂

Talk soon!

Barbara

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  1. DocToDisco says:

    Ha!
    Specifically, I rounded up numbers to make the remaining balance all zeros when I was paying off my student loans. Also, for what ever reason, I don’t like the number 6; so I made sure all remaining balances had no 6’s in them. Hahahaha. Keep up the great work @Tiredsuperheroine! Love your Blog.

    • Tired Superheroine says:

      Thank you for reading! This is a great point! Gamifying your loan repayment really helps. Way to take a potentially boring or depressing money task and making it a game! Rounding up your payments is an empowering way to show that loan who is boss! Congrats for paying them off. Did this significantly speed up your pay off or just make it more fun?

      • DocToDisco says:

        YES and no. Stupidly, I deferred my loans throughout residency and two fellowships (urgh!), so the amount was STEEP when I finally started to pay them off. However, one serendipitous event happened to me that was spectacular. I received 3 or maybe 4 different checks from the Federal Govt for back-pay during all my training. I can’t remember the name, but lots of us received “reimbursement” checks for paying into gov’t programs we weren’t supposed to pay into because we were considered “trainees”. This was great, I put every single penny towards it. The largest single check I received was a whopping $16,000! Yes! I couldn’t believe it. This helped tremendously and kept the momentum up.

        • Tired Superheroine says:

          That’s awesome! I mean it’s not ideal but it must have felt like a windfall when you needed it.

  2. She's FIRE'd says:

    I’m a retired CFP, and I definitely gamified my finances. Whenever I had a horrible day at the office, I increased my 401k contribution. Since I had a lot of bad days during market declines, I bought low. Since my income varied month to month, I had it deposited into my brokerage account and auto paid myself a “allowance”. I actually forgot to give myself a raise, and just invested it when the balance got high. Turned out to be a good strategy as I was able to retire at 48.

    • Tired Superheroine says:

      So awesome! I hope this inspires some who are earlier in their journeys! Buy when stuff’s on sale ladies!!

  3. She's FIRE'd says:

    Excellent post by the way. I’m going to listen to that podcast.

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