The “Zero-Based Budget” for Physicians?

Zero-Based Budget

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP©


A zero-based budget means you start with the absolute essential expenses, and then add expenses from there until you run out of money. This is an extremely effective, yet rigorous exercise for most medical professionals and can be used personally or at the office.

Guess what your first personal financial item should be?

That’s right, retirement plan contributions. Then your mortgage and other debt payments, and other required fixed expenses. From the office perspective, the first budget item should be salary expenses, both your own and your staff.

Operating assets and other big ticket items come next, followed by the more significant items on your net income statement.

Some doctors even review their P&L statements quarterly, line by line, in an effort to reduce expenses. Then add discretionary personal or business expenses that you have some control over.


Do you run out of money before you reach the end of the month, quarter, or year? 

Then you better cut back on entertainment at home or that fancy new, but unproven piece of office or medical equipment.  This sounds Draconian until you remind yourself that your choice is either a) entertainment now but no money later, or b) living a simpler lifestyle now as you invest so you’re able to enjoy yourself at retirement.


Zero-Based Budgeting: The Ultimate Guide - MintLife Blog


When you were a young doctor, it may have been a difficult trade-off. But at mid-life, you’re staring ultimate retirement in the face.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.




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