Episode 50: Freeing yourself from the money trap

When we’re starting out in our careers, there’s a lot to remember, to consider and a lot that we’re not prepared for.  For doctors, dentists, lawyers and many other high stress professional jobs, we’ve undertaken years of training and yet, we’re (mostly) unequipped to deal with how to manage the money we start making once we qualify.

Before we know it, we’ve begun working and committing to lifestyle choices that we don’t realise are sucking us  into the money trap. So what is the money trap, and how can we free ourselves from it?

Joining Rachel in this week’s episode is Dr Tommy Perkins, as well as being a GP Partner, and father, Tommy is one half of Medics Money. Medics Money is an organisation specifically aimed at helping doctors make better decisions with their finances. It’s run by Tommy and Dr Ed Cantelo who is not only a doctor but a qualified accountant.

When Tommy left medical school he carried with him £85,000 of student debt – what a way to start your career! With no understanding of how to manage finances, this debt was a big burden but it also inspired Tommy to look at how to manage finances, manage tax, and how to use his money to work for him and pay down his debt. 

A key concept is our attitude to money. The happiness trap exists where we may believe that money is everything, which can leave us working a huge amount of hours to fulfil the lifestyle we’ve created.

Money and happiness, much like money and tax, do not exist in  a linear relationship. Learning about the relationship between money and tax is something you can be taught, understanding the relationship between money and happiness is something you can only find by understanding your own values, and what’s important for your own happiness.

A great way to get this understanding and start to take control is by preparing a  PDP (Personal Development Plan) for your finances, much like you would write a PDP for your professional life. 

When you’re writing your  PDP, don’t think of it as just about money, but consider what your priorities in life are so that you can put plans in place that will make you feel good, like Tommy’s debt pay back plan. We can avoid facing up to our financial situation, but it feels good to have a plan that puts you back in control.

Tommy’s two most important suggestions are

  1. Work  you can maximise your income; for example by sorting out your tax code, tax reimbursements, child benefit, etc.
  2. Minimise your expenditure.

Simple exercises such as, if you are tempted to buy something,  framing the desired purchase in terms of how many hours that will take for you to earn (and how many hours away from your home or family will that sacrifice?) – can give you enough pause to really evaluate the desire/need/cost balance.

Also ensuring you have an emergency fund of 3 – 6 months of outgoings in savings should you ever need it, can alleviate future stress should your circumstances change.

Tommy’s top tips are:

  • Get financial advice from specialists in your profession.
  • Do a budget!
  • Make a financial PDP.
  • Create an emergency fund.

Finances can be complex to understand and can cause us stress BUT by getting great advice, getting to grips with what you have and what you want you CAN have a great life by making your money work for you!

Want to make sure you’ve reflected on what the recent lockdown has taught you about what’s important in life? What makes you happy? What you’d gladly see the back of? Download our free. Start Stop Continue Checklist tool here 

 Useful Tools and Resources:

Sign up here to receive a link to the CPD form downloads for each podcast which you can use for reflection and to submit for your appraisal. 

Looking for resilience training for your team, your organisation or your CCG or GP Training Hub? Find out more about her online and face to face courses for doctors and other professionals on surviving and thriving at work. 

For more episodes of You are not a frog, check out our website https://youarenotafrog.com/

Sign up to our mailing list here for loads of useful resources about thriving at work 

You can also join the Shapes Collective Facebook group where we chat about the hot topics and regularly post interesting articles 

24 hour support for NHS staff: Call 0300 131 7000 between 7am and 11pm or text FRONTLINE to 85258 24/7.

BMA Wellbeing Service 

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme 

Download our Stop Start Continue Checklist Toolkit

Podcast links

Download the free ‘Stop, Start, Continue Checklist’ tool here

Medics Money eBook https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk/ebook/

Medics Money podcast: Podcast – itunes https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/medics-money-podcast/id1529627459

spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/0HnFjbezty07WobLPXa7TH

android https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL21lZGljc21vbmV5L2ZlZWQueG1s 

Contact Rachel 

LinkedIn @Dr-Rachel-lMorris https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-rachel-morris/

Twitter @DrRachelMorris



Medics Money


Other Podcasts

Episode 55 – The One About Alcohol

Dr Giles P Croft is back to chat with Rachel about his experiences following a revolutionary read he was recommended. You might remember Giles from episode 46, where he talked about how as humans, we naturally default to happiness.

Episode 52 – A year of the frog

The week’s episode is a special one as the Frog celebrates a year of podcasting! It’s been quite a year - including charting in Apple’s Top 100 Business Podcasts in the UK!

Episode 50 – Freeing yourself from the money trap

Joining Rachel in this week’s episode is Dr Tommy Perkins, as well as being a GP Partner, and father, Tommy is one half of Medics Money. Medics Money is an organisation specifically aimed at helping doctors make better decisions with their finances. It’s run by Tommy and Dr Ed Cantelo who is not only a doctor but a qualified accountant.

Episode 49 – The Self Help Book Group No 2 with Nik Kendrew

This week Rachel is joined by You Are Not A Frog regular, Nik Kendrew. Last time Nik joined us, we discussed a book that has helped him in his professional life as a GP, trainer and partner as well as his personal life. Nik’s back this week to talk about another brilliant book and to share what insights and learnings he’s gained from it.

Episode 47 – How to Have a Courageous Conversation

Rachel talks with Beccie D'Cunha about the conversations that we avoid and the conversations we really need to have with our colleagues, teams and managers. They can be described as difficult conversations, but we can redefine them as courageous conversations - because ultimately it takes courage for both parties to listen and be heard.

Episode 46 – Default to happy

Rachel talks with Dr Giles P Croft about his take on how to beat stress and burnout. Giles  is a psychology graduate and former NHS surgeon who stepped aside from clinical practice for a decade to explore a number of career paths, including health informatics, cycling journalism, public speaking and high street retail with his wife.

Episode 45 – Rest. The final frontier

Rachel is joined by Sheela Hobden, Professional Certified Coach, wellbeing expert and fellow Shapes Toolkit facilitator. We talk about why rest isn’t just important for wellbeing, but important for productivity and creativity too. 

Episode 40 – Leading with tough love with Gary Hughes

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Gary Hughes, author of the book Leadership in Practice, blogger, educator and facilitator who is a Practice Manager by day. We chat about how leadership in the COVID-19 crisis has had to adapt, and the different roles that a leader has had to take.

Episode 37 – How to manage conflict during COVID with Jane Gunn

Rachel is thrilled to welcome back Jane Gunn – lawyer, mediator and expert in conflict resolution who has been known as the Corporate Peacemaker. This episode is for you if the thought of addressing a difficult issue with one of your colleagues send you running for the hills…

Episode 20 – A creative solution to stress with Ruth Cocksedge

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Ruth Cocksedge a Practitioner Psychologist who started her career as a mental health nurse. She practices in Cambridge and has a particular interest in EMDR for PTSD and creative writing as a way to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Episode 11 – The magical art of reading sweary books

In this episode, Rachel is joined once again by Dr Liz O’Riordan, the ‘Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer’, TEDx speaker, author, blogger, triathlete and all round superstar who has been nominated for ‘Woman of the Year’.

Previous Podcasts

Ways to stay in touch.

Join the community

Fill in just a few details to hear about the latest tools, services and resources designed to help you and your team become more resourceful and resilient in the workplace.