Re-emerging from lockdown, physicians will definitely be ready to enjoy life again. Here are some tips on how to avoid overspending.

After more than a year and a half of practising medicine through a historic pandemic, of social distancing and putting patients' needs above their own, it's no surprise that many physicians might be counting down the hours until they can finally unwind and enjoy their favourite activities again. 

If you too have been working overtime and putting your needs last, you may find it harder to stick to your budget and resist impulse spending once you do finally reconnect with your old pastimes, such as dining out, going to live shows or sporting events, and travelling.

If you haven't had much time this year to spend money on yourself, you're not alone. Physicians across North America say it’s been difficult during the pandemic to carve out time for personal hobbies, vacations, family time and other crucial forms of self care. According to the Canadian Medical Association, many Canadian physicians report feeling increasingly anxious and spent as the pandemic drags on. 

Even physicians who aren't working on COVID’s front lines and are mostly conducting virtual visits are feeling the effects of it. If you’ve worked less than usual this year, you may be struggling to keep your practice open, and your income may have taken a hit. 

On the plus side, you may have seen your savings grow when restaurants were shuttered and travel was out of the question.  

So after a year and a half of putting your needs on the back burner, you might be finding it hard to resist the urge to splurge.

Here are some tips to help you spend mindfully.

Track your spending

Whether you do it by hand or in an app, logging your spending can help you get a better handle on where your money is going. It can also help you see whether impulse buys are costing you more than you realize. Keeping a record of your spending — even if it's just a quick note you jot on your phone between rounds of seeing patients — can also help you recognize the impulses that are behind some of your more expensive purchases. Reflecting on why you made those purchases — and whether they were ultimately worth it— might give you pause the next time.

Beware the power of frictionless payment

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the spending that's so easy you hardly think about it — you just tap, swipe or click. 

The power of frictionless payment is what can make one-click online shopping add up so quickly: you can easily spend hundreds of dollars in seconds. But even if you head to a store, you can still get into trouble. Most stores make it easy to breeze through checkout without giving you the time to pause and think before you pull out a card. And now that many stores have substantially increased the amount you can spend on contactless transactions in the era of COVID-19, it has become even easier to just quickly tap and pay for an unplanned splurge.

Plan, pause, think

Luckily, there are ways to rein in unplanned spending, and to make it less likely you'll buy things you regret. The key is to have a plan for how you really want to spend your money; and to always give yourself a moment to pause and think before you buy. This way, you can enjoy re-engaging with life after reopening and building back your practice of self-care without worrying about blowing your budget.

Contact a Scotiabank advisor to get personalized banking advice and solutions or visit