Hi, I’m Regina and I am That Frugal Pharmacist. I blog about motherhood, money, professional life and holistic financial health.
This is an updated about me page. After running this site for two and a half years it was time for an update. So much has happened since I started here.
You can email me at ThatFrugalPharmacist[@]gmail.com for any inquiries. Read on for more info!
I am a pharmacist, a wife, and bread-winning mama to a son with a cancer called neuroblastoma. As of August 2020, I’m also a millionaire!
The best way I can sum up what I do here is talking about holistic financial health.
There are plenty of people out there talking about health. But as a high earning professional, who’s been on unemployment twice during my career, I can tell you MONEY MATTERS when we’re talking about our total health. AND, “work” isn’t everything in life. Make time for all that matters.
Though I will often touch on topics that target pharmacists and healthcare providers, most of my content is applicable to anyone. Especially working mothers.
Holistic Financial Health with That Frugal Pharmacist
Mostly thanks to my son’s cancer, these days, I’m taking a #SlowFi approach. I’m a bit of a control freak by nature, but multiple curve-balls starting in 2018 have me living month to month now. And the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped the situation.
There’s a lot I can’t control. But, I keep working to create and live a life that best supports the mental, physical and financial health of me and my family.
Life Post Cancer
So far we’re doing pretty well. And despite my son’s cancer, a pandemic, and another round of being on unemployment (this time I still have a job, I just can’t work it), I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
There’s nothing like staring down losing everything to make you appreciate all that you have. And I’ve been there when we thought we might lose my son to cancer. It could still happen. So, we aim to make our dreams achievable now.
Does that mean working my ass off to meet my goals? No. It means making sure my goals and life are in alignment. It also means changing some dreams and goals. I’m not going to be a jet setting world traveler. I’m ok with that.
I like to talk about how debt free life helps my work-life balance. How I’ve dealt with unemployment and job searches. And there’s plenty of family, slow travel, health and personal finance with plans for my version of early/semi- retirement and #FIRE
More about Me and Why I’m “That Frugal Pharmacist”
I’m 33 years old right now. I graduated pharmacy school at 23, the youngest in my class. For the pharmacists out there, I applied for a residency and didn’t match. My heart wasn’t in it, and it showed.
As of August 2020, thanks to a home I paid off in under 2 years, I’m also a net worth millionaire! That’s bonkers (and I totally don’t feel like one)!
I consider myself to be “financially secure.”
I live on the west coast on a small hobby farm (if chickens and dog count you as being a farm). We’re looking to expand the farm a bit and currently installing a massive greenhouse.
My best friend and husband takes care of all the business at home (including minding our preschooler) while I work the day job (when I have one). He is an early retiree who retired in his mid-40’s and is now a full time property caretaker and stay at home dad. He has no problem keeping busy around the homestead.
Thanks to my son’s diagnosis of neuroblastoma in 2018, I’m no longer aiming for any dates when it comes to financial independence.
Though as with most things in my life, now that I’ve stopped caring about the exact date or number, the goal seems far more achievable than before.
It took me a long time to stop minimizing my accomplishments. I paid off a 20 acre property at 27 (I think) years old! On just my salary! And now I am able to work part time to support my family.
Instead of saying “I only work part time” I’m respecting the fact that I have earned the right to call myself semi-retired.
I’m taking things week by week and trying to enjoy life. We’re even trying to practice mindfulness with a preschooler.
Am I perfect? Heck no. Honestly I feel like I spend half my days brooding about what I’ve failed to accomplish that week.
Hello? Are you an imposter too? Yep. That’s me. Ever full of the imposter syndrome.
Open to Opportunities, As They Say…
I’ve been at this blogging gig for two and a half years now. And I’ve done a bit of freelance work.
Just as I was revving up to focus more on that, cancer came knocking. And, I suppose I’m at a point of trying to fire that up again.
I have a few other websites now. I create and sell art, stickers, and more via my Etsy store.
I’ve done a small bit of design work and website building.
I’m currently looking for collaborators and freelance opportunities. I’d love to hear more about why I might be a good fit for your podcast or other project.
Please reach out if there are any other synergys you think we might have and want to work with me some way! I’d love to chat.
Coaching YOU on Your Holistic Financial Wealth Journey
I am NOT a coach by training. Or e-training course.
But people keep telling me I need to offer these services given the insights and assistance I offer in many private conversations. And my husband tells me I need to stop offering so much advice for free. Me? A woman doing unpaid emotional and mental labor for people? WHY, I NEVER?!
So, with that disclaimer, if you need some hand holding, some venting, and someone to help you get your goals in sync with your life and realistic dreams, please reach out and we can discuss it.
I’m a safe space for that taboo topic of money and all that crappy psychology we play on ourselves.
Let’s get you living the life you want now.
Oh, you want the long story?
Unedited since 2017 !
I was on track for (normal) early success…
I’m what some might call an overachiever. You know, actually that might not fit anymore- I was an early achiever. My life is probably pretty close on track to many of my peers at this point in my life (except, I’m still a better than average money saver). Having worked really hard to get to a successful point early in life I was pretty much on autopilot by my late twenties. That meant, taking it a little more easy in the professional arena.
I graduated high school early, I was (at the time) one of the youngest Pharm.D. grads at my college ever.
My first failure…
And then, my life didn’t exactly play out as planned… nearing pharmacy school graduation, I didn’t match for a pharmacy residency. Even though I was involved in plenty of extracurricular activities. Even though I sat on national committees as student. Even though I was a member of my academic honor society. Even though I DID EVERYTHING RIGHT.
It was really the first “failure” or “life not going to plan” moment that I had had. I was a bit devastated. But, not enough to seek out other opportunities and move to another part of the country, again, chasing any residency opportunity I could find. Nope, I decided to pick up my broken heart and put my nose to the grindstone.
Others could see my heart wasn’t in it…
Ultimately, I probably didn’t match because, as one interviewer later told me, they could tell that my heart wasn’t completely in it. And that was true. I didn’t see myself being a “Dr. Pharmacist” working long hours at the hospital in scrubs and attending professional meetings throughout the year. I just knew it was what I should do to give myself the most opportunities in my career. I may have ended up being that “Dr. Pharmacist” who knows…
Pick yourself up and dust yourself off…
So I found myself a retail pharmacy job. I had to get a second home hours from my actual home and spend my work weeks far away. It happened to pay about $10 more than the going rate (and it was the only full time job I could find immediately). Since I missed out on residency, I got myself a hospital job back in my hometown too. I was working 50-60 hours a week and living mostly off my husbands income.
During this time I, unsurprisingly started watching my net-worth tick up each month. Wow what a change! I got real friendly with the Mint.Com budget tracking app and started really thinking about how much money I was saving. I quickly found out:
I enjoy watching my savings grow more than I enjoy spending money!
Despite the costs incurred with setting up a second residence and having to purchase a good commuting car (a nicer one than I would buy now) we saved enough to plan for a real move and a hefty home down payment. Thank goodness we didn’t actually buy that house in our hometown like I “thought” I should because I could afford it.
And then I almost made another mistake…
Finally got a license and a job in another state and we moved. The exact how and where is a bit of a circuitous fiasco, but, we ended up right where we want to be, thank goodness. Heading up to do our first house hunting trip, the job fell through, the person who was leaving that I would replace wouldn’t be leaving anymore! The horror!
Luckily, another job came through immediately, so, we still went house hunting, but 3 hours away from the initial area we thought we’d be going to (and closer to our vacation spot, yippee!).
The house hunt nearly spiraled out of control and the budget kept getting bigger and bigger. We actually ended up putting an offer in on an AMAZING property that we could technically afford, though it was way above our original budget.
THANK GOODNESS when we got home some… “unusual” easement issues came up and we backed out of that agreement ASAP (at not cost to us due to due diligence period). I felt so.much.relief.
Determined to be financially secure
When we moved and started house hunting again we determined to lower our budget and stick with it! That let us buy a house that we put 1/2 of purchase price in down payment and paid off the rest in less than 2 years. After the stress of the previous almost purchase, I never wanted to think I’d be stuck making house payments for 30 years.
And now? It’s just us living life! The house is paid off. I take an easy work schedule that I like to call “semi full time.” I still work two jobs, because I’m paranoid and mistrusting (lol). But also because it allows me flexibility in my routine to work more or less depending on what’s going on in my life.
My husband retired in his mid 40’s when we moved
So we have plenty of time to enjoy our family and property as a family and focus on building our life we don’t need escaping from.
These days, now that I’m in a pretty good spot financially, my goals are to become more financially savvy and learn more about actively increasing my wealth. I’m not satisfied to just save better than everyone else I know anymore!
And of course, enjoy my life, be a great mom, decrease my stress, maintain the health of me and my family, try to learn to do yoga on my own at home, be better about mindfulness, make real friends as an adult (it’s hard, I’m telling you), try to wean myself from so much technology, spend more time on my hobbies and think less about work. You know, all the regular stuff!