• 02:15:51 am on May 5, 2009 | 16
    Tags: , , , ,

    “Let the Records Reflect”

    It’s probably no great surprise – given his slightly more advanced age – that Lee found that fully HALF his spending (assuming that April was a typical month) is on the two great American excesses: drugs (of the legal kind) and food (eating out) … now, I’m really curious as to (a) what, if anything Lee will do about it and, (b) what the other MITs found … honestly, I can say that I am already surprised, and this is only the first post!

    Thanks for sharing so candidly, Lee 🙂

    ________________

    I once heard this judge say “Let The Records Reflect” and then indicated what he wanted to be in the official records.  I thought to myself  “that was kinda silly”, especially since the ones that needed to officially know it were setting just a few feet away.  Then it dawned on me that once it’s in the official records there will be no denial that it was said.  Which is how I feel about our Month of April assignment.  Recording everything I spent puts it in writing and I can’t deny it actually happened.

    I found a spiral “Black n’ Red” ruled notebook I had set aside to record “brilliant ideas” that came to my mind (needless to say the notebook was pretty much empty) so I carried it with everywhere I went  during the month of April.  I recorded it all large and small, bills that came in the mail on a regular basis and last minute cravings.  I was quite surprised that it took a lot of pages to record it all.

    I then divided it up into those things I really needed and those I didn’t.  My biggest surprise was the following:

    (1).  Even with insurance we spend a lot on Prescription Drugs, just our c0-pay was nearly a quarter of our expenses for the month and I don’t see that ever changing for the better as a matter of fact it might even get worse depending on our health.

    (2). My wife and I eat out a lot and I make a regular stop to the coffee shop nearly every morning. I was surprised to discover that this was another quarter of our monthly expenses.

    WHAT I ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PART OF THE 7MILLIONAIRES IN TRAINING are the really great ideas that cause me to think about what I’m presently doing and the recommendations from others concerning how I can make necessary changes that will impact my future

    I have to admit that from time to time I don’t have a clue what some of the folks are talking about when they are describing their investments but that’s when I “google” (and I google a lot).

    I checked out the “10-10-10” and “10-1-1-1” idea and I’m looking forward to taking some time now and trying to see how that works.

     

Comments

  • Scott 5:58 am on May 5, 2009 | #

    It’s really revealing when you get it all down on paper, isn’t Lee? I did a similar exercise a few years ago before I ended up getting on the type of “automatic budget” that we are on now.

    Have you considered ramping up the exercise and purchasing all natural, organic groceries instead of regular groceries to improve your health and get you off of most of the prescription drugs?

    Buying better quality food along with taking a few more walks in the evening and even starting a mild weightlifting program 30 mins, 3 times a week I guarantee will knock out most of the health problems and buying organic produce will entice you and your wife to cook more meals at home and eat out less(one of our secrets to not eating out more than a couple times per month and keeping the costs waaaay down).

    And as your health improves(because it will dramatically) your health care costs will go down and this is all money that will poor into your war chest to fuel business ventures and investments.

    Not to mention, it does no good to be a millionaire if you don’t have your health and quite a few long healthy years ahead of you to live your life’s purpose. Actually, I emphasis this to ALL the 7 MIT and Adrian as well. We gotta be healthy if we want to LIVE our life’s purpose, right?

  • lee 9:14 am on May 5, 2009 | #

    SO MUCH FOR THE DOCTORS “SOAP BOX” 🙂

    @Scott – Really, I do appreciate the recommendations but aren’t organic foods expensive? I’m going to have a small garden this year and will be able to eat some of my own food which I hope will help a little.

    The walking in the evenings is a great idea, I used to do just that but stopped.

    Medications? Yes I can probably cut out the blood pressure Meds by proper diet and weight loss. It would be nice to get off of some of the others as well.

  • Scott 10:01 am on May 5, 2009 | #

    Lee, I use to think that buying organic was expensive, but realized that health problems, prescription drugs and not feeling your best and not having the energy to go out and achieve your goals are FAR more expensive.

    Even aside from that, when my family and I decided to make it a personal value to eat organic food(for a million different benefits, not one of them just to be trendy or novelty) we realized that our monthly grocery costs didn’t really go up much. The reason why? Because much of what people by at the grocery is excess in the form of cookies, crackers, cakes, pies, ice cream, sugary drinks, etc… that we shouldn’t be putting in our bodies in the first place.

    When we made a commitment to eat healthy organic foods, we also made a commitment not to buy the extra ‘junk’ and that evened out our monthly grocery costs. Next up is how it will reduce your health care spending.

  • lee 12:20 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    Hmmmmmm…that is indeed “food for thought”:)
    thanks

  • Scott 1:17 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    That’s what where here for Lee, to get each other Wealthy & Healthy 😉

  • Adrian 3:43 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    @ Scott – Since we’re talking health here, maybe I should take take your advice and buy (or, grow, like Lee) “better quality food along with taking a few more walks in the evening and even starting a mild weightlifting program 30 mins, 3 times a week” since you ARE a doctor who specializes in wellness and I have your IRONCLAD DOUBLE MY MONEY BACK guarantee that it will “will knock out most of the health problems [after all we] gotta be healthy if we want to LIVE our life’s purpose, right?”

    Great advice, and as Lee has shown, health care is a major component in budgeting … esp. as we get a little older.

    @ Lee – ‘food for thought’ 😛

    I think that your little garden will help not just in quality (don’t spray / fertilize it with chemicals: http://hubpages.com/hub/Grow-Healthy–Chemical-Free-Vegetables-with-Compost and you will have Near Free Near Organic Veggies) but in cost as well: health may improve (as Scott suggests) and you’ll prob. eat out a little less, as well. Then we’ll use the extra cash to fuel your war-chest, since that’s more important that saving more for retirement, since you ARE retired already 😉

    Any ideas on how Lee can lower costs of prescription drugs while he’s waiting for Scott’s Total Rejuvenation Program to kick in?

  • Christine 8:16 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    What about Walmart’s $4 generic prescription drugs?

  • Lee 8:55 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    @Adrian – Since I am a veteran I have already checked with the VA Hospital and I can get my medications there for a lot less than my co-pay with insurance. I plan on starting to do that ASAP

  • Scott 9:16 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    That’s funny that you guys are talking about planting gardens. My wife and I just planted our first garden this past weekend, lol. Loaded it up with a little of everything. Maybe that will further cut down on the grocery bill 😉

  • Scott 9:17 pm on May 5, 2009 | #

    Now if I can somehow market “Scott’s Total Rejuvenation Program”……

  • Adrian 3:39 am on May 6, 2009 | #

    @ Lee – Now, if you apply:

    1. Scott’s advice (eat fresh food, with/without your garden), along with

    2. The VA and/or Walmart Generic drug program (you DO insist on generics, whenever available … Scott: sensible option?), and

    3. The Power of 10-1-1-1-1

    … it will be interesting to see what holes in your trouser pockets we may be able to sew up 😉

    The next part of our journey together will help you decide what to do with all of this spare cash!

    @ Scott – I know what you should be doing with some of your spare cash: investigating HOW you can create/market/deliver “Scott’s Total Rejuvenation Program”

    … it may (or may not) be necessary for you to reach your Number. But, we should review this at another time, as this is Lee’s 101 post … in the meantime, please give it some thought.

  • Josh 12:09 pm on May 6, 2009 | #

    Great advice on doing what you can to stay healthy to enjoy your wealth Scott. Money has no use if your not healthy enough to enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Debbie 6:23 am on May 10, 2009 | #

    @Lee – how exciting that writing this post lead you to discover a way to save money on your prescriptions! Did you not know they were cheaper at the VA Hospital before now? I was going to suggest a Walmart pharmacy – I know a girl who was going through a regular pharmacy and spending $30 PER MONTH, PER PRESCRIPTION – went to Walmart and was getting the same ones for $3. I think it depends which prescriptions people need, but I always check Walmart first now that I know that.

    @Scott I’m intrigued by the whole organic food thing. As was pointed out, foods with “organic” labels on them in the grocery stores are far more expensive than those without the organic labels. I agree that if you’re filling a grocery cart with cookies, crackers, and that sort of thing – and you stop buying those and buy the organic stuff the bill won’t go up much. Do you have special recipe books or a website you visit for ideas on what to do with all that organic food? How do you convince a 3 year old and 6 year old that the organic stuff is good enough to eat, and that they don’t need goldfish crackers with their peanut butter sandwich?

  • Adrian 4:16 pm on May 10, 2009 | #

    @ Debbie – Goldfish are organic, right?! PLEASE don’t tell me they’re not healthy! 😉

  • Diane 8:57 am on May 11, 2009 | #

    Debbie – all organic vegetables should be used and treated just like other vegetables.

    My kids used to like:
    cream cheese on celery (de-string first)
    sweet red pepper strips
    peeled sliced cucumbers, salted

    My younger son traded his ice cream to his brother for his brother’s cucumbers – when they were 3 and 5!

    This could be genetic – their Dad was good on eating salads, but it could also be learning, as I have learned to eat a lot more vegetables. As a military brat, we traveled around and veggies came from the commissary in a can, usually. The boys’ Dad came from south Florida where veggies were fresh and plentiful year-round.

    Cooked vegetables that I’ve fed my nieces and they’ve liked:

    sauteed asparagus with butter, little salt
    grilled eggplant (peeled, sliced across), brushed with olive oil and sprinkled on both sides with salt and dillweed (dillweed is a must!)
    grilled zucchini (peeled, sliced lengthwise), also brushed with olive oil, salted, and dillweeded
    spinach with butter and salt (granted this is probably not the healthiest way to serve it, takes a lot of butter and salt, especially when you look up the sodium content of 1 tsp of salt), but my sister’s kids who wouldn’t eat spinach before, loved this simple method of cooking (nuked it from frozen for about 5 min, stir, 5 min, stir and eat) – can also add parmesan cheese to the top and nuke another minute

    The best thing may be to treat it like normal, eat it yourself, and as a last resort, tell them they don’t have to like it, but they do have to try it. Then if they don’t like it, have them try something else another night. Even rewards work – eat a bite of this, then you can have that.

    Good luck!

  • Diane 9:01 am on May 11, 2009 | #

    @ Lee – glad to see you figured out a way to save some money. I am definitely using exercise, food, and DRINKING A LOT OF WATER, daily as a way to avoid BP meds and cholesterol meds, as well as diabetes and I hope heart and bone problems later. Seems to me that when you end up with a bunch of pills, there is always some interactions between them that messes a person up and the doctors have to keep adjusting the meds til the patient is responding properly. At one point I was afraid my mother was getting dementia and it turned out – thankfully – to be her meds. One had changed. The fewer I can stay on, the happier I will be!


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