False Finance Gods
January 11, 2021
I’m definitely more in tune with my feelings and my body. Last night I did 12 minutes of yoga before going to bed, and I was stretching my arms and reaching for the sky – I could hear cracking of joints and popping. I’m sure I’ve been moving my arms and body for over 40 years, but I never heard the sounds of my body movement. I guess I had never been quiet enough to really listen.
Despite being more in tune with my body, nature, the world and shifting my personality type (I kid you not) – I still have similar thought processess. I find many people annoying but without the blaming anymore. And I know there are many false gods and false people out there. Yes, they are still out there. Actually becoming Dr. Plastic Picker has helped me see some of those false gods more clearly especially false finance gods.
It’s no use pointing them out. In generaly it doesn’t do well to be unkind. We need so much kindness these days.
I cleaned up 4 bags of plastic pollution near Hornblend and Mission Blvd. I had seen the VANS store signage in the background of the news coverage of the riots. When I saw the VANS store sign in the background I was upset because that is where I sometimes walk in our neighborhood and my sister is named VAN and she used to buy VANS shoes a lot. I know it sounds silly, but seeing riot police in front of the VANS store triggered something. So I went yesterday and picked up four bags of trash there. I won’t post the picture again because I already put it on Dr Plastic Picker’s instagram page.
Between an epic solo beach clean up and yesterday’s detritus from the rioters, I felt compelled to make trash art and made two pieces. I am really proud of them and each piece of plastic holds a memory for me. I will bring them into work today and add the False God to my growing army of wine-cork beings. I will bring the Emerging Face from the Rioter’s Plastic Waste.
Otherwise I just cleaned the house a lot this weekend. Our house is so lovely now. It was always lovely but fundamentally more cluttered. Since we stopped buying most things about 2 years ago, everything is just kind of falling into place and things are getting used up. One never realizes how much one has until you stop spending. Mr. Plastic Picker and I left Costco yesterday flexing our minimalism muscle. We almost left with a $350 table that we did not need. We seriously stood there and I opened the drawers and closed them, and imagined our tween daughter using the table. The shinyness of new things always beckons. But we walked away and it was hard, because we remembered together that I have a perfectly good desk that she actually wants and we were going to swap my desk for her desk. We actually made that swap yesterday, and ended up swapping reading chairs and other things from room to room – and again every room is more functional. We are not throwing things out. The entire point is to keep it out of the landfill. We are using things up and buying only what we need.
Back to Costco, we left spending about $250 which is not bad. There was definitely plastic things, but in general we buy much more bulk. We bought bulk organic sweet potatoes, bulk organic garlic, large frozen bag of organic Normandy vegetables and organic greens, and a whole case of canned sweet corn. We bought large bags of salad toppings to tryo to get Mr. Plastic Picker off his bagged salads, and two large sphagetti squash. My plan tonight is to make my own pesto from our container radish tops and pair it with chicken and sphagetti squash. I also bought two jars of spanish olives. I don’t know why I bought Spanish Olives, but they were really good at dinner. They seem very Mediterranean and we are trying to eat Mediterranean/Flexitarian/More Vegan. The kinda vegan me bought a log of Cranberry Goat Cheese which was so sweet and delicious, that the kids said it was really just like cheesecake. It was. But it was only $6 and has animal milk!!! But that’s okay because I’m only kindavegan and we ate just a small slice between all four of us. That was my impulse buy from Costco yesterday which is better than the desk I did not need.
I don’t think I’m a False Finance God. I believe I’m the Bespectacled Wise Plastic Face with the Surfboard Fin Hat emerging from the plastic waste. When you think of buying something you don’t need, think of your litter-picking pediatrician looking at you from all that waste that is generated.
So what did this real physician personal finance blogger do this weekend to help save the earth and be financially free?
- Stopped myself from buying a desk from Costco that we did not need. Saved $350!!!
- Bumped us up to the Higher Personal Umbrella Insurance Premium. It’s really important to have Umbreall Insurance by the way. We have the same Insurance broker for the last 15 years. I’ve actually never met him, but I can call him anytime and Matt will answer my call and give me good advice. Your insurance agent is part of your financial team.
- Always updated our excel spreadsheets, and set out more financial house-keeping tasks for me this week.
- Enjoyed a Free Breakfast at a Fancy House with Fancy People. It was so delicious! We were outside and masked and all already partially vaccinated. It was important to meet during the weekend because this is part of my job that pays, and part of being fiscally responsible is being responsible to do a good job at what brings home the paycheck.
- Spent $250 at Costco but a lot of that was real food and other things that we need. We really go about once a month now.
- Emailed my mortage broker about refinance rates of several properties. The condo is Hawaii was too good to be true. Still looking, but in the meantime I need to refinance.
- Will pay off a car. We have two very small car loans but we have extra in our emergency fund so it’s probably not a bad idea to pay one off. Mr. Plastic Picker is going to decide that this week. We are going to hold off on buying a car for our son until this summer. He’s turning 16 and wants to drive, but we are still in discussion about what kind of car and when. He still needs to take drivers ed and actually learn how to drive. But we have that on our radar screen.
- Decided what amounts in 2021 we will put in each child’s 529 plan. We actually have enough for private college for both children. We’ve been saving since they were born. We have decided that they are decently studious enough that they will likely go to some kind of graduate school, and will help them with half. We had the children relatively young for MDs, so the benefit for them is that we’ll still be working during the time in their young adult lives that we can more than comfortably help them. We want them to have skin in the game though.
- Decided against buying a $18 Girl Scout Cookie shirt. Our daughter attending the Cookie Digital Rally and earned a patch. I bought the patch which was $3 (I made our San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air Patch much cheaper!) and the shipping for that was $1. I thought about buying the Tshirt and $18 was not cheap but not unreasonable, but the shipping fee was $5!!! Girl Scouts is not run well at times, let’s just leave it at that. Plus I got to think through this financial decision with my daughter which is teaching her fiscal responsibility.
- Made Figwood Chewing Station for the Bunnies. We have the fig tree that we cut down, and I’m having fun trying to figure out how to use the fig wood. I read on-line that bunnies can chew figwood. So I made a fig wood chewing station for them. We’ll see if they use it. Will let you know!
And that’s me – Dr. Plastic Picker. Encouraging everyone to take care of the earth and take care of yourself financially. I was telling my mom last weekend about my glue stick purchases and she was reminding me how expensive glue sticks are. I know! I calculated out that they are about $0.10 a stick. But given that I am a doctor that makes more than Vice President Pence and collect trash on the beach for fun, and make trash art out of the bits and pieces that I collect – I thought that comment was uncalled for! She told me that while standing in front of their very fancy electric car. They can well afford it but really???!!! My mom was telling me my glue sticks were expensive! But it drives her crazy that the hoodie that I wear often that she actually really likes, is one I found and washed from one of my beach cleans. The money I saved from wearing that one hoodie rather than buying one that is new equates to 3,000 glue sticks!
OMG it’s 707AM and it’s time to go to work. Dr. Plastic Picker is not a false finance god. If you come to my office, I’ll show you the trash art I made this weekend from the plastic debris from the rioters. The trash art is as real as it kits. Litter does not lie.