The Road to FISE: Be Eco-Cool and Save Money!!!
January 25, 2021
It’s 542am and the wind is howling. It’s raining in Southern California, and it’s much needed but unusual for us. Having lived through multiple droughts in our sunny state, I’m always grateful for whatever rain we can get. I spent last night updating our finances and refining our goals. I thought I had neglected things of late, but everything was fine. We are in tip-top shape financially and have some medium sized investments that we will make soon. It’s funny how the hard-work and foundation we laid out fifteen years ago are paying generous dividends. Personal finance is easy now. I had mentioned on the KevinMD podcast that it helps to be financially independent, and I wanted to check if that was true for our numbers. And it actually is. I could stop working now completely, and we would be fine without my income. But that has never been the point of financial independence, it was more freedom from someone else or some other entity being able to control me.
With that, it’s time for a physician personal finance blogpost – because technically I’m a Physician Personal Finance Blogger! Let me check crispydoc’s blogroll to make sure I’m still on there. [Pause] Yep, still there “Dr. Plastickpicker [sic] is a self-described “wannabe financial blogger” aiming to FISE (Financial Independence, Save the Earth). Written by a pediatrician and mom, this half of a west coast dual MD household is passionate about saving money and the planet.” https://www.crispydoc.com/physician-finance-bloggers/ Ahh, I love confirming my existence on the internet.
Talking about personal finance only really interest me now when it dovetails with saving the earth. It’s hard now for me to give advice to young physicians starting off on their personal finance journey, because it’s like me trying to explain to someone how to walk. It is instinctual for me how to walk, and how to manage my finances. How do you explain putting one foot in front of the other? Step by step. I’ve gone over already my primer into physician personal finance already, which you can view. Today I’d like to blog about something fun! How being Eco-Cool can SAVE YOU MONEY!!! Honestly the key to financial independence is being really frugal. Not cheap, but knowing the inherent value in something and not overpaying for things that has no value (like bottled water or soda).
Seven Recent Ways I Saved Money by being Eco-Cool!!!
- Not Going to White Coat Investor Conference (Saved $800!) ! I really am a personal finance blogger, and I’m a personal finance blogger not trying to make money off anyone. Because I really am financially indendent. I just saw a link to White Coat Investor conference and its over 800! What a scam. I’m sure my networth is higher than those speakers. That’s the same amount it cost me to be part of the American Academy of Pediatrics and therefore be Co-Chair of our Climate Change and Health Committee. I’d rather use that money and save the earth, not pay it to a bunch of doctors who don’t want to work. Sorry but not sorry!!! LOL.
- Rosemary Bush Propogation Project (Saved $8, and $5 yearly): A Rosemary plant from Lowes or online is about $8. Dr. Plastic Picker can certainly afford it, but it comes in a plastic container and the whole point is that I’m trying to propogate life and reduce carbon emissions in the most financially responsible way I can. So I asked my dear friend Dr. Jill Gustafson for a branch of her very large rosemary bush at her house. I’ve been trying to propogate other rosemary plants and it has not worked. But Dr. Gustafson’s plant is growing roots!!! We are so excited. And it was free! I bartered (for fun) some kumquats and minced garlic for a branch of her rosemary and I borrowed a 3D puzzle of Boston. My goal is to have a rosemary bush in a planter at my house, and also to plant one in the HMO parking structure. Also this way I never have to buy dried organic rosemary as a spice. It’s about $5 a small little container. Isn’t that amazing???!!! My retirement cost just dropped by $5 a year and my own rosemary bush has shorter distance from “farm to table” and saved a little plastic container a year. Yeah!!!
3. Vegan Muffins ($16 a month!): I used to buy vegan muffins at Sprouts about twice a month. Then I became a really good Kinda Vegan Muffin Maker! I was at Sprouts with my daughter this weekend picking up some parsley for a Girl Scout Cooking Project and looked at the flaxseed bran vegan muffins for $7 a batch encased in plastic and know in my heart that my muffins at home had less sugar, more fiber, usually is some sort of food waste project and always taste better. Also the process of developing my own weird and delicious muffins is part of my personal wellness journey. Knowing that in my heart is so liberating, as I walked by the $7 Sprouts Vegan Flaxseed Muffins on my way to the bulk bins!
4. Gift of Gourmet Kimchi ($8 a jar): My mother-in-law makes kimchi. She makes a lot of kimchi. It’s gourmet. Fresh and less salt. I am gifting a small container to a friend who loves kimchi. It would have cost me $8 but instead it’s essentially free and I get to pass along a glass jar. Upcycle baby!
5. Gift of Succulent Planter ($20): I started a pretty succulent planter to be gifted to a good friend. I really think she needs something living in her house to remind her that she is rooted in our community. These cost about $30 to $40. I bought a new pretty ceramic container for $10 and its part of my succulent project. So essentially I am saving myself $20! Plus it will mean more to her because it’s home-grown.
6. Ate Left Overs Last Night ($40!): We had a mish-mosh dinner of leftovers yesterday. It was very mish mosh. It was a bagged ceasar salad, pita bread, and we ate a oldish opa sauteed with leftover chicken and pork. Also a left over Vietnamese Banh Tet which is traditional for New Years, and is a savory sticky rice dish. I ate left over salad and bell peppers from the day before. The most important thing is that we averted food waste and the kids were definitely OK with it. I give us credit for $40 saved because we could have ordered out, as I was feeling a bit tired from the day. But rather than $40 and a lot of the extra plastic and styrofoam packaging, we ate a lot of fiber and vegetables and saved the landfill some methane. I also this way teach my own children important lessons about frugality and averting waste. This saves Mr. Plastic Picker and I millions later in having raised financially responsible children. The not so good parts of the opa gourd we put in our compost pile. Dr. Plastic Picker for the win!
7. Artificial Grass Salvaged (Future Doggy Pee Pee Mat $500!!!): Our crazy black poodle mix likes to pee on artificial grass pee pee mats. We bought three when she was a puppy. They are still working fine. But at some point they will need to be replaced. My brother was going to landfill some extra artificial grass that he had, a good almost 150 square feet worth! My mom told me about it and headed there to get it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the artifical grass. Right now it’s on our concrete pad as an extra place for the puppy to lay down. But I could definitely just cut it up and save it as future pee pee pads! It is worth at least $500 from not having to pay for new ones!
I was going to write 10 Eco-Cool ways to save money, but I’m at 7 and I think I’m done for the morning! Anway, that was fun going over how I saved money.