I am going to go to the archives for this month’s feature. I have been short on time, and this reprint from October 2007 fits perfectly. Mackey Advisors™ is currently participating in the NKY Chamber’s first annual Wellness Competition. Enjoy this piece and I hope it encourages you to save money, save the world, and save your health. You deserve it!
As the weather begins to cool down, most Americans tend to venture outside again. Trapped at slippery poolsides, cool, dark movie theaters, and in artificial, icy air, for 4 months, it only makes sense that it be time for change. The new season is also a time to become wildly prosperous (I really think we should trademark this.), or at least more so than usual. The activities we choose in the autumn months can be cheaper, healthier, and have a much more positive impact on the planet.
No doubt summertime is expensive. We vacation, we dine out, we buy bug repellant, and countless cold drinks, whatever your preference. Each time we purchase that huge, frozen Mochachino we shell out $4.00 plus, put a plastic cup, lid, and straw into a landfill, and probably gain some around the middle. I challenge you to take a break from these activities and get outside. The days are still warm and the nights are getting crisp. Let’s take a few minutes to explore how we might make it a prosperous fall.
Take a minute to compare the cost of a hotel room versus a campsite. A $125 hotel room usually isn’t much to write home about anymore, but a $15 campsite at a state park might just be worth a picture. That is $110 you can use to join a health club, plant a new tree, donate to charity, or extend your camping trip for another week. If that isn’t being prosperous, then what is? A trip to a national park or recreation area like The Great Smoky Mountains or the Red River Gorge won’t even cost you a cent.
I also like to consider what else my decision to be outside might save me. Well there might be a doctor visit or two down the line when I am in better shape than my hotel bound self might be. Even if I choose the old camping tradition of sausage and eggs for breakfast, while I might not do my arteries a favor, the amount of chemicals, additives, and fat we find in so many restaurants would be left behind. It’s also easy to produce little waste in the outdoors. A small amount of packaging is about all I leave behind other than a few footprints. You can wash your dishes, and the carryout bags, plastic cups, paper plates we associate with dining out disappear. Just think of the money that could be put to better use, and the less we would put in a landfill if we all went camping one weekend. I could bore with statistics and put a dollar figure on this paragraph, instead I will just ask you to trust me.
“Woah”, you are saying right now. “I hate camping!” That may very well be the case, or perhaps it’s some other family member/friend’s case. There are plenty of other options that abound this time of year. Instead of dining out on Friday nights, grab a bite at home and go catch a high school football game. Let the Panther, Tiger, or whatever animal in you, out. Its great socialization, the dirt cheap cost of admission goes to support your local school system, and it gets you off the couch. As we saw in our first example, dozens of dollars saved, a prosperous school and community, and maybe even a few pounds left behind.
Allow your imagination to run wild with ideas this fall. There are festivals every weekend that get you out and about, eating healthy foods (should you choose), and supporting organizations that make a difference. You can also do all of these things and leave more money in your bank account.
The list of differences like this we can make this time of year is endless. In summary consider if implementing some of these suggestions save you directly (or indirectly) $1000 between now and December. The old financial “Rule of 72” tell us that grand would grow to around $20,000 in 30 years when you are ready to send kids to college, retire, or perhaps leave your mark on the world. More money, cleaner air, healthier organizations, and better health. Wildly prosperous?… I think so!