In the cult-classic Jack Black movie, School of Rock, there is a funny scene where he “teaches” the kids to do the math. On the fly he grabs a guitar and creates a song that goes like this… “
Math is a wonderful thing
Math is a really cool thing
So get off your ath let’s do some math
Math, math, math, math, math
Do the Math, FI Style!
We had a fun idea of creating a section of the blog called “Do the Math” for benefits, healthcare, retirement, and all-around FI math illustrations.
Here’s an Example
A few months ago I had minor surgery on my foot. I say minor because I was in-and-out of the hospital in a half of a day and the actual incision was not that big. They did put me under however and when I came to, in the recovery area, I was not really focused on doing the math of how to optimize my pharmacy expenses. All I wanted to do was optimize my foot!
In the fog of drying out from the anesthesia, I was presented with several prescriptions to take as follow-up. Ibuprofen was not included, which I would have thought would be first on the list to lower inflammation. The staff said that ibuprofen was indeed a good idea but that it was cheaper over-the-counter so they did not write scripts for it.
I was waking up enough to know that it was September, that we had used our medical plan some during the year, and that the surgery was expensive, therefore we would have certainly blown through our high deductible for the year. That would mean that a prescription for 800mg of Ibuprofen 3 times per day would be “free” to me. I asked for the script just in case I found it to be less expense. It indeed was.
Do the Math is as much a way of thinking as it is a set of techniques for saving money. What I love so much about the financial independence community is that it is made up of people who have a mindset of intentionality.
Simple stuff like thinking about what a medication costs or where the best place to purchase it is will save you money, but even better it will free you from the paralyzing fear that surrounds so many of life’s financial decisions. When you are unsure, “Do the Math!”