RECAP: Final Year, Graduation, and Medical Boards, Oh My!

Hello Folks! My apologies for my long absence. I blame life! And, the sobering fact that I can no longer multitask like I used to. Does anyone else feel the same struggle?

So let’s quickly bring y’all up to speed. Here’s what happened in the last 1.5yrs:

1.) Final year of med school: Rocky vs. The Russian
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2.) Graduation Day- June 28, 2015

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3.) Studied ….

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and Completed Medical Board Licensing Exams

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4.) Painfully confronted by the reality of being a new grad AGAIN:

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5.) Paying bills without the help of loans and grants….the struggle is REAL:

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NEW REALITY OF STUDENT LOANS

Hello folks!

One of my good friends enlightened me today to an article written in The Wall Street Journal titled:

To Pay Off Loans, Grads Put Off Marriage, Children

Unfortunately, this seems to be the new reality for many current and post students such as myself. While I have faith that I didn’t make it this far in my path to fail and end up bankrupt, some others are not as fortunate in preventing that travesty for themselves. Please take a moment to read the article. I’m sure either you or someone you know might be in similar predicaments.

Also, you can help take a stand in helping graduates have a fighting chance post-graduation by making sure you vote for political representatives who are IN FAVOR of student loan forgiveness. Starting this year, the Federal Subsidized Student Loan program is being phased out. Students will now be forced to rely on Federal Unsubsidized and Grad Plus loans (interest accruing while still in school), as well as, private loans (this worse of the offenders due to uncapped interests rates and shaky contractual agreements). This is SERIOUS! Do not believe this is only the “youth” of America’s problem…this will ultimately affect us all and serve an a future indicator for our economy.

Okay…I’m coming off my soapbox. For more information about petitioning to allow student loan forgiveness programs, please check out this link.

Peace and Love,

Vitamin Ray

Show Me The Money: Eating Healthy On A Budget!

If  I had a nickel for every time I heard someone tell me that eating healthy is expensive or inconvenient…I could probably pay off my entire student debt! This is a HUGE misconception. In fact, you’d be surprised at how easy and affordable eating healthy whole foods can be! Please check out the link below from Health.com for some great tips you can carry with you into the New Year that can help you with those healthy New Years resolutions.

11 Ways To Save Money On Healthy Food

Additionally, have a game plan the next time you go grocery shopping. That’s right, know what you want before you go in order to prevent yourself from purchasing too many splurges and unecessary items. Try this:

  • Plan your Weekly Menu:
    • Pick 2-3 big meals (i.e. a meal that can feed you and your family for at least 2-3 meals) that you want to eat for that week and make my shopping list based on the ingredients I’d need in order to prepare those meals.** Only buy what you need.
  • Read Grocery Newsletters:
    • Check out the grocery ads and see which produce, meat, and dairy products are on sale for that week. Often times, there are also additional coupons you can use for those items too. **Short on time? Either opt to have these ads/fliers delivered to your email accounts or grab one at the customer service desk and briefly peruse it prior to shopping. Honestly, it takes just a few minutes and your wallet will thank you.
  •  Swap Junk Food Snacks for Whole Food Snacks:
    • Aim to buy healthy snack options for the week (i.e. fruit, veggies and hummus, almond butter, whole grain rice crackers, yogurt, etc. For more examples click here). However, take an easy on those 100 calorie packs and diet bars. Think whole foods for WHOLE nutrition.

And remember, keeping an open mind on different food options can really help you save too. If you see a certain vegetable or fruit on sale for a great deal and you’ve never had it then try it! Not unless you’re allergic, it’s worth expanding your palate. There are too many recipes out there to say you don’t know how to cook or eat it. A little bit of effort can go a LONG way in terms of improving and maintaining your health!

Peace, Love, & Blessings!

Vitamin Ray