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Where can I find other conscientious PAs?


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Hi all,

This is kind of a random, shot in the dark for information but I thought I'd try.

As my spouse and I pursue financial independence, we're also discovering what really matters to us. Unfortunately, it's also become more difficult connecting with big city, corporate medicine and even our longtime friends and peers as our values and interests seem to be diverging. (Financial independence isn't just about saving money. There are lots of other health-related, ethical, environmental and social benefits to being financially free, which we've come to appreciate.)

Anyone else out there frugal? Anyone else out there conscientious about others and society? Anyone else out there interested in health and being outdoors? Feeling a little out of place in our big city and looking to make a change, so I'm interested to hear from others.

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Hi there, funny you post this today. This is a conversation my wife and I have been having for the last 2 weeks. In the course of 2 years we’ve restructured our financial set up and gone to using recyclables in all things we can think of: silicon bags instead of Ziploc disposables, kitchen rags instead of paper towels, no more plastic straws/bags, etc. In addition, we notice our values diverging from a lot of our longtime friends, where we are happy about “less is more” and feel this is an important factor of our own developments. I’m a pre-PA (second career in life), so I’m only superficially exposed to corporate medicine & co.
Not sure what advice to give except: hey, I feel the struggle. Being conscientious is a burden and a blessing. We live in a big city but moved to the suburbs so we are a little closer to nature. This has helped us A LOT. 

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I live in a 600 sq ft cabin in the woods, will be debt free in 14 months including a new truck. I predominantly eat venison, Waterfowl, partridge, fish I catch and garden grown veggies, mainly canned in the winter. I hunt/fish/trap about 15-20 days a month. I donate and volunteer for a few non profits. Buy most of my clothes at the tractor/fleet store. Put a big emphasis on exercise and preventative mental health counseling.

Conscientious is different from person to person but we all need each other to function as a society. Every link is relevant 

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I think the point about what is conscientious is well taken.  My version of frugal was shaped by growing up with my maternal grandparents who lived and raised my mother and aunt during the Great Depression and WWII.  The key was what money was & wasn't spent on.  Looking back it seems the focus was to be very careful with what was spent on consumables: food was from the grocery store with locally grown fruits & veggies, not sure about meat.  We seldom ate out and never took a vacation.  Clothing was bought for durability and replaced when worn out or out grown.  However, there was money spent on education and durable items were bought with an eye towards maximizing the value vs cost as opposed to just cost minimization.  It was OK to spend more to get something that would last & last well.  My grandfather repaired many things, all left-overs were eaten, etc.

I'm no where near as good as they were, but I follow the same basic principles of focusing on value vs convenience on my spending, minimizing my spending on recreation (worms for fishing don't cost much, hiking in the state parks costs gas and a good pair of shoes), eating out, and clothing.

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3 hours ago, Billdog29 said:

Hi there, funny you post this today. This is a conversation my wife and I have been having for the last 2 weeks. In the course of 2 years we’ve restructured our financial set up and gone to using recyclables in all things we can think of: silicon bags instead of Ziploc disposables, kitchen rags instead of paper towels, no more plastic straws/bags, etc. In addition, we notice our values diverging from a lot of our longtime friends, where we are happy about “less is more” and feel this is an important factor of our own developments. I’m a pre-PA (second career in life), so I’m only superficially exposed to corporate medicine & co.
Not sure what advice to give except: hey, I feel the struggle. Being conscientious is a burden and a blessing. We live in a big city but moved to the suburbs so we are a little closer to nature. This has helped us A LOT. 

Thanks for your response. I hear this is a common byproduct of the FI journey. Good luck with your pre-PA journey! What was your first career? 

 

2 hours ago, rev ronin said:

It's good that you explain what conscientious means to you, because it can be interpreted a lot of different ways. I view myself as such, although with a somewhat different set of considerations than you articulate.

I didn't wanna come across as too metaphysical or philosophical, so I meant it here in one particular way as it more pertains to society, environment, personal health, etc. And I also mean it in the way of trying to do the "right" thing and of relating to the conscious. 

2 hours ago, kettle said:

I live in a 600 sq ft cabin in the woods, will be debt free in 14 months including a new truck. I predominantly eat venison, Waterfowl, partridge, fish I catch and garden grown veggies, mainly canned in the winter. I hunt/fish/trap about 15-20 days a month. I donate and volunteer for a few non profits. Buy most of my clothes at the tractor/fleet store. Put a big emphasis on exercise and preventative mental health counseling.

Conscientious is different from person to person but we all need each other to function as a society. Every link is relevant 

That is quite impressive; hats off to you. And I appreciate your insight, thanks. 

1 hour ago, ohiovolffemtp said:

I think the point about what is conscientious is well taken.  My version of frugal was shaped by growing up with my maternal grandparents who lived and raised my mother and aunt during the Great Depression and WWII.  The key was what money was & wasn't spent on.  Looking back it seems the focus was to be very careful with what was spent on consumables: food was from the grocery store with locally grown fruits & veggies, not sure about meat.  We seldom ate out and never took a vacation.  Clothing was bought for durability and replaced when worn out or out grown.  However, there was money spent on education and durable items were bought with an eye towards maximizing the value vs cost as opposed to just cost minimization.  It was OK to spend more to get something that would last & last well.  My grandfather repaired many things, all left-overs were eaten, etc.

I'm no where near as good as they were, but I follow the same basic principles of focusing on value vs convenience on my spending, minimizing my spending on recreation (worms for fishing don't cost much, hiking in the state parks costs gas and a good pair of shoes), eating out, and clothing.

I can definitely appreciate what you're saying, especially about durability and maximizing value. That's ultimately what I'm getting at -- it's not just about cheaping out and pinching pennies. Further, I'm just trying to be better and do better and I'd like to find folks who are interested in the same rather than having the same tired conversations complaining about things (especially when they do little to improve their situation).

In the end, you are who you surround yourself with, right? I'd like that crowd to be a more positive, healthful, conscientious, and motivating one.

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I had a low income for a long time before becoming a PA.  Since becoming a PA a few years ago, I have continued to live the way that I lived before I had money.  I have no debt (student loans and house are paid off.)  I was able to do my DMSc without taking on debt.  I have been saving for retirement.  Last year, it was difficult to get my net worth up by much, but that was the stock market's fault.  Hopefully 2023 will give better returns.  Financial security is more important to me than having a bunch of fancy stuff. 

I still live in the "bad" neighborhood because I realize that I can do better for the neighborhood by continuing to live there than I could if I moved.  My car is a 2006, but it still works fine, so I see no need to replace it.  I go hiking a lot (stopping on my way home from work to minimize gas used.)  I also garden, cook from scratch, go to yard sales, put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat... 

Spending more doesn't make me happier, so I don't do it.  I will be able to retire early.  I actually could retire now, but I want more of a cushion in my finances.  A agree that environmental responsibility is important.

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2 hours ago, Photograph51 said:

I had a low income for a long time before becoming a PA.  Since becoming a PA a few years ago, I have continued to live the way that I lived before I had money.  I have no debt (student loans and house are paid off.)  I was able to do my DMSc without taking on debt.  I have been saving for retirement.  Last year, it was difficult to get my net worth up by much, but that was the stock market's fault.  Hopefully 2023 will give better returns.  Financial security is more important to me than having a bunch of fancy stuff. 

I still live in the "bad" neighborhood because I realize that I can do better for the neighborhood by continuing to live there than I could if I moved.  My car is a 2006, but it still works fine, so I see no need to replace it.  I go hiking a lot (stopping on my way home from work to minimize gas used.)  I also garden, cook from scratch, go to yard sales, put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat... 

Spending more doesn't make me happier, so I don't do it.  I will be able to retire early.  I actually could retire now, but I want more of a cushion in my finances.  A agree that environmental responsibility is important.

Hat's off to you too! That's quite the feat. Are your same friends around despite maintaining your same lifestyle? Can I ask what you're planning to do with your DMSc? I also enjoy gardening. I'll admit I am a sucker for comfortable living A/C-heat wise; my spouse is much better than I am about that so I'm learning 🙂

We too live in a "lesser" area but for financial reasons (no HOA, lower housing costs, closer to work). While everyone was moving up to bigger and better things, we bought down each time and most recently moved here. When we discuss our efforts and goals and low-cost interests, most everyone doesn't care to discuss very far as it's so discordant with their line of thinking and/or it's perceived as an unpleasant pursuit. It'd be nice to find folks (bonus if work colleagues) with similar interests and health/financial/etc pursuits. I'm tired of feeling like I can't connect with people beyond superficial things because I'm trying to be healthy, reduce my consumerism and wastefulness, and be more intentional about my efforts. But hey, to each their own, I suppose.

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I only recently became really conscious of spending and lifestyle. We currently live in an absurdly large home for 2 people. That was intentional. I have 3 old dear friends for many many years and I wanted a place we could all gather and be comfortable. My wife and I are already planning our downsizing in a few years when I retire.

My only personal issue to help the planet started a few years ago..... I learned to hate plastic after watching a couple of different specials about places that are choking on plastic and how microplastics are everywhere including in us. I started seeing it used and overused (and still do) so we have been working on reducing that as much as possible. No plastic grocery bags, buy things loose or raw and store them in reusable containers etc.

I don't believe the world is in imminent danger. I do believe we have to do better than we have.

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16 hours ago, kettle said:

I live in a 600 sq ft cabin in the woods, will be debt free in 14 months including a new truck. I predominantly eat venison, Waterfowl, partridge, fish I catch and garden grown veggies, mainly canned in the winter. I hunt/fish/trap about 15-20 days a month. I donate and volunteer for a few non profits. Buy most of my clothes at the tractor/fleet store. Put a big emphasis on exercise and preventative mental health counseling.

Conscientious is different from person to person but we all need each other to function as a society. Every link is relevant 

Sigh. You are living my dream.

Dan 'Grizzly Adams' Haggerty passes away at 74

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3 hours ago, LKPAC said:

Interesting conversation.  I'd love to retire in a few years and get a nice tiny home.  Simplify my life a little. (maybe a lot.) 

It sounds awesome, right!? That's what it's all about, man -- just living life the way we want without having restrictions like limited time/energy and bills/debt driving us to stick to it all. Instead, once financially secure and not relying on a steady paycheck, I can choose what to do with my time, whether that's FTE, part time, prn, cashier, volunteer, laborer, travel the world, etc. I hope that makes sense. 

2 hours ago, sas5814 said:

I only recently became really conscious of spending and lifestyle. We currently live in an absurdly large home for 2 people. That was intentional. I have 3 old dear friends for many many years and I wanted a place we could all gather and be comfortable. My wife and I are already planning our downsizing in a few years when I retire.

My only personal issue to help the planet started a few years ago..... I learned to hate plastic after watching a couple of different specials about places that are choking on plastic and how microplastics are everywhere including in us. I started seeing it used and overused (and still do) so we have been working on reducing that as much as possible. No plastic grocery bags, buy things loose or raw and store them in reusable containers etc.

I don't believe the world is in imminent danger. I do believe we have to do better than we have.

Lifestyle creep is real. Regardless, not everyone wants to downsize or feel like they're living uncomfortably or unable to accommodate visitors, and that's ok. I encourage friends to live however they see fit and focus on what they value most. If that's nice things and fancy dinners, great, get it, Boo. If that's having a bigger home so you can house beloved guests, yes, do that! 

Nice job on reducing use. It's the conscious effort that matters to me and something I try to keep at the forefront. (I'll admit I'm not very consistent yet and forget to bring my reusable bags.) Or like instead of throwing away stuff, donate or sell it. I have friends that put their perfectly decent, entire collection of furniture out on the sidewalk for bulk trash pickup. I hope someone else picked it up instead of it all going to the dump... 

1 hour ago, ventana said:

I am so burned on corp medicine I am thinking of living very simple and telling this whole society to go away.   

I hear you. It's such a disappointment. And such a complex issue with many facets... Instant gratification, consumerism, marketing, for-profit medicine (for better or worse), too busy working our tail off to eat healthfully and exercise and take care of ourselves and our families, etc. 

If you're interested, read The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Natural History of Four Meals. I'm only partway through because it's dense and I'm not a huge reader, but it's been eye-opening as it pertains to marketing, politics of food, push to consume more (calories), etc. Kinda wild and not at all surprising when you glance at society. 

1 hour ago, CAAdmission said:

Sigh. You are living my dream.

Dan 'Grizzly Adams' Haggerty passes away at 74

Same. Hashtag life goals 

Edited by SedRate
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