i The Frugal Law Student | 2007 | August

Law School
Personal Finance

Jamie Foxx’s Frugal Workout

Written by Brett McKay


This month’s issue of Men’s Health had a feature on actor/singer, Jamie Foxx. Mr. Foxx has had a pretty interesting career. My first exposure to him was his role as Wanda on In Living Color. It’s amazing to see where he has gone with his career.

Part of his Mr. Foxx’s success and current classification as one of the best looking men in America is staying in tip top shape. But Foxx doesn’t fork over thousands of dollars for membership to exclusive gyms or personal trainers. Instead, Mr. Foxx does a simple workout at home consisting of pushups, situps, and crunches each morning – four sets of 25 each.

Quite the lifehacker, Mr. Foxx breaks up his workout by doing chores between sets. He’ll do a set of pushups and then brush his teeth; a set of situps and then take a shower; and so on until he has done all his sets. By doing it this way, Mr. Foxx says that exercise has become part of his morning routine.

The point is you don’t need to spend tons of money to get in shape. My wife and I recently stopped going to the gym and We’re now taking advantage of an outdoor fit center along our town’s running trails. Not only do we get a super intense workout for free, we get to do it while looking at the Arkansas River. Very nice.

Start the Jamie Foxx workout. If you need to do some cardio, go running for 20 minutes. There. You’re done and you haven’t spent a dime.

School Has Started Again

Written by Brett McKay

Today I started my second year of law school. It looks to be a busy semester. Here’s  a short list of what I got on my plate:

  • 13 hours of class
  • writing my law review article
  • doing cite checks for law review articles
  • working as a Westlaw rep
  • providing research assistance occasionally for a professor
  • summer internship interviews

Whew! I’m tired just from thinking about it. Because of my full schedule, The Frugal Law Student will be put on the back burner for a while. No, I’m not abandoning my readers. Instead of the daily post that many have grown accustomed to, I’ll be posting every other day. If things get really crazy, don’t be surprised to only see maybe two or three posts in a week. My wife will  be posting more often, so you can look forward read her stuff.  If any of you would like to guest post, please feel free to contact me.

The Frugal Law Student Is Tired Of Being Frugal

Written by Brett McKay

Right now, I’m tired of being frugal. I just want to drop some cash instead of watching every single dollar my wife and I spend. Last week, instead of making our own meals, we bought ready to cook bag meals and frozen pizzas. It wasn’t that expensive, but we could have saved some money had we made our meals ourselves. Spending the extra money didn’t bother me, though. My wife and I didn’t want to worry about cooking for a week, so the extra money was worth the convenience.

Another frugal arrangement that gets annoying every once in a while is sharing one car. My wife and I have had several moments where having two cars would be much more convenient. We could buy an extra car, but the expenses that go along with it would put a squeeze on us financially. Plus, our car rides are a great time for my wife and I to connect. So, I’ve gotten over my urge to buy an extra car.

I’ve also just been in the mood to spend money. I’d love to go on a shopping spree and buy some new clothes, CDs, computer software, and Franklin Covey stuff. I don’t know why I’ve had this urge come on suddenly.

I think it’s always a good idea when you’re feeling some frugal burnout to go and splurge a little. Frugality is the means to our long term goals. However, if we don’t reward ourselves on the short term, being frugal can quickly lose it’s appeal. The extra $15 we spent on bagged meals won’t set us back in our progress. Buying a CD will not bankrupt me. The key is to not overdue it.

If you’re feeling a little frugally fried, go out and treat yourself to something nice.

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The Best, Most Frugal Way to Freshen Your Breath That You’re Not Doing

Written by Mrs. FLS

No it’s not toothpastes, mouthwash, breath mints, breath strips, gum, or Bianca (do they even make that anymore?). The cheapest and best way to get fresh breath is by using a tongue scraper. I was skeptical of the power of the tongue scraper until a friend went on and on about how effective it was. So Brett and I decided to try it and we’ve become true believers too.

You see, the majority of bad breath is not caused by the food that you eat, but rather originates from the back of your tongue. There bacteria, decaying food particles, and even discharge from your nasal cavities, breeds and emits a foul odor. Brushing your teeth won’t get rid of it. Even brushing your tongue with your tooth brush won’t get it all. And breath mints and gum don’t remove it either. Your tongue is like a lush carpet and the germs hide in the nooks and crannies. You need a tongue scraper to sweep them out. A mouth post-tongue scrape is remarkably clean, and the results are instantaneous. You can tell the difference right after you scrape.

If you are afraid of waking up to your significant other with monstrous morning breath, just make sure you scrape your tongue before bed. Your morning breath will be significantly tamed. And you won’t have to employ the old back of the hand sniff test.

And the best part is that it is frugal. One tongue scraper, which will last you years and years, costs $5. Or if you are especially frugal you can even use a spoon. In contrast if you bought mouthwash or breath mints every week at $1.50 a pop you’ll end up spending $6 a month or $72 a year!

Of course if you’re on a date and you just ate a garlicky meal, then you may want to freshen the mouth with some mint gum. But generally speaking the most effective and frugal way to freshen your breath is giving it a good scraping.

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Get Ready For Law School With These Last Minute Tips

Written by Brett McKay

Law school starts in just one week. Here’s a list of articles that can help you get started on the right foot.

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Lose Weight, Not Money

Written by Mrs. FLS

One of the ways to save money in the long term is to maintain good health. And one of the main ways to maintain good health is to exercise and be physically fit. The only problem is that while getting in shape may save money in the long term, joining a gym takes a whack at your wallet in the short term. Recently our gym membership expired. We had gotten a very good deal at a very no frills gym. But the prices for renewal had gone up and made our frugal eyes pop out of our heads. So what to do? We both like to work out almost daily, so giving up exercising altogether was not an option. Instead we explored some cheaper options. Here are some ideas we considered, and you might find helpful:

Joining the YMCA. The Y has come a long way since being a place for people down on their luck, complete with “everything for young men to enjoy.” Most YMCAs are now decent fitness centers for all kinds of people. While their membership fees are comparable to other gyms, what many people don’t know is that if you are financially strapped you can apply for financial aid. The Y wants to make health available to all comers. You fill out a form about your income, talk to someone at the Y, and work out what you can pay each month. My friend did this and only had to pay $6 a month for her membership.

If you are a student, look into your school’s gym. This is probably a no brainer. Most colleges and universities have very decent fitness facilities these days that students can use for free. But something we had forgotten is that they also have reduced rates for the spouses of students. This is what Brett and I decided to do. It is only around $10 a month for me to join, and free of course for him. The school is far away from our house, but since we have only one car, we’ll just go when I have to pick him up at night.

Exercise outdoors. This is an option that you can either use to supplement a membership at a small, cheaper gym, or, if you live in a year round warm climate, you could potentially forgo a gym membership altogether. With out last gym membership up, and the next school semester not yet started, Brett and I are between gyms. So we have been trying out different outdoor work-outs. And we have been having a great time doing it! The fresh air makes you feel healthy and strong. Here are some ideas for exercising outdoors:

  • Find a nice scenic trail to run/bike/skate on. There is a great trail here in Tulsa along the Arkansas River which provides the perfect setting for exercise. Exploring new locations adds fun and variety and will keep your motivated
  • Vary your routine. Running/jogging is an obvious choice. But the same old thing will get boring. First you can vary your running routine. Interval work-outs mix things up and burn far more fat than running at a steady pace. You can also do a hill work-out, or run the stairs at a local stadium. Next, try activities other than running. Varying your form of exercise burns more fat (your body gets used to the same exercise routine) and will save the wear and tear on your joints that doing the same thing over and over causes. Depending on what equipment you have on hand, try biking, rollerblading (my personal favorite), tennis, or basketball.
  • Look for outdoor “exercise equipment.” Many trails have stations with things like pull-up bars, push-up bars, and dip bars built along them. These outdoor exercise stations seem to have been a fad in the 1970’s, which is the era most seem to have been built in. But they have held up over time, and are an excellent way to supplement your cardio exercise with some strength training. Brett and I tried it this week and it was wonderfully intense and satisfying.

So now you know that being frugal is no excuse for being out of shape. In my next post I will further explore some exercises that can be done outside, without a gym membership or home exercise equipment.

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