The weekend is here! It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in Chicago. I’m hoping to get out and enjoy it with some early morning bike rides.


If you’re located in the west ‘burbs of Chicago, one of the early suburban “summer” fests kicks off, Taste Of Glen Ellyn. We’ll be taking it in at some point this weekend.

What are you up to this weekend??

Extrapolate This! - Weekly Roundup - 515 to 521

Things You Do That Annoy Your Coworkers

Do You Have Unclaimed Property?

Illinois Property Taxes

Do You Suffer From Lactose Intolerance?


I just had to plug this one real quick. I’ve always liked yogurt and enjoyed tossing in some dried fruit from time to time. But lately, I’ve been hooked on adding Aldi’s Banana Nut Granola to my yogurt. So, so good.

I prefer their brand yogurt as well, Fit & Active vanilla flavored. Along with the granola it makes a real good snack for those calorie conscience and for anyone who is looking for a protein boosted snack. Seriously, try it!


My Latest Obsession - Yogurt With Vanilla


After separating from a company it used to be the only option for continuing healthcare was joining COBRA or looking for private coverage. Nowadays with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) there are more affordable options. That’s a good thing since you’re required to have coverage or pay a penalty.

In order to determine what options are available to you, I recommend starting at your state dedicated site or even the Healthcare Marketplace where eventually you’ll be directed to Healthcare.Gov to began the application process. I found the interface was set up so that even someone with limited computer experience could navigate the site pretty easily since it’s designed to walk the applicant through the process step-by-step.

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There’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as my fortieth birthday looms on the horizon – what’s the point of saving for retirement if I don’t take care of my health now?

I’ve read too many stories of people who saved their whole lives only to die before, or just after, retiring. I’d hate to think all the careful planning would be for nothing.

Plus, even if I live well into my 90’s, I want to be healthy enough to get around on my own. I envision visiting forest preserves and taking vacations, but that won’t be possible if I am in poor health.

Coincidentally, I was at the library earlier this week when I came across this book.

A Short Guide to a Long Life

I devoured it in a single night. Unfortunately, I learned that while I’m doing some things right when it comes to my health, there is definitely room for improvement.

Things I’m doing right:

Working out 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week on my elliptical machine
Eating fruits & vegetables
Getting at least 6.5 hours of sleep every night (although my body prefers 8-9)
Keeping my stress levels low

Things I’m doing that are a detriment to my health:

Eating processed foods and junk food
Not eating any fish
Not pushing myself harder on the elliptical machine or doing any weight training
Taking vitamins & supplements
Not having correct posture
Sitting too much

I’m sure there’s more but there’s only so many things I can tackle at once.

Eating properly is a tough one because all the foods I really enjoy are not the most nutritious things to eat. I don’t eat fried foods constantly, but I do like red meat, bread, and potato chips. Plus I love to bake. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and while I do eat fruits and vegetables, I wonder how much of the “bad stuff” is affecting my overall health.

I will try and add interval and weight training to my schedule, however. I have been doing the interval stuff a little already, but no weight training. I can do that while I watch TV. That could also help with the whole sitting too much thing if I stand while doing it.

The vitamin thing really throws me because I’ve always heard vitamins are good for you. Now studies are showing that multivitamins in particular are linked to a higher risk of mortality. I do not take a multivitamin, but I do take a few single vitamins for very specific health reasons:

  • Vitamin D since my levels were low before I started taking it
  • Vitamin B12 to help with a balance issue
  • Magnesium to help with a balance issue as well as to promote better sleep
  • Probiotic for digestion (plus I’ve found it helps me not gain weight as quickly)

I read in the book that taking a low-dose aspirin daily minimizes inflammation in the body. Inflammation contributes to the development of a host of diseases, including cancer, so this week I’ve started taking one of those as well.

In addition, I’m trying to improve my posture. My back hurts already because it’s not used to it, but I will suffer through the discomfort for the long term gain of a longer life expectancy (according to the book).

Changing things for the better is not going to be easy, and I will admit right now that some things might not change because I know myself too well and I don’t want to give up the foods I love, but I will try to cut back on the junk food. Everything in moderation, right?

What things have you changed recently to adopt a healthier lifestyle?



Ok, hear me out! The reason I say that is because ever since I subscribed* to Netflix, I find myself working out on my elliptical machine much more regularly – every day after work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and first thing in the morning on Mondays and Fridays. That’s five days a week, which is incredible in my eyes. Granted, I only work out for an average of 20 minutes at a time, but it’s still way better than nothing. And the reason I have Netflix to thank is that I can easily prop my iPad up on my elliptical machine to watch stuff while I exercise. It’s the motivation I need to engage in an otherwise boring activity.

In addition, I have found having Netflix makes cleaning the house and cooking more enjoyable because I bring my iPad along with me to binge-watch shows. My most recent favorite is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I highly recommend. I finished the 13-episode season within days, so I’ve moved on to re-watching Parks & Recreation. I find it extremely difficult to just sit and watch tv while doing nothing else, so I love this!

Do you have any favorite shows you watch while getting your chores done? Yes, I consider exercise a chore!

* It’s funny how not too long ago I wrote about signing up for unnecessary subscriptions and since then have subscribed to both Amazon Prime and Netflix. While neither is a necessary expense, we can afford it, plus we’re looking at dropping cable very soon, so they will serve as our primary means of entertainment.


We’ve all heard of the Latte Effect as it relates to personal finance, right? You know, cut out the cost of your daily high priced drink and save $5. Do that for a month and viola, $100 or so. Not sure I’d cut them out entirely. I mean, you’re entitled to a vice every now and then eh? And I love a vanilla latte every now and then.

No Pop

But the same pertains to regular pop and calories too. I love pop, especially Pepsi. If you’re a daily drinker the amount of sugar (calories) can add up quickly. Let’s do some math.

150 Calories in a can
365 Days a year
54,750 Calories in a year

54,750! That equals 15.6 lbs. Just by doing nothing more than cutting one can of pop a day out of your intake could save you nearly 16 lbs a year. Besides all that extra weight, you’re saving some money too with not purchasing the pop, or as much of it at least. Maybe that’s a little exaggerated with assuming a can a day. But maybe not. I can think of several people who I know are drinking a can or more a day or pop, every day.

Which takes us to weight control. Am I some expert in nutrition and weight loss? Nope. But I have years of experience learning how my body reacts to food and exercise. We should all be working to keep weight in check. We all need to control our weight and be careful what fuel we’re putting inside. Want to know what I think is the secret to weight loss? There is no secret. Seriously, no magic pill, no special exercise, no juice fast (although it may be healthy once in a while). Weight loss is as simple as if you burn more calories in a day than your daily allowance, you’ll drop weight over time. That’s it. Have an allowance of 2000 calories per day, eat 1500 and you save 500 for that day. Add up all the saved calories and once they reach 3500, you just lost a pound. It’s just math, and simple math. I didn’t even have to take my socks off for that one.

The hard part is the will power. That’s tough, so much so I’m not even going to get into it. 🙂

As I get older, I’ve come to understand how important health is. Both for my longevity and even for my pocketbook. Here’s a stat that most don’t include when retirement planning. The ERBI estimates that it will cost the average 65 year old couple over $150k to cover just HALF the medical expenses incurred in retirement. My thought is, the healthier I am the less chance I’ll need that much medical help. Of course, there are some things that may just happen. But if I can help influence that number, I’m going to!

BTW – Here are two great apps to use for tracking your exercise and food intake if you’re interested in taking it to that level. Both are available on iPhone, Android, and Window devices.

My Fitness Pal


When it comes to shaving, I’ve been down most roads: disposable, electric, hair trimmer (beard days), and DE blades (safety razors). Disposable razors are easy but not cheap when you figure in how much they cost per shave, especially if you use those high end Mach blades. Yikes! Electric does a pretty good job, but I’ve found it irritates your face. And considering the cost of the replacement blades you may be better off buying a new razor. If you have a beard, the hair trimmer (shears) work great and are decent priced.

Last year I discovered safety razors after reading an article over at I decided to give it a try and the Mrs. was nice enough to indulge my Amazon wish list. I didn’t go high end right off the bat. I picked out an inexpensive $6 shaver along with a Van Der Hagen shave set for another $10. I had to start out small just in case I didn’t care for it. After reading the AskMen article, I realized there were countless styles and manufactures of blades. Upon a recommendation, I picked out a sample pack of 100 blades for $25. All in, around $41. Up front a little more than disposables, but this trial wasn’t over.

When I was little I used to watch my dad shave using a safety razor. As I got older, I just figured that was the old fashioned way of shaving. I used to think the same of my moms leftover meatloaf too, but my dad knew different, and now I understand that too. From the first shave with a safety razor, I was hooked. It did take me a little bit of time trying the different blades before I found the right one, but the overall shave experience is worth the effort. Yes, I said “experience”. It takes a little preparation to get a really good shave. Not some wine and candle preparation, but setting up your face for a good shave. Following my online guide suggestions, I was ready. I soaked my brush and razor in hot water while I showered. I cleaned my face really well and made sure to not completely dry my face (you get a much smoother shave if your beard has some moisture). With the right blade (Astra platinum for me), I end up with no red marks and a nice smooth face. Again, well worth the effort.

Now down to brass tacks; I can get 100 of these blades for $9.89. That’s .10 each rounding up. I can shave 3 times before changing to a new one. So I can shave for only 3.3 cents each time. Even with the up front cost, you just can’t beat that. Sure, I could also get a $50 Merkur razor, but the one I have works just fine. Oh, and don’t forget the moisturizer!


One way I have found to save money on hair care, particularly coloring, is to do it yourself. I’m not talking about box dye kits, however.

I like buying the developer and color from Sally Beauty Supply. I learned many years ago that you don’t have to sign up to be a member to purchase products from their stores and since then I haven’t touched a boxed dye kit. Not only is my method healthier for your hair, it’s very inexpensive. A bottle of developer will run you $3-$5 and the color is typically $5 a bottle or less. Depending on how long your hair is you might have to buy two bottles of color but your maximum out of pocket expense shouldn’t exceed $15. You can’t get a coloring for that cheap at the salon, that’s for sure! And if you have an awesome husband like I do you won’t even have to do it on your own – he colors my hair for me.

Just an idea if you’re looking to save a little moolah but love to update your look.