Dr. Oz, July, 8, 2013, starts off the show saying over 80% of us worry about our finances and it is taking a toll on our health. Money Anxiety Disorder (MAD) is real and Lynette Khalfani-Cox is on the show to talk about ways to avoid wrecking your health by taking charge of your financial situation. There are three types of MAD: First is the person who feels they never have enough money ever and are living day to day. Second is the person who worries about saving enough for the future. Third is the person who just doesn’t seem to have a clue about any of their finances.
Lynette and Oz both say that stress is a big problem when it comes to your health and can cause many problems. We have three volunteers that fit into each of the categories above. Now Lynette gave her general guidelines for a budget and said that we should ideally have our expenses look like the list below:
The key here is to figure out where you are spending your money and you need to make a list of everything you are spending. Cathy is the volunteer Lynette works with first. Cathy misses a lot of expenses and Oz and Lynette walk her through the things she missed like cell phone, school supplies, and gifts. Oz says it is OK to spend more on one part of your budget. Lynette says people who live in New York may be spending a lot more than 33% on housing and this is typical of what happens to a lot of us. Remember, these are just guidelines and goals. Oz says you should not sacrifice on your food because the returns you get from eating right will bring back dividends in the future. Oz says taking the harsh step of getting ALL of your expenses written down is the first step in getting control of your finances. He says it is a lot like getting on the scales at the doctor’s office. You have to make that first step to take control.
Lynette brings up Frugal Fatigue next and it is when we get so caught up with living on a budget that we just go nuts. She says we need to relieve that by giving ourselves little rewards now while still staying within our budget. Find one small thing and do it for yourself now. This will lower your stress levels and help you stick to your financial plan. Oz relates this to his “cheat days” that he talks about in his diet plans. If you know you are getting a little reward soon, it is easier to stick to a financial plan. Lynette says we need to factor these into our miscellaneous expenses and plan for it. She even says it could be something as simple as putting away a few dollars each month for a big expense.
Oz says that if you add up all the numbers in the guidelines, you will see that they add up to only 99%. The reason for this is that we should tuck away 1% of our money and never touch it. He says it will add up eventually. Lynette has a four step plan for emergencies and expenses that we did not think about like yearly subscriptions. She uses the acronym LIFE to remember these.
L stands for listed items that you under calculated.
I stands for impulse purchases that you just couldn’t do without.
F stands for the items you forgot about in your budget.
E stands for the emergencies that come up in all our lives.
We all have emergencies but the key is to use preventative maintenance to keep them at a minimum. A health checkup may cost a little now but save you big bills in the future. Having your car serviced regularly is an expense, but an oil change is a lot cheaper than replacing an engine. Oz says we all need to sit down and make a list of three things that we worry about most in these categories. He says identifying our fears is the key to getting them under control and learning to deal with them.
Now Oz shifts gears and he says there are 4 common deficiencies that could be zapping our energy and the solutions may be in our pantry already. First, we get a simple 4 question quiz.
1. Do you have: A. Pale Skin B. Cracking, Peeling Skin C. Soft, Brittle Nails D. Dry Skin
2. Would you describe yourself as: A. Irritable B. Foggy C. Apathetic D. Depressed
3. Do you have: A. Cold Hands or Feet B. Loss of Vision C. Noise Sensitivity D. Sore Muscles
4. Do you suffer from: A. Hair Loss B. Burning, Itchy Eyes C. Numbness or Tingling D. Irregular Sleep
If you answered with the same letter answer more than twice for the four questions, you may have a deficiency that need to be identified. For two or more “A” answers, you may lack Iron. For two or more “B” answers, you may lack riboflavin of vitamin B2. For two or more “C” answers, you may lack magnesium and this effects about half the women in this country. For two or more “D” answers, you could have a deficiency in Vitamin D.
Oz says the solutions to these deficiencies can be found in our pantry. For Iron Deficiency, you need to eat 1 cup of beans three times a week and Oz says squirting in a little lemon juice will help your body absorb the iron better. For Vitamin B2 or riboflavin deficiency, you need to eat 2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast flakes each week. Oz says we can just sprinkle them on our salads or other foods. For Magnesium Deficiency, Oz says to eat 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds each day. Finally, for a Vitamin D deficiency, we need to eat 1 cup of White button Mushrooms two times a week. For best results, Oz says to leave them out in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes before you eat them.
Photo courtesy of Doctor Oz